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In the spirit of cooperation, the United States has provided as much information as possible on a number of issues raised by the committee and/or civil society, whether or not they bear directly on formal obligations arising under the Covenant. Civil society representatives have raised a variety of concerns on many of the topics addressed in this report, a number of which are noted in the text of the report. The United States continues to exercise sovereignty over a number of Insular Areas, each of which is unique and constitutes an integral part of the U. They include Puerto Rico, a Commonwealth that is self-governing under its own constitution; Guam, an unincorporated, organized territory of the United States; American Samoa, an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States; the U. Virgin Islands, an unincorporated, organized territory of the United States; and the Northern Mariana Islands, a self-governing commonwealth in political union with the United States. Bush declared the policy that the will of the people of Puerto Rico regarding their political status should be ascertained periodically through referenda sponsored either by the United States Government or by the legislature of Puerto Rico, 57 F. The 2011 Task Force Report included extensive recommendations on these issues, as well as a recommendation, inter alia, that “the President, Congress and the leadership and people of Puerto Rico work to ensure that Puerto Ricans are able to express their will about status options and have that will acted upon….” A link to the 2011 Task Force Report can be found at: The United States is home to over 560 federally recognized tribes, with about 50 percent of the American Indian and Alaska Native population residing on or near their homelands. More than 40 years have passed since the United States adopted the policy of greater tribal autonomy. This initiative also includes a substantial effort to recruit and hire new personnel. The Department of Justice also has created a Tribal Nations Leadership Council, made up of tribal leaders selected by the federally recognized tribes, to advise the Department on issues critical to Indian country. In 2011, the Attorney General launched a Violence Against Women Federal and Tribal Prosecution Task Force composed of federal and tribal prosecutors. All of its litigating sections, including employment, education, and housing, are engaged in this effort. Thus, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, for example, it is unlawful for an employer to take any action that “well might have dissuaded a reasonable [person] from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.” Burlington N. Through September 2010, HHS/OCR had conducted 581 investigations, achieving corrective action in 61 % of investigated cases. There has been concern, however, about the large number of petitioners whose petitions have not been considered on the merits. In addition, CRCL sponsors dozens of other events each year, including meetings on topics of particular interest (e.g., modesty concerns related to TSA’s Advanced Imaging Technology and pat-down procedures) and youth engagement events (e.g., Muslim American youth roundtables). The chain of command is the primary and preferred channel for identifying and correcting discriminatory practices. Federal courts also become involved if litigation is initiated. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Safe Streets Act, state and local prisons that receive federal financial assistance are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex in their services, programs, and activities. Abuses do occur in jails and prisons in the United States, and DOJ has prosecuted many cases involving federal and state prison officials. These statutes allow suit for declaratory or equitable relief for a pattern or practice of unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The criminal statutes at the time also did not apply to personnel working in private facilities that housed federal prisoners pursuant to contracts with the federal government. The United States Government has also reached out to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to seek information from their human rights entities on their programs and activities, which play an important part in implementing the Covenant and other human rights treaties. The United States has recognized as sovereign, self-governing nations three other areas that were formerly districts of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands: the Marshall Islands (1986), the Federated States of Micronesia (1986) and Palau (1994). As reported in paragraph 8 of the combined Second and Third Periodic Report, the people of Puerto Rico have expressed their views on their relationship with the United States in a number of public referenda, most recently in December 1998. The United States holds 56 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface mineral estates in trust for American Indians in the contiguous 48 United States, while Alaska Natives and their corporations have property rights in more than 44 million acres of land in Alaska. It has enabled tribal governments to establish, develop and enhance tribal institutions and infrastructure ranging from those addressing the health, education and welfare of their communities to those such as tribal courts, fire protection and law enforcement, which have allowed tribes to better protect their communities. Combating crimes involving violence against women and children on Native lands is a particularly high priority for the U. The Task Force was created to facilitate dialogue and coordinate efforts between the Department and tribal governments regarding the prosecution of violent crimes against women in Indian country, and to develop best-practices recommendations for both federal and tribal prosecutors. DOJ and CRD in particular have also engaged in extensive outreach efforts to these communities to educate people about their rights and