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  • Guatemalan migrant girl detained by U.S. agents.

    Guatemalan migrant girl detained by U.S. agents. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 January 2019

An exclusive report by The Guardian shows the Trump administration stopped answering U.N. requests in May 2018.

The administration of United States President Donald Trump stopped cooperation with United Nations’ human rights rapporteurs since May 2018, when the state department stopped responding to official complaints by special rapporteurs.

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In an exclusive story, The Guardian details that since May 7, 2018, the U.S. state department failed to respond to 13 requests sent by U.N. special rapporteurs. Unanswered requests include cases of family separation against migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

This is not the first U.S. blow to the international human rights system. In June, the country withdrew from the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHCR), alleging anti-Israel bias. That same month, Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. led an attack on a UNHCR report on extreme poverty and inequality in the U.S.

“It is patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America… The special rapporteur wasted the U.N.’s time and resources, deflecting attention from the world’s worst human rights abusers and focusing instead on the wealthiest and freest country in the world,” Haley said back then.

The report, written by special rapporteur John Alston revealed that 30 million Americans lack health insurance and 40 million are living in poverty, concluding: "The United States, one of the world's richest nations and the ‘land of opportunity,’ is fast becoming a champion of inequality."

According to The Guardian, the Trump administration has not invited U.N. monitors to investigate human rights in the U.S. since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency in January 2017.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s human rights program, told The Guardian: “They are sending a very dangerous message to other countries: that if you don’t cooperate with U.N. experts they will just go away. That’s a serious setback to the system created after World War II to ensure that domestic human rights violations could no longer be seen as an internal matter.”

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