US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN takes the (Capitol) Hill

Jan 28, 2019

Roberto-Borrero-CongressThe US Human Rights Network (USHRN) went to Capitol Hill to meet with staff members of freshman congresswoman Deb Haaland (D-NM).

Congresswoman Haaland is one of two Native American women elected into office - the first two Native American women ever elected to the US Congress- and part of a high profile group of freshman congresswomen swept into office during the historic 2018 congressional election.

USHRN Director of International Mechanisms, Roberto Borrero (Taíno) led the team discussing human rights concerns with Congresswoman Haaland’s staff. The meeting touched on a broad range of topics, including US obligations to human rights mechanisms, the International Decade for People of African Descent, the upcoming UN meetings by the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW), the migrant crisis at the Mexican border and other human rights issues.

The meeting is the first in a broader effort of the USHRN to demand accountability from the US government with respect to its obligations under international treaties and agreements. In 2018, the US government withdrew from the Paris climate agreement and did not to submit a report required under the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Additionally, the U.S. government has agreed to receive from the U.N. Human Rights Committee a "List of Issues Prior to Reporting", which will form the basis for the U.S. periodic report to the Committee. The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), one of the most important instruments of international law. In 2018, the U.S. also withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council. In 2019, the US withdrew from UNESCO, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars of unpaid dues behind. 

The US Human Rights Network is actively engaged in holding the US government accountable to international human rights standards and obligations of international agreements and will continue to meet with congressional leaders and connect those leaders to the issues that are important to our membership.

The USHRN was on Capitol Hill to present at a congressional briefing on extreme poverty in the United States.