I offered a commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, showing how the United States violates the letter and spirit of nearly every single right through its extra-territorial policiesof citizenship based taxation. For those who are sick of this, we probably have the basis of bringing a legitimate complaint against the United States at the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. Now, if we were to succeed in bringing a legitimate complaint, we could create a lot of bad publicity for Schumer, Boehner, Casey, Reed, Geithner, Shulman and Obama. So I reproduce the complaint procedure here and I open up this question to discussion–What are the pros and cons? How should we go about doing this as a group?
On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted the dent text entitled “UN Human Rights Council: Institution Building” (resolution 5/1) by which a new Complaint Procedure is being established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.
The new Complaint Procedure is established in compliance with the mandate entrusted to the Human Rights Council by General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in which the Council was requested to review and, where necessary, improve and rationalize, within one year after the holding of its first session, all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the former Commission on Human Rights, including the 1503 procedure, in order to maintain a system of special procedures, expert advice and a complaint procedure.
Accordingly, ECOSOC resolution 1503 (XLVIII) of 27 May 1970 as revised by resolution 2000/3 of 19 June 2000, served as a working basis for the establishment of a new Complaint Procedure and was improved where necessary to ensure that the complaint procedure be impartial, objective, efficient, victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner.
Review of the 1503 procedure
In compliance with the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly, the Council decided on 30 June 2006 to establish the Working Group on the implementation of operative paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 60/251 (decision 1/104), to formulate concrete recommendations on the issue of reviewing and when necessary, improving and rationalizing all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the former Commission on Human Rights, including the 1503 procedure.
The Working Group held three formal open-ended sessions from 13 to 24 November 2006, 5 to 16 February 2007 and 10 to 27 April 2007. The segment on the complaint procedure was chaired by the Permanent Representative of Switzerland , who was appointed by the President of the Council to facilitate the consultations on this mechanism. Discussions in the Working Group and various rounds of informal consultations were conducted on the basis of an initial and subsequently revised framework for discussions prepared by the Facilitator. Following the last session of the Working Group, a final proposal (A/HRC/5/15) was submitted by the Facilitator to the President, taking into account to the greatest extent possible, the positions expressed during several months of consultations, with a view to facilitating the drafting of the section on the Complaint Procedure of a final document on institution building of the Council to be adopted in June 2007.
Summaries of the discussions held in the Working Group on the Complaint Procedure are contained in documents A/HRC/3/CRP.3, A/HRC/4/CRP.6 and A/HRC/5/CRP.6.
How does the complaint procedure work?
Pursuant to Council resolution 5/1, the Complaint Procedure is being established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.
It retains its confidential nature, with a view to enhancing cooperation with the State concerned. The procedure, inter alia, is to be victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner.
Two distinct working groups – the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations – are established with the mandate to examine the communications and to bring to the attention of the Council consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Manifestly ill-founded and anonymous communications are screened out by the Chairperson of the Working Group on Communications, together with the Secretariat, based on the admissibility criteria. Communications not rejected in the initial screening are transmitted to the State concerned to obtain its views on the allegations of violations.
The Working Group on Communications (WGC) is designated by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee from among its members for a period of three years (mandate renewable once). It consists of five independent and highly qualified experts and is geographically representative of the five regional groups. The Working Group meets twice a year for a period of five working days to assess the admissibility and the merits of a communication, including whether the communication alone or in combination with other communications, appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. All admissible communications and recommendations thereon are transmitted to the Working Group on Situations.
The Working Group on Situations (WGS) comprises five members appointed by the regional groups from among the States member of the Council for the period of one year (mandate renewable once). It meets twice a year for a period of five working days in order to examine the communications transferred to it by the Working Group on Communications, including the replies of States thereon, as well as the situations which the Council is already seized of under the complaint procedure. The Working Group on Situations, on the basis of the information and recommendations provided by the Working Group on Communications, presents the Council with a report on consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and makes recommendations to the Council on the course of action to take.
Subsequently, it is the turn of the Council to take a decision concerning each situation thus brought to its attention.
What are the criteria for a communication to be accepted for examination?
A communication related to a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is admissible, unless:
- It has manifestly political motivations and its object is not consistent with the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other applicable instruments in the field of human rights law; or
- It does not contain a factual description of the alleged violations, including the rights which are alleged to be violated; or
- Its language is abusive. However, such communication may be considered if it meets the other criteria for admissibility after deletion of the abusive language; or
- It is not submitted by a person or a group of persons claiming to be the victim of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms or by any person or group of persons, including NGOs acting in good faith in accordance with the principles of human rights, not resorting to politically motivated stands contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter and claiming to have direct and reliable knowledge of those violations. Nonetheless, reliably attested communications shall not be inadmissible solely because the knowledge of the individual author is second hand, provided they are accompanied by clear evidence; or
- It is exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media; or
- It refers to a case that appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights already being dealt with by a special procedure, a treaty body or other United Nations or similar regional complaints procedure in the field of human rights; or
- The domestic remedies have not been exhausted, unless it appears that such remedies would be ineffective or unreasonably prolonged.
The National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), when they are established and work under the guidelines of the Principles Relating to Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles) including in regard to quasi-judicial competence, can serve as effective means in addressing individual human rights violations.
Where to send communications?
