Apart from healthcare (which is subjective and not a specific right), are there any parts of US law which violate the human rights set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights or any of those rights not included in any US state laws?


According to the ACLU, lots


  • life sentences without parole

  • no legal right to sue for being illegally tortured by the US

  • systemic socioeconomic generational inequality

  • corporal punishment

  • lack of legal protection based on gender

  • mass immigration detention

  • mass and racially discriminatory incarceration

  • lack of ratification (along with Somalia) of the UN declaration on the rights of the child

  • lack of protection of voting rights of minorities

  • failure to ratify the UN declaration on the rights of the disabled

  • the only liberal democracy to still have the death penalty

To be fair, many other countries have failed on some of these metrics but, as in many things, the US is No 1 among the OECD.

  • I don't understand how failure to ratify a UN declaration translates into US law. There can be a US law protecting a particular right even if the US decides they don't like how the UN worded something. I also don't understand how 'systemic socioeconomic generational inequality' relates to a particular human right. Aren't human rights by their nature individual rights? Isn't 'systemic socioeconomic generational inequality' a civil rights issue and not a human rights issue? – Prim Reaper Sep 10 '20 at 13:23
  • Japan has the death penalty on 17 crimes, most of them homicides. They hang their convicts and only tell them minutes before that their execution is scheduled. Since 1945, they had about 600 executions. Japan is a liberal democracy. – Trish Sep 10 '20 at 14:09
  • Gender-based legal protections? Voting rights of minorities? Rights of disabled people and children? The US has literally volumes of laws protecting these things. As for “systemic socioeconomic generational inequality”, that’s just a bunch of fancy words strung together that don’t actually mean anything concrete or specific. And codifying UN declarations is not a human right. – Wes Sayeed Sep 10 '20 at 19:16
  • @WesSayeed if you object to the list, take it up with the ACLU, it’s theirs not mine. – Dale M Sep 10 '20 at 21:02
  • Except that you posted it as an answer and it’s not accurate (or, at least, the summarization of it — it’s a big document). – Wes Sayeed Sep 10 '20 at 21:10