True records of U.S. human rights exposed
China issued the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2003 on March 1 in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2003 issued by the U.S. on Feb. 25.
Released by the Information Office of China's State Council, the Chinese report listed a multitude of cases to show that serious violations of human rights exist on the homeland of the United States.
"As in any previous year, the United States once again acted as 'the world human rights police' by distorting and censuring in the reports the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions across the world, including China. And just as usual, the United States once again 'omitted' its own long-standing malpractices and problems of human rights in the reports. Therefore, we have to, as before, help the United States keep its human rights record," said the report.
The report reviewed the human rights record of the United States in 2003 from six perspectives: Life, Freedom and Safety; Political Rights and Freedom; Living Conditions of US Laborers; Racial Discrimination; Conditions of Women, Children and Elderly People; and Infringement upon Human Rights of Other Nations.
This is the fifth consecutive year that the Information Office of the State Council has issued human rights record of the United States to answer the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices issued annually by the State Department of the United States.
Little can be spoken of the human rights record in the U.S. in view of protecting the rights of women, children and elderly people. American women cannot enjoy the same rights as men to take part in government and political affairs, says the record. Statistics from the Center for American Women in Politics indicated that in 2003, women hold 59, or 13.6 percent, of the seats in the House of Representatives and 14, or 14 percent, of the seats in the Senate.
According to the record, in the United States, women are not entitled to equal treatment with regard to employment and income. American women are still largely pigeonholed in "pink collar" jobs, such as secretary, shop attendant and waitress, according toa report released by the American Association of University of Women in May 2003.
Statistics from the US Department of Labor indicated that in 2002, the average weekly earnings for women aged 16 and above were 530 US dollars, or 77.9 percent of the 680 dollars for their male counterparts. The department said that there were twice as many as women whose earnings were below the Federal minimum wage, compared with men. There has been serious domestic and sexual violence against women, says the record.
According to a study by the US National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 92 percent of American women rank domestic and sexual violence as one of their top worries. One out of every three women experiences at least one physical assault during adulthood, however, only one out of seven cases of domestic violence drew the attention of the police.
According to the record, the protection of children provided in the U.S. is far below international standard. The United States is one of the only two countries in the world that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of Children. Since 1980s, all the states in the U.S. have lowered the age of criminal culpability against juvenile offenders, and in some states, juvenile offenders aged 10 even stood on trial in adult courts.
The U.S. is the country that has handed most of the death penalties to juvenile offenders and carried out the executions in the world, the record says. According to a report released by the Amnesty International on Jan. 21, two-thirds of the documented executions of juvenile offenders in the world occurred in the U.S. Up to date, there 80 such juvenile prisoners on the death row waiting to be executed.
Moreover, among the developed nations, the United States ranks the first in the number of children living under the poverty line and the last in the span of its children's life expectancy. According to statistics released by the US Census Bureau in September 2003, 10.4 percent of all US minors lived in poverty by the definition of income in 2002, up to 13 million. And according to the United Nations Children's Fund, of the 27 well-off countries in the world, the United States ranks the first in the number of deaths of its children as result of violence and negligence.
The under-aged population is under threat in terms of physical and mental health and they are usually the victims of sexual assault, says the record. According the US Federal Government, of all the children under the age of 18, 10 percent suffer from psychological illness of various levels. But only one fifth of them have been provided with medical treatment.
According to others reports, at least 1000 people were arrested in the United States for accused acts of eroticism targeting children since June 2003.
The record also reveals how the gray-haired are prejudiced against and mistreated, which led to higher rate of suicide among them. In the United States, people over the age of 65 account for 13 percent of the national population, and of all the people who committed suicide, the senior population account for 19 percent, it says.