Communications intended for handling under the Council Complaint Procedure may be addressed to:
Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Human Rights Council Branch-Complaint Procedure Unit
OHCHR- Palais Wilson
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: (41 22) 917 90 11
A very interesting article on Huff Post by Cato Institute Research Fellow Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar.
In his article he points out the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974. From the article:
“Back in the 1970s, the U.S. government passionately pleaded for untrammeled emigration as a fundamental human right. In 1975, the U.S. imposed trade sanctions on the Soviet Union for levying an exit tax on citizens wishing to emigrate (mostly Jews).”
Ironically, Schumer (himself Jewish) is now trying to stand the amendment on its head. The hypocrisy of US Congress members is beyond belief.
Congress has made so many laws that they can’t even remember which one is which and they get all tangled up with each other creating a web of complete madness and tyranny.
Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar deserves a place in the Isaac Brock Hall of Fame.
I just posted a comment on HuffPo, and see that Eric did too…
Aiyar is from Cato, so I would be surprised if he had a different opinion. What is interesting that this shows that Ariannna Huffington has sympathies for Libertarian thought, and not just left wing as the Conservative would like to characterize her.
The conflict between the Jackson–Vanik Amendment and Schumer’s Ex-Patriot Bill may be something the American Thinker would find interesting, that is, if you’re up for another article.
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Unfortunately I was clueless at this time so was not following Brock. What happened that going to the UN did not gain any traction after your post? I don’t see any comments negating the validity of doing this. MuzzledNoMore has brought it up again and I am also seeing minimal interest. I see no reason this would dilute our challenge effort if that might be an issue. My thoughts go to throw everything at this we can…maybe something will stick.
@charl, it requires plaintiffs who have had their rights abused. I am not perhaps the best example. Only my right of return has been damaged by my forced relinquishment of US citizenship.
I think most people are afraid to defy the US in this manner and that is why it hasn’t gone anywhere.
Do you think Issac Brock as a group could be the plaintiff? Isn’t the fact that we have no freedom of speech and will subject ourselves to severe punishment by using our names a human rights violation? Will all of our rights not be abused starting July 1, the second one bank asks or submits our information. Hasn’t one CU already submitted and never warned the client? When looking at the list of human rights I could make a case for FATCA violating all of them.
When I discovered the term “de facto stateless persons” it really hit home. That is what we are!
I would be most discouraged if we are still afraid, like our cowardly government, to defy the US. As I see it at this point we have nothing to lose. (As you can tell this is making me insane….time to visit SK I reckon).
Charl. Let me get this straight. The UN has to deal with 51 MILLION refugees worldwide ( half are children). Chemical weapons in Syria, nuclear program in Iran, sex slavery in SE Asia, mass abduction of girls in Nigeria, brutal civil wars everywhere, and on and on.
And you want to complain to the UNHRC?
Please be serious.
You are absolutely correct. These atrocities are beyond imaginable and I understand our situation could be argued as irrelevant in comparison. Yet I do believe our situation and the larger picture of what the US might actually be up to here could possibly be of some interest and concern. Extorting nations into signing these agreements, especially the poor emerging countries, could be devastating. The Asian Pacific region seems to not be jumping on the FATCA wagon. Will this cause some areas to destabilize even further? Will the US use FATCA to impose economic sanctions at their whim? These IGAs can be modified easily will they constantly up the ante? These IGA’s are illegal…they are not agreements, they are treaties and have not been properly executed. As EM spoke of in her reflection, is this control of the world economy?
I do not have the answers to any of the above. Please tell me where I am totally off base and not thinking seriously, maybe I can sleep better at night.
Charl You are absolutely correct as well. It’s just that the UN cannot help.
@Charl, no the Isaac Brock Society can’t be a plaintiff. I think it says an NGO can be, but we are a website.
As for KalC’s list of atrocities around the world, that’s not even the point. The UN is an organization driven by greed, corruption and above all politics. It is not there to solve any of the problems listed. It is there to promote various political agendas. So the question of traction of a complaint is whether a complaint to the UN would find the right kind of publicity. But it will not force the USA to change its policies. I’d only see to have the USA look bad, and maybe that will help put self-righteous pricks like Schumer in their place.
But just on the outside hope might a submission bring some attention to what is going on even if the UN has no power? Would the WTO be a better fit? Maybe enlighten the citizens of the US as to what their government is up to and the potential fallout for them? Maybe a shout-out to the US that this is not going undetected nor will the world just go silently into the night without screaming a bit. Maybe give other countries a venue for speaking out?
I also must admit there is much that is self-serving in my concerns. Russia and China are signing HUGE deals outside of the US dollar. If the US loses its status as reserve currency what does that mean to Canada? Not that I give a rats behind about the US but Canada will go belly up with it.
Yes, I am riddled with maybes….but maybe, just resting my hopes on maybes is better than moaning to my pups. They really don’t care….until I can no longer afford to feed them of course.
I just read an article – an interview with some american general or former general- and he said that seeing that America can no longer be the world police, the world has to depend upon the allies to defend human rights throughout the world, and for this reason America does not stand alone. It might be alienating some of its important allies (NSA etc) but in effect, in order for the “world police” to function, it has to be a team effort now.
I`m guessing, for this reason, the “5 Eyes” etc will increase in importance in the future.