Center for American Progress

Seek Opportunities to Conform Policy to Human Rights Treaty Obligations
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Seek Opportunities to Conform Policy to Human Rights Treaty Obligations

Policymakers in all relevant departments should consult recommendations of treaty bodies to determine if they provide useful guidance for policy formation.

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Beyond reporting requirements, treaty bodies often make substantive recommendations to governments as to how to meet their treaty obligations. The ACLU has urged the secretary of education, for example, to use stimulus funds to fulfill recommendations of the Committee on Racial Discrimination regarding equitable education and affirmative action as well as broader education about human rights. Policymakers in all relevant departments should consult recommendations of treaty bodies to determine if they provide useful guidance for policy formation. The president, to see that this happens more systematically, should reestablish an Interagency Working Group on Human Rights that, among other things, would track implementation of treaty obligations.

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