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Loopholes of US Human Rights Report 2022: Should US fix its own human rights issue first?

By Abanthika Kumari
Opinion Loopholes of US Human Rights Report 2022: Should US fix its own human rights issue first?
THU, 23 MAR 2023 LISTEN

The United States' "2022 Nation Reports on Human Rights Practices" were published on March 20, 2023 and have rekindled old wounds caused by the US's continued attempts to serve as the world's policeman. The solemn report is essentially a list of human misery spanning 198 nations and territories. Yes, aside from the United States itself. The U.S. State Department published its "2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" at the same time as the whole world is plagued by the Russia-Ukraine war, while promoting itself as the bulwark of human rights and defaming nations it views as competitors.

The United States lacks the wisdom of reflection, which causes it to continue moving forward even when it is obviously off the rails. The report is missing information about how the superpower has indirectly or directly contributed to global inequalities. For example, it does not explain how the West even US’s failure to stop Russia-Ukraine war. Ongoing Russia-Ukraine war is the worst example of the human rights violation case. Western failure to stop this war has endangered people worldwide and, in a way, have violated human rights

The Biden administration, according to the report, has placed human rights "at the core" of both domestic and foreign policy. Has it? The report ignored the number of Americans who died as a result of COVID-19, mass shootings, police brutality, and racial discrimination while covering hundreds of pages on how other governments had "unjustly incarcerated, tortured, or even killed" dissidents.

Domestically, according to Gun Violence Archive, the self-declared democratic nation experienced a record-breaking 691 mass shootings in 2021, which resulted in 44,750 fatalities. According to data from the non-profit research organization Mapping Police Violence, as of March 24 this year, there had been 249 fatalities caused by law enforcement in the United States, or an average of three per day.

Regrettably, it appears that the UN has abandoned its duty to uphold human rights, which was delegated to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The organization is in charge of advancing and defending human rights all around the world. The body investigates complaints of human rights violations in UN member states, as indicated in its mandate, and deals with topical human rights problems such freedom of association and assembly, freedom of expression, freedom of belief and religion, etc. Did The UN assign the US to meet this responsibility. Who gave them the assignment of compiling reports about other nations? What is the legal situation here? Their own set of regulations apply. In the eyes of the international community, is this report reliable? No nation, not Pakistan, Bangladesh, not India, nor China, has given them this responsibility.

The United States consistently seeks to meddle in some domestic issues of other nations by producing and publicizing reports. The concept of human rights is widely acknowledged. For example, Bangladesh is also making an effort to advance the rule of law, peace, and unity throughout the nation. There is a human rights commission in Bangladesh. Human rights are protected in Bangladesh by the country's legal system.

US police kill people without due process. On average, there are about 1,000 similar incidents in the USA each year. The Black Lives Matter movement was also present. In actuality, hate crimes affect students from the entire Indian subcontinent, not only those from Bangladesh.

On February 26, UN human rights experts urged the US government to put an end to racial discrimination and police torture in the country. There are major human rights violations in the USA, according to reporting from Western media organizations like The Guardian and the BBC. Shouldn't the USA start by examining the state of human rights on its own soil? In recent years, the USA has done studies similar to this one before. Between those and the most recent report, there aren't many differences.

Let's discuss the state of human rights in the USA. In the USA, police have shot and killed 918 people in the last 12 months. This data is not mine. The data from The Washington Post are as follows. The unlawful assassination of George Floyd by three Minneapolis police officers looked to have reignited the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, which at the time seemed to be the biggest in US history. The US should assess the state of human rights on its own.

Despite widespread demonstrations against George Floyd's death, Kennan Anderson, Bangladesh origin Faisal, it appears that the United States has not done much to implement its promises of structural changes in police enforcement.

Given these concerning numbers, Washington asserts that its ongoing "commitment to enhance human rights" "best honors the generations of Americans." Under the influence of consortiums, Washington shouts slogans of freedom and rights but lacks the motivation to confront its own human rights issues.

After all, strong gun regulation, and law enforcement changes will certainly involve moving the cheese of some interest groups that fund Congress' decision-makers. The State Department's annual report, of course, purposefully left out the horrifying number of impoverished American lives lost in the political games.

Globally, the term "human right" serves as the ideal mask for Washington's hegemonic ambitions. In the United States, "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" have been a tradition for more than 40 years. It's interesting to note that the nations the United States considers to be rivals—such as China and Russia—are always those that are accused of repression, coercion, arbitrary detention, and inhumane treatment. Despite widespread domestic demonstrations, Washington's allies have consistently been portrayed as upholding human rights.

Every state that refuses to submit to Washington's dictates is governed by an authoritarian regime that mistreats its people and imperils democracy, according to the U.S. State Department's criteria for compiling the list. The annual report serves as a tool to malign adversaries and force other nations to be Washington's puppy rather than to advance human rights, all in the sake of American hegemony.

The United States has been at war for more than 200 of its 246 years of existence while placing human rights "at the forefront" of its foreign policy. To mention a few, the so-called "liberation" of Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan resulted in the murder of innocent populations, the catastrophic damage of infrastructure in the war-torn nations, and their protracted democratic decline. The American military-industrial complex, which has relied on wars for revenue, is the opposite side of the coin. Indeed, the United States cares about rights, but never the rights of common Americans or innocent civilians in other nations.

The United States continues to engage in using the human rights argument for its own personal gain even while the effects of the Russia-Ukraine war are sweeping the globe and calling for international cooperation. If Washington genuinely cares about human rights, the first step is to focus on saving lives both at home and abroad rather than writing the voluminous report. The UNHRC should conduct its own investigations for the 2022 human rights report with an open mind and free of predetermined notions. It should steer clear of the dismissive stereotypes that the West has about other societies, which are frequently utterly untrue. There is a distinction between presenting a problem as a fault-finding exercise and as a fact-finding expedition. Whereas the latter looks for information and facts, the former looks for errors and flaws.

The annual U.S. human rights report essentially serves as a smokescreen to absolve the superpower of responsibility for a world gone wrong. The U.S. administration has been utilizing the so-called human rights reports to disparage other nations every year in order to depict itself as a human rights benchmark.

The United States must demonstrate to the rest of the world how well or equally it treats its minorities and other vulnerable groups if it wants the rest of the world to believe these findings in the future. It must not use the reports as "fig leaves" to hide its appalling domestic human rights record.

Author Bio: Dr. Abantika Kumari is an Assistant Professor at History Department of Allahabad College, Uttar Pradesh, India. She is also a researcher particularly focused on South Asia. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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