March 28, 2005

Pot, kettle?

Since the Carter administration in the late 1970s, the US State Departement annually issues a report on how human rights are faring worldwide, called 'Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.' (You can read the 2004 report here. This report tends to irritate those countries that the report cites for human rights problems, and few countries are more pissed off about getting cited than China.

One of the ways the Chinese government shows its irritation is by issuing their own report on human rights in the US. The new report has just come out, and it makes for very interesting reading:

On Political Rights and Freedom

The United States claims to be "a paragon of democracy," but American democracy is manipulated by the rich and malpractices are common.

Elections in the United States are in fact a contest of money. The presidential and Congressional elections last year cost nearly 4 billion US dollars, some 1 billion US dollars or one third more than that spent in the 2000 elections. The 2004 presidential election has been listed as the most expensive campaign in the country's history....

On Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The United States refuses to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and took negative attitude to the economic, social and cultural rights of the laborers. Poverty, hunger and homelessness have haunted the world richest country.

The population of people living in poverty has been on a steady rise. According to a report by The Sun on July, 6, 2004, from 1970 to 2000 (adjusted for inflation), the bottom 90 percent's average income stagnated while the top 10 percent experienced an average yearly income increase of nearly 90 percent. Upper-middle-and-upper-class families that constitute the top 10 percent of the income distribution are prospering while many among the remaining 90 percent struggle to maintain their standard of living....

On The Rights of Women and Children

The situation of American women and children was disturbing. The rates of women and children physically or sexually victimized were high. According to FBI Crime Statistics, in 2003 the United States witnessed 93,233 cases of raping. Virtually 63.2 in every 100,000 women fell victims. The statistics also showed that every two minutes one woman was sexually assaulted and every six minutes one woman was raped.

The number of women abused and treated at First Aid Centers exceeded one million every year. More than 1,500 women in the United States were killed every year by their husbands, lovers or roommates (The Milenio, Mexico, Sept. 26, 2004). Nearly 78 percent of American women were physically victimized at least once in their lifetime. And 79 percent of the women were sexually abused at least once. A survey released in November 2004 by the US National Institute of Justice showed by the time they concluded four years of college education, 88 percent of the women had experiences of physical or sexual victimization and 64 percent of them experienced both....

Admittedly, the Chinese government is guilty of violating human rights on a massive scale, and they're not really a country that ought to be pointing fingers. But it's impossible to pretend that the bulk of the problems that the Chinese report cites don't exist.

If you don't want to read the entire report, you'll find excerpts from it here.

Via The Next Left.

Posted by Magpie at March 28, 2005 02:23 PM | Human Rights | Technorati links |