available government services. Officials in New Haven, Connecticut, had discarded the results of a test designed to identify promotion candidates in the Fire Department out of concern that minority applicants would file lawsuits alleging that the test had an unjustified race-based disparate impact in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Anti-discrimination laws in the United States generally protect those who file a claim or assist in the claims of others against retaliation or reprisal. As a result of HHS/OCR’s efforts, many individuals have been able to move from an institution to the community, and many individuals have avoided unnecessary institutionalization. For that reason, the Farm Bill of 2008, Public Law 110-246, sec. A number of federal statutes, some of which are discussed above, prohibit discrimination on account of alienage and national origin. The Immigration and Nationality Act distinguishes between lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and non-LPRs. Further, DHS participates in numerous annual conferences and conventions sponsored by community-based organizations. This includes the processing and resolving of complaints of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment, and for ensuring that human relations and EO matters are taken seriously and acted upon as necessary.” 110. military prohibits discrimination within its ranks, and it proactively combats such actions in its conduct with the outside world. DOJ receives complaints alleging discrimination from prisoners, which are processed either by DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs or the Civil Rights Division (DOJ/CRD). Since October, 2005, DOJ has filed charges in 255 cases of official misconduct against more than 411 law enforcement officers. 242 are provided in the discussion under Article 6 above. DOJ/CRD investigates conditions in state prisons and local jail facilities pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), and investigates conditions in state and local juvenile detention facilities pursuant to either CRIPA or the prohibition on law enforcement agencies engaging in a pattern or practice of violating peoples’ civil rights (42 U. Since October 2005, pursuant to CRIPA, DOJ/CRD has authorized 24 investigations concerning 28 adult correctional facilities and 8 investigations of 29 juvenile detention facilities. The Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (DHS/CRCL) investigates allegations of inadequate conditions of detention for ICE detainees. In April 2005, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ/OIG) issued a report concluding that penalties under federal law for staff sexual abuse of federal prisoners with the use of threat or force were too lenient and resulted in U. The OIG recommended that DOJ seek legislation to address those issues and to make sexual abuse statutes applicable to personnel in privately-managed contract prisons as well as those working in BOP-managed prisons. The first, the Violence against Women and DOJ Reauthorization Act of 2005, increased the maximum criminal penalty for certain sexual abuse crimes, made those crimes felonies instead of misdemeanors, and extended federal criminal jurisdiction to all personnel working in private prisons under contract to the federal government. Supreme Court held in March 2010 that an alien’s Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel in criminal proceedings is violated when the alien’s criminal defense attorney fails to advise the alien of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea, provided the removal consequence is “truly clear” and the alien demonstrates that he or she suffered prejudice as a result of the deficient assistance of counsel. Thus, the Obama Administration seeks to build relationships between the federal government and tribal governments that rest on mutual respect and working together on a government-to-government basis within the U. For example, on November 5, 2009, President Obama reached out to American Indian and Alaska Native tribes by inviting representatives from the more than 560 federally recognized tribes in the United States to attend a White House Tribal Nations Conference. The decision represents an important and meaningful change in the U. position, and resulted from a comprehensive, interagency policy review, including extensive consultation with tribes. A third Tribal Nations Conference was hosted by President Obama in Washington on December 2, 2011. The 1934 Act extended the trust period indefinitely for allotted lands. Therefore the material in this section relates to both Articles 2 and 26, as well as general related information. The United States became a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 20 November 1994, and the United States submitted its combined Initial, Second and Third Periodic Report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD Committee) in September 2000. The settlement agreement provides for 0 million in monetary relief; up to million in debt relief; payments of 25 % of awards to off-set any tax obligations; and wide-ranging programmatic relief, including a moratorium on accelerations, foreclosures, and offsets on accounts involving all Native American borrowers in the Farm Service Agency’s database; a customer’s guide on the Farm Loan Program (FLP); meetings with class counsel to discuss possible changes to the FLP; increased technical assistance in order more fully to utilize USDA programs, to be conducted in multiple locations throughout the country; and the creation of an Ombudsperson and a Council on Native American Farming and Ranching to address issues affecting Native American farmers and ranchers. In setting up the Council, President Obama stated that issues such as equal pay, family leave, and child care are not just women’s issues, but issues that affect entire communities, our economy and our future as a nation. In addition to setting up the Council, one of President Obama’s first actions was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which helps ensure that claims for pay discrimination will not be barred because claimants were not aware of the initial discriminatory pay-setting decision. 