Sunday, August 21, 2011

IACHR Finds US in Violation of American Declaration of Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights recently made public its report finding that the United States violated its obligations under the American Declaration on Human Rights by failing to protect a mother and her daughters from domestic violence. In Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States, the police failed to respond to Jessica Lenahan's repeated calls for help over several hours when her estranged husband took their children despite the fact that Ms. Lenahan had a restraining order against him. By the time the father was located, he had already killed the three girls. The Commission found that the United States had failed to take adequate measures to protect the girls' right to life under article I of the Declaration in conjunction with their right to special protection as girl children under article VII; and had failed to provide Ms. Lenahan with judicial protection under article XVIII of the Declaration because it failed to conduct a proper investigation into the incident. The Commission recommended that the US conduct a full and proper investigation and that it amend its laws to provide more effective protection for victims of domestic violence. The full report no. 80/11 may be found at www.OAS.org or by clicking here.

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This case is not really about the entire United States being violation of the American Declaration of Human Rights but rather an individual's inability to get compensation from a small town police department in Colorado for its putative failure to arrest her crazed estranged husband before he killed their daughters in 1999. It is blatantly irresponsible blogging (or journalism or whatever this is) to post a headline like this without some clarifying information in the text, such as the fact that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, en banc, rejected her claims as did the US Supreme Court. The list of amicus curiae appears to include every anti-domestic violence group in North America. This sort of report illustrates how NGOs and assorted do-gooder organizations can undermine their cause. It is hard to take seriously such organizations when they spend an incredible amount of resources broadly condemning the US for its putative failures in the domestic violence area. Ever heard of the "Amber Alert"? Editors, perhaps you should spend a little energy actually editing.

Posted by: TexEcon | Aug 22, 2011 9:14:48 AM

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