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Report Reveals System Failures in U.S. Documentation of Hate Crimes

Report Reveals System Failures in U.S. Documentation of Hate Crimes

Geneva, Switzerland, Sept. 16, 2013: The International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination (ICAAD) submitted a Shadow Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Sept. 13, 2013, for the upcoming review of United States (U.S.) compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Read ICAAD’ Shadow Report

The Report finds the U.S. in violation of the ICCPR because it has failed to protect vulnerable communities from hate crimes. It highlights that under the current Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), only 3% percent of all hate crimes are documented through the UCR Program. Out of 14,575 participating law enforcement agencies in the UCR program, 86.7% of these agencies reported zero hate crimes in their jurisdiction, including 64 jurisdictions with a population over 100,000. The jurisdictions that reported zero hate crimes represent almost one third of the U.S. population.

The downstream effect of the massive gap in data collection results in the governments’ limited ability to justify mandating law enforcement training and documentation of hate crimes. Furthermore, identification of crime patterns to prevent, prosecute, and protect vulnerable communities from bias-motivated acts is severely compromised.

The Report concludes that the reporting gap that currently exists is unconscionable. The disparity leaves policy makers and other interested parties paralyzed to act because the true scope of the problem and the patterns of bias-motivated violence remain permanently walled off from consideration.”

In partnership with the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) ICCPR Task Force, a coalition that works to expand civil societies’ knowledge and participation in the ICCPR review process, ICAAD and other advocacy organizations jointly submitted Shadow Reports on many human rights issues and are participating in a national day of action in cities across the U.S.

After the U.N. Human Rights Committee reviews reports from the government and civil society NGOs it assesses compliance with the ICCPR and offers Concluding Observations, which are recommendations to improve the U.S.human rights record before the next review session.

Read the summary of the U.S. government’s submission to the UN Human Rights Committee

Report Reveals System Failures in U.S. Documentation of Hate Crimes

Shadow Report on Hate Crimes Submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee
Sources:FBI Hate Crimes Statistics 2011&Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report 2013

Civil society plays a formidable role in providing alternative reports (Shadow Reports) that directly highlight the human rights conditions on the ground while holding states accountable to the recommendations (Concluding Observations) issued by the Human Rights Committee.The U.S. review before the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland is scheduled for October 2013. A delegation representing civil society organizations will be in attendance.

Brief History of U.S. Submissions before the Human Rights Committee

Upon ratification in 1992, the ICCPR became the supreme law of the land under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives treaties the status of federal law.The U.S. Department of State is responsible for coordinating the government response as they submit themselves before the Human Rights Committee every four years. The U.S. submitted its First Periodic Report in 1994 under the Clinton administration. The Second and Third Periodic Reports were combined because they were delayed seven years, under the Bush administration, and were submitted in 2005. The Fourth Periodic Report was submitted on Dec. 30, 2011.



On May 17, 2019, ICAAD Advisor Erin Thomas’ publication: Compacts of Free Association in FSM, RMI, and Palau: Implications for the 2023-2024 Renewal Negotiations (hrbrief.org/2019/03/compacts-of-free-association-in-fsm-rmi-and-palau-implications-for-the-2023-2...) was cited by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in an op-ed published in The Hill (thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/444291-pacific-defense-pact-renewal-vital-to-the-u...). In her piece, Erin points to critical issues stakeholders have raised regarding human trafficking, adoption policies, and COFA migrant rights among other important human rights issues.

Some of the above-mentioned policy gaps span several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnership for the goals). Holistically, the existing COFA agreements represent the type of inequity that SDG 10 seeks to address. SDG 17 promotes inclusive and participatory decision-making at the international, national, and local levels. Developing transparency on both sides will allow for a more equitable process and outcome for the renewal negotiations.

The issues within the existing agreements also involve SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and limited access to justice regarding redress for nuclear testing and environmental destruction. This impacts targets and indicators including SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Finally, SDG 10 and 8’s targets for responsible migration policies are important considering the limited provisions for COFA migrants in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
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