In a report published in advance of the United Nations hearing on the U.S. human rights record, advocacy groups called the U.S. government to account for regularly washing its hands of any responsibility for making sure that its people are not ill-fed, ill-housed, and of ill health. Together with seven collaborators and over forty endorsing groups, the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) submitted a report to the UN on the persistent denial of economic and social human rights in the United States. The report, “Toward Economic and Social Rights in the United States: From Market Competition to Public Goods,” is released today in a new version that includes case studies of groups fighting for
human rights in their local communities.
Read the report here.
Download NESRI’s press release here.
The evidence presented in the report shows that the United States has failed for decades to fully respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights to education, health care, housing, work, and social security, partly because it consistently privileges private, profit-making interests over meeting people’s fundamental needs. The critique comes on the eve of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a United Nations human rights monitoring mechanism, which will hold its first official examination of the U.S. human rights record on November 5 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Representatives of two organizations that collaborated in submitting the report will travel as part of a national delegation to the United Nations in Geneva next week. The human rights activists, Deborah Burton of the Los Angeles Community Action Network and Mary Gerisch of the Vermont Workers’ Center and its Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, will offer testimony on the struggle for economic and social human rights in the United States. Two videos produced and submitted by NESRI and its allies will also be screened before UN representatives next week. In the first, Romeo Ramirez of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a co-submitter of the report, documents
farmworkers’ human rights struggle in Florida. In the second, Elizabeth Rosenthal, from Physicians for a National Health Program NY Metro, speaks on the human right to health care (see below).