Essay Assignment on Human Rights

Human Rights

The article authored by Ashley Portero examines the U.S. human rights record. Although the U.S. is home to a vibrant media and civil society that are constitutionally protected, many vulnerable U.S. citizens are facing human right abuses. The first area where the U.S. performs poorly in human rights is its criminal justice system. The country has a large prison population and regularly uses death penalty. Moreover, inmates are placed under solitary confinement. Secondly, undocumented immigrants are unfairly treated. For instance, through the Secure Communities program, illegal immigrants with criminal records are arrested and deported, which may make citizens distrust immigrants. Another aspect identified in the article is child labor. Thousands of children are employed in American farms and these minors are exempted from the maximum-hour and minimum-age requirements that are applicable to all working children. In terms of health policy, some states use condoms as evidence of prostitution, as a result, sex workers in major cities fear carrying this protection for fear of being arrested. Finally, in terms of torture and counterterrorism, the U.S. has policies that allow the military to indefinitely detain, without trial individuals suspected of terrorism arrested in the U.S. soil. In addition, Muslim populations in cities such as New York are under secret surveillance and the government uses targeted killings using drone strikes.

Whereas it is true that the U.S. has performed poorly in human rights in some areas such as counterterrorism, the author fails to mention that the U.S. outperforms many other countries in terms of its human rights record in areas such as freedom of speech and LGBT. However, the article does a good job by sending a strong message that there is lack of confidence in the country`s human rights record. The author has successfully demonstrated that more still needs to be done if the U.S. is to achieve its human rights commitments and obligations.

Work Cited

Portero, Ashley. ‘US Guilty Of Several Human Rights Violations In 2012: Human Rights Watch’. International Business Times., 2013. Web. 8 July 2015.<>