It’s No New Deal

In response to claims by officials that the Obama Administration would take a new, supportive stance toward economic and social rights, the Human Rights at Home Campaign today issued a statement noting that no new deal was on offer for the people of the United States.

Last week NESRI had already put out a statement titled “Hypocrisy on Human Rights; Obama Administration Offers More Words but No Action on Economic and Social Rights”  in response to claims made by the U.S. government to the UN that it was accepting several economic and social rights recommendations issued during the Universal Periodic Review  (a human rights review of the United States as part of a regular UN assessment of all countries’ human rights records.)  Yesterday, Assistant Secretary Mike Posner gave a speech at the American Society for International Law, which once again addressed the Administration’s position on these critical set of rights.  In that speech, the Assistant Secretary mirrored the approach the Administration took with regards to the Universal Periodic Review recommendations and made clear that the Administration has unfortunately not moved away from hypocrisy on human rights.

From the statement of the Human Rights at Home Campaign: "Using economic and social rights rhetoric to convince the public that this is a "priority" for the Administration is no substitute for actually making economic and social rights a reality people in the United States. On the contrary, we agree with the Assistant Secretary's critique of other governments that use human rights rhetoric for political gain, rather than the protection of people."

The statement concludes with this appeal: "We urge this Administration not to take the path signaled by Assistant Secretary Posner's comments, but rather to move from rhetoric to real rights and offer concrete human rights based policy solutions, strong and effective human rights monitoring mechanisms, and unassailable and unwavering leadership on core American values like freedom from want, equality, and dignity for all."

Read the full statement from the Human Rights at Home Campaign, a coalition of human rights organizations calling for greater monitoring and accountability to human rights at the federal level, here.