The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is one of two treaties that together are equivalent to an international “Bill of Rights.” The U.S. signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1992, but the U.S. review – its second – was more than seven years late due to the State Department’s delay in submitting the government’s official report.
The Advocates worked as part of a coalition of 142 U.S.-based non-profits and organizations that participated in the preparation of the most comprehensive review of human rights violations in the United States ever compiled. The coalition submitted a 465-page “shadow report”, the largest assembled for the Human Rights Committee.
The Advocates, with pro bono assistance from six attorneys from Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, prepared a 30-page report discussing U.S. accountability for non-citizens and problems with the government’s compliance with its obligations. In addition to formally presenting the report to the U.N. committee,The Advocates briefed the committee on how legislative and regulatory changes in the ten years since the U.S. was last reviewed have limited access to due process for non-citizens, increased the use of immigration detention, and restricted judicial review and access to counsel.
In July 2006, Deputy Director Jennifer Prestholdt led a delegation including Halleland Lewis volunteer lawyers Mark Girouard and Sandra Jezierski to provide information to the Human Rights Committee on the government’s adherence to its obligation to guarantee the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and other aliens in need of special protection.
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