Sunday, October 17, 2021
The United States was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on October 14, 2021, more than three years after the Trump administration withdrew from the Council. On the campaign trail President Biden had promised that the United States would week election on the Council and the administration began to reengage with the Council earlier this year as an observer.
Also noteworthy is that on September 24, 2021, the United States submitted its Sixth Periodic Report to the UN Committee Against Torture concerning the implementation of the United States’ obligations under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in accordance with Article 19 of the Convention. The report covers both domestic and extra-territorial violations of the prohibition against torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment or punishment. As reported by Jamil Dakwar, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Human Rights Program, the report was due in 2018 but the Trump administration failed to submit a reply to the Committee’s detailed questions. The organization of this report follows the general guidelines for the preparation of reports by Member States. The U.S. report will likely be reviewed by the U.N. Committee Against Torture in late 2022 or early 2023 depending on the backlog caused by COVID-19. U.S. civil society organizations (including human rights clinics) may wish to submit shadow reports to the Committee in the coming year.