The United States which preaches other countries in improving their human rights record has admitted that its record in ensuring the protection of human rights is not perfect.
Apparently, the Obama administration has told the United Nations that America's human rights record is less than perfect but stressed that the U.S. political system has built-in safeguards that promote improvements.
While the American Civil Liberties Union hailed the administration for engaging with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), it said the report glossed over the key areas where the U.S. has not met its human rights obligations.
Inhumane prison conditions, racial disparities in death penalty cases, and abuses in the immigration detention system are the areas of concern which have caused embarrassment to the country’s human rights record.
Though U.S has achieved success in reforming inequalities like slavery and the denial of women’s right to cast vote, minorities are still victims of discrimination, said State Department in its report to the UNHRC.
The report also noted as the country has an African-American president and women enjoy social and economic success, large segments of American society suffer from unfair policies and practices.
High unemployment rates, hate crime, poverty, poor housing, lack of access to health care and discriminatory hiring practices are among the challenges the report identified as affecting blacks, Latinos, Muslims, South Asians, Native Americans and gays and lesbians in the United States.
The report, which drew on meetings that U.S. officials held with various groups around the country since January, also cited concerns from civil rights activists and citizens related to immigration and racial profiling by law enforcement agencies.
The 29-page report was submitted to the Human Rights Council on Friday but was not published until Monday. Members of the council, which the United States joined only last year, are required to submit reviews of their rights records. The report was the first "Universal Periodic Review" produced by the U.S.
In one of his first moves to reach out to the international community, President Barack Obama decided that the U.S. should run for a seat on the council. The Bush administration had shunned the panel for years over its alleged disproportionate criticism of Israel and membership that includes repressive regimes.