NAACP Responds to ICCPR Treaty Review

Issues of felony disenfranchisement, stand your ground, racial profiling, and the school to prison pipeline raised by Human Rights Committee and discussed during the two-day hearing

(Geneva) The NAACP released the following statement in response to the United States International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) treaty compliance review by the United Nations Human Rights Committee. 

From Clayola Brown, Member NAACP Board of Directors:

“The struggle cannot be fought in isolation. It must be universal,” stated Clayola Brown, NAACP Board Member.”  “Working at the United Nation’s this week has clarified this point as we work to advance human rights from all people, no matter their nationality or color.”

From Hilary O. Shelton, Sr. Vice President for Policy and Advocacy; Washington Bureau Director:

“We thank the Human Rights Committee for their elegant intervention of the U.S. delegation requesting updates on government initiatives to close the school to prison pipeline,” stated Hilary O. Shelton Sr. Vice President for Policy and Advocacy.  “The NAACP looks forward to working with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education to fully implement the new guidance.”

Shelton continued,We are also gratified that the Committee raised our major concerns with the continued growth and expansion of stand your ground laws.  We hope the U.S. delegation fully recognizes the need for our country to eliminate this racist and deadly equation and restore civility back to our nation’s self-defense policies.”

From Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Sr. Director for Voting Rights and Sr. Advisor to the President and CEO. 

“We are pleased the UN Human Rights Committee raised serious questions regarding the denial of voting rights to citizens in the U.S., specifically regarding comprehensive steps to ‎eradicate the practice of felony disenfranchisement,” stated Jotaka Eaddy, Sr. Director for Voting Rights. “While the U.S. government delegation response did not provide the steps, we remain hopeful that they will work at every level of government comply with ‎the ICCPR treaty. “

Eaddy continued, “Additionally, are happy that the Committee continued to press the U.S. on the discriminatory nature of voting laws implemented in the aftermath of Shelby County vs. Holder and the fact that DC residents have no true voting rights.  These failings continue to diminish our Democracy and must be addressed immediately.”

From Dennis Gaddy, NAACP Delegate and Executive Director of the Community Success Initiative:  

“As I sat in the UN today listening as our issue of felony disenfranchisement being raised up as a potential human rights violation, I could not help but think, what a great feeling it is to be a part of an international history.  To be here, standing in the gap for those formerly incarcerated, is an honor and truly humbling.”

From Desmond Meade, NAACP Delegate and State Director for PICO Florida Lifelines to Healing Campaign:

“I am encouraged by the quality of questions posed to the US Delegation by the Human Rights Committee members as it relates to felon disfranchisement,” stated Desmond Meade, NAACP Delegate and State Director for PICO Florida Lifelines to Healing Campaign. “It reminds me that our fight to restore the rights of over 1.54 million Floridians is not an isolated one, but rather a fight in which the whole world is watching and concerned.”

Jessica Chiappone, NAACP Delegate and Vice President for Florida Rights Restoration:

“I was impressed with the questions presented to the US by the Human Rights Committee,” stated Jessica Chiappone, NAACP Delegate and Vice President for Florida Rights Restoration.  “It was evident that the committee listened to the concerns of the NGOs and those impacted. Although there was a high level of involvement from the US delegation on many levels, specifically from Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Roy Austin, I was not as impressed with their response to felony disenfranchisement.   This process is supposed to be a collaborative effort to correct potential violations of the ICCPR.   However, that cannot be done if the US fails to even acknowledge a violation.  While appreciating US Attorney General Holder’s recent statement regarding the need to repeal laws that prohibit felons from voting upon completion of their sentence, there still remains much to be done to achieve this goal and be compliant with the ICCPR.”

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