1681 (barring sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities), does not preclude constitutional equal protection claims for such discrimination, Fitzgerald v. These issues arose in the recent case of Wal-Mart v. The Court held that plaintiffs had not produced significant proof that Wal-Mart operated under a general policy of discrimination against women that was central to the claim of each female employee in the class, and thus did not satisfy the “commonality” requirement for a class action under Rule 23(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Asylum offices disseminate the information notice, “How to Seek Release from Detention: Parole Eligibility and Process for Certain Asylum Applicants,” to arriving aliens found to have a credible fear. DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics continues to conduct studies of the incidence of such sexual assaults in a variety of detention settings. An alien in removal proceedings retains the right to representation by qualified counsel at the alien’s choosing, at no expense to the government. Nearly 500 tribal leaders participated, as well as Members of Congress, several cabinet secretaries and other senior administration officials from the Departments of State, Justice, Commerce, Education, Energy, Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency. commitment to strengthening the government-to-government relationships with federally recognized tribes and furthering U. Session topics included: Creating Jobs and Growing Tribal Economies, Promoting Safe and Strong Tribal Communities, Protecting Natural Resources and Respect for Cultural Rights, Improving Access to Healthcare, Education, Housing, Infrastructure and Other Federal Services, and Strengthening the Government-to-Government Relationship. The federal government retained control of lands already allotted, but not yet fee-patented, and thereby retained its fiduciary obligations to administer the trust lands and funds arising from those lands for the benefit of individual Indian beneficiaries. The Cobell case was filed in 1996 as a class action on behalf of approximately 500,000 individual beneficiaries of IIM accounts, alleging that the Secretaries of the Interior and Treasury had breached their fiduciary duties relating to accounting of IIM accounts, and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, see Cobell v. The United States’ combined Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Periodic Report was submitted to the Committee on 24 April 2007, and a United States delegation appeared before the CERD Committee concerning that Report at its 72 Session, 18 February - 7 March 2008. reports and Committee’s Concluding Observations and Recommendations are available at The time for filing a claim began on June 29, 2011, and will end on December 27, 2011. On June 10, 2010, President Obama issued a proclamation commemorating the 90 Anniversary of the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau, established by Congress in 1920. Rather, regional and individual store managers had discretion to make decisions on pay and promotion for employees in their regions or stores. This notice is translated into the top eight languages spoken by credible fear port-of-entry claimants (currently, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin-simplified), Creole, French, Somali, Spanish, and Tigrinya). The DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance also continues to offer aid to state and local governments in an effort to reduce sexual assault of incarcerated persons and to facilitate compliance with the forthcoming standards. It is with great pleasure that the Government of the United States of America presents its Fourth Periodic Report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee concerning the implementation of its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“the Covenant” or “ICCPR”), in accordance with Covenant Article 40. But it is our commitment to certain universal values which allows us to correct our imperfections, to improve constantly, and to grow stronger over time. Working with tribal leaders, this team is helping to shape federal policies that affect tribal communities. As a follow-up to the first Tribal Nations Conference, Secretary of the Interior Salazar and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan met with prominent Native American educators to discuss the educational challenges and opportunities facing tribal communities and to share strategies that have helped to advance opportunities for Native American students around the nation. In fiscal year 2011, it has initiated 37 compliance reviews and resolved 4. The IDEA and its implementing regulations provide for the collection and examination of data to determine if significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in any state or local school district with respect to the identification of children with disabilities, their placement into particular educational settings, and the incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions taken against students with disabilities. Part 104, prohibit recipients of ED’s financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of disability. Its dedicated fair lending unit is targeting its enforcement actions to specific discriminatory lending practices, including: 74. § 1981 against discrimination in making and enforcing contracts include employment contracts where the victim is targeted for retaliation for attempting to help another); Jackson v. Through prevention and elimination of unlawful discrimination, HHS/OCR helps HHS carry out its overall mission of improving the health and well-being of all people affected by its many programs. HHS/OCR carries out these responsibilities primarily through conducting investigations to resolve discrimination complaints brought by individuals.
