US agrees to rights recommendations

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The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva where the US delegation accepted 80 per cent of the 340 recommendations made. UN File Photo/ Pierre Albouy

United States officials told the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday that the country has "not been perfect" when it comes to civil rights – and that it will do more to fight race discrimination and police brutality.

The US announcement followed the presentation of a scheduled report containing more than 340 recommendations for Washington to consider implementing.

Here's Daniel Johnson's report from Geneva.

A total of 343 recommendations were presented to the United States at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday.

In all, the US delegation said it accepted about 80 per cent of them – and all of the measures against race discrimination and police brutality.

But on the issue of abolishing the death penalty, the US delegation rejected most recommendations covered by the Universal Periodic Review.

Here's Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Scott Busby:

"Our continuing differences in this area are a matter of policy and not what the rules of international human rights law currently require."

The US official nonetheless said that two states had this year either declared the death penalty unconstitutional or planned to abolish it: Connecticut and Nebraska.

On police brutality, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Busby told the UN assembly that officers in Cleveland, Ohio, had been guilty in the past of excessive force.

But he added that a deal had been signed that would see changes in how police responded to incidents, as well as measures to build trust in the community.

And the US official also said that new measures have been put in place in line with recommendations to improve the country's prison system and end the sexual abuse of female inmates by guards.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’12″


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