Wednesday, November 3, 2010

World Watching the US - Elections and the UPR

The top story on the TV news here in Geneva is the U.S. election results. So maybe it shouldn't surprise us that there has been a strong response to the educational sessions that American advocacy groups have organized at the UN this week. On Tuesday, the Center for Reproductive Rights hosted a panel called "Heightened Obstacles, Heightened Obligations: Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Care for Marginalized Populations in the U.S." Presenters included Cynthia Soohoo of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Cristina Finch from Amnesty International USA, RJ Thompson of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, and Renee Chelian of Northland Family Planning. These speakers talked about the significant and unnecessary challenges to accessing health care that are a reality for many people because of their race, gender, income, geography, and other factors, and made recommendations on steps the U.S. government should take to address these concerns - and save lives.

The next event highlighted the human rights dimensions of the housing crisis in the U.S. Eric Tars from the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty outlined specific problems where implementing internationally recognized human rights principles would improve access to shelter. Tyler Chase screened a new documentary about forced evictions in the U.S., documenting first hand how devastating that is.

You can watch these events and others on the US Human Rights Network's YouTube channel.

More UN members are posting their advance questions for the UPR. You can read them here.

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