Human Rights Committee set to scrutinize the United States regarding extra-territorial human rights obligations

The Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), is set to scrutinize the United States regarding its extra-territorial human rights obligations under the Covenant. The U.S. will appear before the Committee in March 2014 for its periodic review.

The Committee has made clear that the ICCPR includes extra-territorial obligations to respect and to ensure human rights, including by regulating and otherwise holding corporations accountable to those obligations for their activities abroad.

The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights successfully intervened with a Parallel Report laying out the extra-territorial obligations under the ICCPR and requesting that the Committee include scrutiny on those obligations within the periodic review of the U.S.

The List of Issues recently adopted by the Committee, which defines the scope of review, requires the U.S. to discuss its understanding of the “the scope of applicability of the Covenant with respect to individuals under its jurisdiction but outside its territory; in times of peace, as well as in times of armed conflict”. As the Parallel Report makes clear, the jurisprudence of the Committee provides a clear articulation of the extra-territorial application of ICCPR obligations. Notwithstanding, the U.S. continues to states that the ICCPR only applies within U.S. territory.

The Global Initiative’s Parallel Report for the periodic review also calls on the Committee to hold the U.S. accountable for extra-territorial obligations in the context of decisions made within international financial institutions such as the World Bank.

This examination of the U.S. provides advocates the opportunity to address the issue of extra-territorial obligations and provides the Committee the opportunity to finally settle this misinterpretation by the U.S. of its treaty obligations.


The Global Initiative’s Parallel Report regarding the List of Issues can be found HERE.

The List of Issues can be found HERE.

The Global Initiative’s Parallel Report on the legal analysis for the periodic review can be found HERE.

The Joint Global Initiative – International Human Rights Clinic at Western New England University School of Law factual Parallel Reports can be found HERE and HERE.


Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on April 19, 2013

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