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U.N. Human Rights Committee to Review U.S. Compliance with Civil and Political Rights Treaty

The National Right to Food Community of Practice joins dozens of U.S. civil society organizations in calling for accountability for rights violations

October 2023

For the first time in nine years, the U.N. Human Rights Committee will review U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). On Oct 17 and 18 in Geneva, The National Right to Food Community of Practice, together with the Human Rights Clinic of the University of Miami, will join dozens of other U.S. civil society organizations from across the country in petitioning the U.N. to hold the U.S. government accountable for policies and practices that violate the treaty.

The United States is obligated to abide by the ICCPR, which is one of only three international human rights treaties the country has ratified. Guided by input from participating civil society organizations, committee members will question U.S. federal, state, and local government officials. The review will focus on a range of fundamental human rights, including indigenous rights, voting rights, freedom of expression, sexual and reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, and children’s rights. Following the review, the United Nations will release a formal report with concluding observations and recommendations for U.S officials.

A coalition led by the University of Miami Law School’s Human Rights Clinic which included the National Right to Food Community of Practice, WhyHunger and West Virginia University's Center for Resilient Communities, submitted a report to the UN urging the Committee to investigate violations of Civil and Political Rights in the United States stemming from hunger, malnutrition, and violations of the Right to Food. Read the report here.

Denisse Cordova Montes, Acting Associate Director of the U of Miami Law School’s Human Rights Clinic along with some of her students, will accompany NRtF CoP Coordinating Team member Karen Spiller (also with the University of New Hampshire and Food Solutions New England) to Geneva October 14 - 18 to participate as civil society members during the review of the U.S. (Stay tuned to this blog for their report back!)

The ICCPR review is a unique opportunity to hold the United States accountable before an international forum. As the National Right to Food Community of Practice, our hope is that this review motivates federal and local leaders to make changes that respect and uphold individuals' right to food through the lens of civil and political rights.

For more information, visit the UNHCR website.


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