United States ― Human Rights Committee (List of Issues) ― Violence Against Women, Immigration, and Death Penalty ― Feb. 2013

The report on domestic violence addresses the high levels of domestic violence in the United States and identifies ways in which the justice system could enact more efficacious policies to address the issue.

The report notes that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was riddled with flaws, including the absence of requirements for state participation and inadequate funds for vital services for abused women. The report highlights the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women’s recommendation that the United States work toward uniform implementation of VAWA, and calls on the United States to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

The report on immigration and asylum examines the deficiencies in the U.S. immigration and asylum system. Deficiencies include streamlined immigration procedures, inadequate detention centers, and the unwarranted detention of asylum seekers. Streamlined immigration procedures infringe on the rights of non-citizens, and lead to automatic and unwarranted convictions. Compounding this problem is the use of detention facilities that lack the basic physical, mental, and legal services necessary to ensure humane conditions. Immigration authorities often detain bona fide asylum seekers in these unacceptable conditions—a traumatizing and unnecessary experience for individuals coming to the United States to escape threats to their safety and liberty.

The report on the death penalty identifies numerous human rights violations arising out of death penalty practices in the United States, including issues involving racial disparities and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. The report observes that the use of the death penalty in the United States violates several rights identified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The 141 death row inmates exonerated since 1973 substantiate the significant risk of executing an innocent person. In violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, this risk is heightened for racial minorities; African-American defendants are three times more likely than white defendants to receive the death penalty when the victim is white. Moreover, the executions themselves often result in excessive physical and mental suffering for the prisoner.

The third report examines the deficiencies in the U.S. immigration and asylum system, including streamlined immigration procedures, inadequate detention centers, and the unwarranted detention of asylum seekers. The report demonstrates that streamlined immigration procedures infringe on the rights of non-citizens and lead to automatic and unwarranted convictions. Compounding this problem is the use of detention facilities that lack the basic physical, mental, and legal services necessary to ensure humane conditions. Immigration authorities often detain bona fide asylum seekers in these unacceptable conditions—a traumatizing and unnecessary experience for individuals coming to the United States to escape threats to their safety and liberty.