Attorney General Jim Hood recently joined the United States delegation appearing before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland.
The delegation appeared before the U.N. in Geneva on March 13-14 to help the U.S. Government address questions regarding the implementation of treaty obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation was led by the State Department and included representatives from Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Health & Human Services.
Every member nation of the ICCPR must update the Human Rights Committee every four years. This presentation was the first at which state and local governments from the United States were part of the delegation. The State Department paid for the trip. Although the covenant covers human rights involved in issues such as the use of drones and torture, many of the issues raised by the Committee involved actions and legislation passed by states.
Attorney General Hood addressed the work being done with the ICCPR at the state and local levels. Attorney General Hood has worked on a variety of areas related to the rights in the Covenant including civil rights, election law, human trafficking and domestic violence. As President-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General, Attorney General Hood is an active participant in the national organization of the U.S. state attorneys general.
Attorney General Hood responded to the committee’s questions concerning the death penalty, domestic violence, human trafficking, corporal punishment, zero tolerance in schools, life without parole for juvenile offenders, and reinstatement of voting rights for felons.
“It was indeed an honor to be one of the attorneys to defend America’s human rights record,” said Attorney General Hood. “It was rewarding to clarify many international misconceptions about Mississippi’s civil rights record and that of other states and our federal government.”
In his closing comments the Committee Chairperson, Sir Nigel Rodley, noted that the delegation spoke with a “high level of experience and authority”, “with eloquence, with commitment and with ideas”. He noted that he especially appreciated the “valuable perspective” brought to the discussion by the participation of Attorney General Hood at the state level. Attorney General Hood kept his role in perspective by concluding, “While listening to Sir Nigel specifically brag about my participation to his Committee members, I looked down at my shoe and saw a little Chickasaw County mud on it. I guess they didn’t know what to make of a small town boy from Houlka, Mississippi.”
AG Jim Hood