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.