This is why we are committed to holding everyone to the same standard, including ourselves.” In implementing its treaty obligation under ICCPR Article 40, the United States has taken this opportunity to engage in a process of stock-taking and self-examination. Tribal leaders have stressed the importance of greater tribal control over the education of American Indian and Alaska Native students. The Administration has also accelerated the rebuilding of schools on tribal lands and is working to improve the programs available at tribal colleges. The Administration is also moving forward on other issues critical to members of Indian tribes. Signing and implementing this landmark law constitutes a major step toward fulfilling our national aspiration to provide high-quality, affordable health care to all citizens, including American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Attorney General met with the leaders of federally-recognized Indian tribes in October 2009 to discuss public safety challenges in tribal communities, and the Department of Justice issued a directive to all United States Attorneys with federally recognized tribes in their districts to develop, after consultation with those tribes, operational plans for addressing public safety in Indian country. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) added nine positions, including six agents to work on Indian country investigations. During fiscal year 2010, EEOC received 5,788 requests for hearings and 4,545 appeals from federal employee discrimination claims (compared to 10,279 hearing requests and 7,490 appeals in 2005). 1325 (2011) (Fair Labor Standards Act prohibition against retaliation extends to internally-made oral complaints); Thompson v. Among other activities, HHS Secretary Sebelius is working with Secretary Donovan of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve access to housing, community support, and independent living arrangements. 345(a)(4); · Investigate complaints and information indicating possible abuses of civil rights or civil liberties, unless the Inspector General of the Department determines that any such complaint or information should be investigated by the Inspector General, 6 U. Similarly, the EEOC reaches out to new immigrants in many ways, including by offering information about employment discrimination and how to file EEOC charges in languages such as Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian/Creole, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese. Offenders in these facilities are under the custody of the Attorney General, even though daily management is administered by the facility staff. The Criminal Section of the DOJ/CRD is charged with reviewing such complaints made to the federal government and ensuring the vigorous enforcement of applicable federal criminal civil rights statutes.
But it is because of that process that I can now stand before you as President of the United States. To help develop these future energy leaders, the Department of Energy contributes to the education of American Indian and Alaska Native youth through two initiatives: Tribal Energy Program’s internship program with Sandia National Laboratory, and a new pilot project called the American Indian Research and Education Initiative (AIREI). Those consultations have informed a Housing Discrimination Study into the area of LGBT discrimination. The EEOC accepts charges of employment discrimination and investigates, attempts to resolve, and in some instances litigates these charges. These issues are discussed in more detail in the U. reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, available at Specifically HUD has: HUD also uses its enforcement authority to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities to equal access to housing with reasonable accommodations. In addition, on July 30, 2009, the United States signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. DOJ/CRD works closely with immigrant communities to address civil rights concerns, such as racial profiling by law enforcement and discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and education, and prosecute racially- or ethnically-motivated hate crimes against immigrants. When the actual practice of detention in the United States does not meet constitutional standards, individuals are held accountable. 1997(a), authorizes the Attorney General of the United States to sue for equitable relief when there is reasonable cause to believe that a state or locality is subjecting institutionalized persons to conditions that deprive them of their rights under the Constitution or federal laws. Persons being detained prior to trial or while waiting for immigration hearings are normally sent to special detention facilities or housing units within correctional institutions. Decisions of immigration judges in removal cases may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days of the judge’s decision.
Remarks by President Obama at the New Economic School, Moscow, July 7, 2009. Treaty reporting is a way in which the Government of the United States can inform its citizens and the international community of its efforts to ensure the implementation of those obligations it has assumed, while at the same time holding itself to the public scrutiny of the international community and civil society. The court thus granted monetary relief to the plaintiffs in the amount of 5.6 million, based on the unproven shortfall of the trusts’ actual value as compared to its statistically likely value. AIREI will recruit Native American students to join student/faculty teams to participate in community energy projects on tribal lands, with the mentorship of the Department’s National Laboratories. During fiscal year 2010, the EEOC received a total of 99,922 such charges (compared to 75,426 charges in fiscal year 2005, the year of the last report). 863 (2011) (Title VII anti-retaliation protections cover adverse actions against a worker in the “zone of influence” of the person who has engaged in protected activity, which includes firing the fiancé of a worker who filed an EEO complaint); Crawford v. The United States continues actively to address such issues through numerous legal and programmatic mechanisms, including through enactment and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010. In addition to the protections for persons with disabilities in education and employment, discussed above, U. law also includes other more general protections for persons with disabilities. In authorizing Ambassador Rice to sign the Convention, the President issued remarks calling on the Senate to provide prompt advice and consent upon transmittal. The Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (DOJ/CRS) provides conflict resolution services, including mediation, technical assistance, and training throughout the United States to assist communities in avoiding racial and ethnic conflict and preventing violent hate crimes on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability. The Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U. These inmates are, to the extent practicable, managed separately from convicted offenders.
