Statement of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom on the Report of the Human Rights Council on the Universal Periodical Review of the United States

September 25, 2015

RIGHTS OF UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS

WILPF is highly concerned over the militarisation of the US-Mexico border and with the zero-tolerance US immigration laws that are restricting the rights of immigrants. Undocumented migrants in the USA are subject to racial profiling and unjust treatment when apprehended and detained by law enforcement officials – some of which have no jurisdiction for immigration matters.

WILPF hence welcomes the recommendation made by Mexico urging the US to adopt measures to prevent and punish excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against undocumented migrants and salutes the acceptance of this recommendation by the United States, although partial. WILPF urges the United States to effectively abolish the use of violence against migrants and to ensure timely and fair due process and investigation methods regarding the detention of undocumented migrants.

ARMS TRADE AND WOMEN’S HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION

Trinidad and Tobago has recommended the United States to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty. We strongly welcome the support of the United States to this recommendation. WILPF remains, however, particularly concerned with the USA’s consistent arms sales to countries where human rights violations are widespread, particularly gender-based violence. Indeed, small arms and light weapons contribute to insecurity within communities and increase the risk for women to experience violent situations. Thus, WILPF urges the USA to urgently ratify the Arms Trade Treaty and also to conduct gender-sensitive risk assessments in order to stop arms sales whenever there is evidence that they would be used in the commission of gender-based violence.

LABOUR RIGHTS

The United States have accepted recommendations aiming at combatting discriminatory practices against women and migrant workers in the labour market and at reviewing regulations to ensure the protection against exploitation and forced labour of migrant workers, which we welcome. WILPF calls on the USA to take appropriate legislative measures to strengthen corporate liability in cases of labor trafficking and to ensure that CEDAW is duly implemented in the context of corporate activities.

RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONVENTIONS

A number of states have given the United States recommendations with regards to the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). We welcome the acceptance by the United States of several of these recommendations and the United States’ commitment to pursuing ratification.

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND INTERNATIONAL AID

The Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and France urged the United States in their recommendations to allow its foreign assistance to be used for safe abortion of women and girls rape survivors. WILPF deplores that the United States did not accept these recommendations, calling on the repeal of restrictions on its foreign aid, which systematically deny safe abortion services to girls and women raped in war and in violation of their rights under international law, and which also limit and censor abortion-related speech abroad.

Human Rights Council Statement

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