Members of the NEIU delegation discuss their plans to travel to Geneva and observe the inner workings of the United Nations
Chicago, IL—(ENEWSPF)—November 6, 2014. Between November 11th and 13th, a delegation of sixteen students from Northeastern Illinois University will visit Geneva, Switzerland and attend the U.S. government’s review formal review before the Committee Against Torture. This committee will assess what the U.S. has or has not done over the past six years to fully implement the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, typically called the Convention Against Torture. The convention became legally binding when the U.S. government ratified this convention in 1994.
During this review, delegation members will hear personal testimony from a range of U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations and citizens groups, including the parents of Mike Brown, a black teenager whose shooting death has sparked a national outcry. In the process, delegation members hope to learn about the inner workings of the UN system, particularly the measures by which governments accused of human rights violations can be held accountable on the international stage. For many delegation members, this will be their first trip out of the country.
“We’ll be educating the students in our delegation as to how the treaty can be used to promote human rights at home and abroad,” explained Professor Patricia Hill, who worked with community organizers and legal advocates to raise the issue of Chicago police torture before the UN committee during the last review of the U.S. government. “At the same time, we’re not just going to educate our students, but really the public as a whole, about the U.S. government’s human rights obligations.”
This delegation is being sponsored by the student organization Students United for Human Rights and the Chicago Independent Human Rights Council. Its trip is being done in coordination with the U.S. Human Rights Network.