The United States hopes to use this process to improve its human rights performance. As President Obama has stated, “Despite the real gains that we’ve made, there are still laws to change and there are still hearts to open.” 3. First Lady Michelle Obama has also made a particular effort to involve Native American youth in her “Let’s Move! She has, for example, recruited Native American athletes to encourage Native American children to adopt healthy lifestyles. Another public health challenge on which the Administration is focusing particularly intensely is the unacceptably high rate of suicide by Native American youth. The Administration has held listening sessions with tribal leaders across the country. In 2010, the FBI Office for Victim Assistance added 12 additional Victim Specialist positions to provide victim assistance in Indian country. On the other hand, certain governmental distinctions or classifications, such as those based on race and sex, have been recognized as inherently suspect or quasi-suspect and therefore have been subjected to more exacting judicial scrutiny and judged against more stringent requirements. In the federal sector, retaliation claims outnumber all others, followed by race and sex discrimination claims. In implementing the Olmstead decision and the community living initiative at HHS, Secretary Sebelius has created an HHS Coordinating Council, led by the Office on Disability. 345(a)(1); · Oversee compliance with constitutional, statutory, regulatory, policy, and other requirements relating to the civil rights or civil liberties of individuals affected by the programs and activities of the Department, 6 U. The EEOC in particular has worked to ensure that the Arab- and Muslim-American communities are aware of their rights to a workplace free from discrimination and to religious accommodations, barring undue hardship, of sincerely held religious beliefs. There have generally been fewer allegations of the violation of procedural rights than physical abuse allegations. When problems arise or allegations are raised regarding misconduct, the Attorney General may also initiate an investigation. An in absentia order may be rescinded in two circumstances: (1) the alien may make a motion to reopen within 180 days of the final order if he or she can show that the failure to appear was due to exceptional circumstances; or (2) the alien may file a motion to reopen at any time showing that he or she did not receive proper notice of the hearing, 8 U.
Thus, this report is not an end in itself, but an important tool in the continuing development of practical and effective human rights strategies by the U. The organization of this periodic report follows the General Guidelines of the Human Rights Committee regarding the form and content of periodic reports to be submitted by States Parties as contained in document CCPR/C/2009/1. On July 29, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tribal Law and Order Act which requires the Justice Department to disclose data on cases in Indian country that it declines to prosecute and gives tribes greater authority to prosecute and punish criminals themselves. For example, classifications on the basis of racial distinctions must be justified as narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling governmental interest. More details about EEOC enforcement can be found at gov and in United States’ reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, available at Supreme Court has endorsed the importance of anti-retaliation provisions in a series of recent decisions arising under a variety of different civil rights protections. HHS’s Office for Civil Rights (HHS/OCR) is a member of the Coordinating Council, along with the Administration for Children and Families, the Administration on Aging, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the Office of Public Health and Science, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Reaching out to immigrant communities continues to be an important means of addressing concerns regarding racial, ethnic, and religious discrimination. 2000ee-1, which require the DHS Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to: · Review and assess information alleging abuses of civil rights, civil liberties, and racial, ethnic, or religious profiling, 6 U. The Department of Justice offers pamphlets on national origin discrimination in different languages, available at The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also reaches out to immigrant communities to educate residents on their rights under the Fair Housing Act through publications that are translated into many languages. 2010), a federal appellate court held that constitutional habeas corpus jurisdiction did not extend to aliens held in law of war detention in the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan. The Office of Inspector General within DOJ conducts such investigations.