Human rights review team to visit Alabama


Birmingham April 22nd

Department of State seeks public comment on U.S. compliance with Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Alabamians will play an important role in measuring how the United States is meeting its human rights obligations when a review team visits the state on April 22. The Birmingham event at Grace Episcopal Church, 5712 First Ave. N., is one of 11 such meetings being held across the country this spring. The public consultations are part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) conducted every four years to assess how effectively United Nations member countries are fulfilling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, and subsequent human rights treaties. This is the first UPR of the United States.

The review process involves a self-assessment by the national government being evaluated, as well as external reports by various United Nations bodies. In addition, the UPR Working Group considers reports from other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and national human rights institutions. Sponsors of the Alabama visit include Greater Birmingham Ministries, Arise Citizens’ Policy Project, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund, and South Bay Communities Alliance, Inc., in cooperation with the US Human Rights Network. The “community conversation” will highlight grassroots perspectives on six human rights issues in Alabama: poverty and homelessness, Hurricane Katrina recovery, immigration, education, African American land loss, and the death penalty and criminal justice. The schedule includes time to discuss other human rights concerns participants may identify.

The sponsors encourage churches, advocacy organizations and interested individuals to participate in this unique public dialogue on human rights in Alabama. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., and the panel discussions, with speakers on each of the six issues, run from 9 to 4:30. To make a lunch reservation, contact Lauren Banks at (205) 326-6821 ext. 105 or lauren@gbm.org.

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