THE MOST BACKWARD COUNTRY ON HUMAN RIGHTS
By Manuel E. Yepe
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The United States, whose government boasts it is the leader, role model and arbiter of “democracy” in the world, is one of the most backward nations on human rights.
Venezuelan writer, professor, prominent jurist, and social fighter for human rights Laila Tajeldine makes the case in an article posted on the Rebelion website.
Due to its own legislative restrictions, the US is not part of International conventions such as: the provisions relating to children’s rights; the rights of persons with disabilities; economic, social and cultural rights; removal of all forms of discrimination against women; rights of migrant workers and their families; protection against forced disappearances; against the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries; repression and punishment of the crime of apartheid; against apartheid in sports; and the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on the civil and political rights aimed at abolishing the death penalty.
To prevent the prosecution of its soldiers who resort to the application of torture, massacres, extrajudicial killings and other war crimes and crimes against humanity, Washington does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court on US citizens.
According to trustworthy sources, 66 million people live below the poverty line in the United States and 51% of public school students are in poverty.
In the United States, more than 50 million people have no medical insurance, and many more have inefficient health coverage. The problem is particularly acute for the poor, African-Americans and other groups with limited access to health care.
The salary of wome averages 22% lower than that of men pm the same job.
The US corporate media ignore the political persecution practiced against those who oppose the bipartisan and capitalist policies in the United States. They hide the fact that there are about a hundred political prisoners in that country. They were fighting for the civil and political rights of the African-American population, the independence of Puerto Rico, against fascism and racism, for women’s rights, etc.
The private prisons operating in the United States have admitted that the high rates of incarceration benefit their businesses. Prisons provide a cheaper labor force and do not recognize overtime.
According to the London International Centre for Prison Studies, the United States has 2.3 million people deprived of freedom. This is the highest number of prisoners in the world. The country has 5% of the world’s population yet its prison population accounts for 23% of the imprisoned globally.
African-Americans represent 36% of prisoners in the United States, despite the fact that the overall Black population in the country is 12.6%. African-Americans represent 59% of those convicted and 74% of those who given life sentences.
Approximately 3% of all prisoners in US jails reported having experienced one or more incidents of sexual abuse in the period 2011-2012. Since 2013, these types of studies were canceled in the country due to the impact their conclusions have on society.
According to a study published by the Left Business Observer, 20% of the country’s GDP is produced in prisons. Many companies like IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, ATT Wireless, Revlon, Macy’s, are producing from prisons and benefit from their cheap labor.
The recent acts of police brutality against the African-American population show that racial discrimination remains state policy in the country.
In the United States, about 100 thousand immigrant and Black children are forced to do hard labor without any State protection. In agricultural fields children often work ten or more hours a day and risk pesticide intoxication, poisoning, illnesses produced by heat, injuries, permanent disability or death.
Laila Tajeldine concludes that “it is necessary to form an
international movement –not committed to the large economic
corporations– to join the struggle of the people of the United States which is silenced by the media. The movement must denounce the systematic and permanent violation of human rights in that nation. ”
May 13, 2015.