Full text: Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016
March 09,2017 By:Xinhua
-- There was no improvement to the protection of rights of women, children and elders, and the vulnerable groups' rights were seriously violated. Women were paid much less compared to their male colleagues. Women with city government jobs in New York made 18 percent less than men (www.nydailynews.com, April 11, 2016). Women comprised about 60 percent of California workers earning minimum wage or less (www.sandiegouniontribune.com, April 10, 2016). Sexual harassments and assaults took place frequently. Roughly one in four women said they have been harassed on the job (www.usatoday.com, July 7, 2016). A total of 20 percent of young women who attended college during a four-year span said they had been sexually assaulted (www.washingtonpost.com, March 5, 2016). Poverty rate among children remained high and an estimated 6.8 million people aged 10 to 17 are food insecure (www.urban.org, September 11, 2016). Cases of elder abuse happened from time to time and about 5 million older adults were subject to abuse each year (www.csmonitor.com, June 15, 2016).
-- The United States repeatedly trampled on human rights in other countries and willfully slaughtered innocent victims. From August 8, 2014 to December 19, 2016, the United States launched 7,258 air strikes in Iraq and 5,828 in Syria, causing 733 incidents with an estimated number of civilian deaths between 4,568 and 6,127 (airwars.org, December 19, 2016). Since 2009, the upper limit of the civilian death toll from U.S. drones stood at more than 800 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. (www.theguardian.com, July 1, 2016) The issue of illegal detention and torturing prisoners of other countries remained unsolved.
-- The United States refused to approve core international conventions on human rights and did not accept UN draft resolutions related to human rights. It still has not ratified core international human rights conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women; the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the 71st General Assembly of the UN, the United States voted against draft resolutions related to human rights including "The right to development," "Human rights and unilateral coercive measures," "Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order," and "Declaration on the right to peace" (www.un.org, December 19, 2016).
I. Serious Infringement on Right to Life, Personal Security
In 2016, the U.S. government exercised no effective control over guns, law enforcement departments abused their power, and crimes were not effectively contained. As a result, civil rights, especially the right to life, were seriously threatened and people's personal rights were continuously infringed upon.
Occurrence of gun-related crimes sustained a high level. According to data released by the FBI on September 26, 2016, firearms were used in 71.5 percent of the nation's murders, 40.8 percent of robberies, and 24.2 percent of aggravated assaults in 2015 (ucr.fbi.gov, September 26, 2016). According to a toll report by the Gun Violence Archive, there were a total of 58,125 gun violence incidents, including 385 mass shootings, in the United States in 2016, leaving 15,039 killed and 30,589 injured (www.gunviolencearchive.org, December 31, 2016). On June 12, 2016, a gunman opened fire inside a crowded nightclub in Orlando, killing 50 people and injuring 53 others in a rampage that was the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history (www.washingtonpost.com, June 12, 2016).