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Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011

English.news.cn   2012-05-25 20:03:53

Millions of homeless people wandered around streets. Reports said that about 2.3 million to 3.5 million Americans did not have a place that they call home to sleep in the night (www.homelessnessinamerica.com). Between 2007 and 2010, the number of homeless families grew by 20 percent (The Huffington Post, August 26, 2011). Over the past five years, the percentage of singles arriving at shelters after living with family or elsewhere in the community has jumped from 39 percent to 66 percent (The USA Today, December 9, 2011). There was an all-time record of more than 41,000 homeless people in New York City, including 17,000 homeless children (www.coalitionforthehomeless.org). On any given night in Santa Clara County, California State, 7,045 people were homeless according to a 2011 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey (www.santaclaraweekly.com). And advocates estimated that Chicago had up to 3,000 homeless youths in need of shelter on any given night (www.chicagonewscoop.org).

The U.S. declared it has the best health care service in the world, but quite a lot of Americans could not enjoy due medication and health care. The Cable News Network reported on September 13, 2011, that the number of people who lacked health insurance in 2010 climbed to 49.9 million (Cable News Network, September 13, 2011). Bloomberg reported on March 16, 2011, that 9 million Americans have lost health insurance during the past two years. An additional 73 million adults had difficulties paying for health care and 75 million deferred treatment because they could not afford it (Bloomberg, March 16, 2011).

Death and infection risks caused by AIDS grew. Since the first American patient was diagnosed with AIDS in 1981, 600,000 people have died from the disease in the U.S. By the end of 2008, 1,178,350 Americans had been infected with AIDS (The China Press, June 3, 2011). AFP reported that nearly three quarters of Americans with HIV do not have their infection under control and one in five people with human immunodeficiency virus are unaware that they have the disease. Among people who know their HIV status is positive, only 51 percent get ongoing medical treatment (AFP, November 29, 2011). Statistics given by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that, in the last 10 years, death caused by prescription drugs in America had doubled and that one would die from taking prescription drug every 14 minutes. Prescription drug overdose caused 37,485 deaths in 2009, exceeding traffic fatalities (The China Press, September 19, 2011).

The U.S. government has significantly cut the expense on education, reduced teaching staff, and shortened school hours with tuition fees soaring. The guarantee for teenagers' rights to education is weakening. The New York Times reported on October 3, 2011, that since 2007, school budgets in New York city have been cut by 13.7 percent every year on average. Since 2008, 294,000 posts in the American education industry, including schools of higher education, have been cut (The China Press, October 25, 2011). Four-day per week classes have been practiced in 292 school districts, which was only put into use during the financial crisis in the 1930s and the oil crisis in the 1970s (The World Journal, October 30, 2011). A report by College Board showed that the average tuition fee of American four-year public universities in the school year of 2011 through 2012 was 8,244 U.S. dollars, 631 U.S. dollars more than the last school year, up 8.3 percent (The China Press, October 27, 2011). About 3,000 people gathered on Sproul Plaza to protest tuition increases at Berkeley on November 9, 2011 (The New York Times, November 13, 2011). Reuters reported that two-thirds of undergraduate students would graduate with student loans about 25,000 U.S. dollars on average owing to the expensive college tuition (Reuters, February 1, 2011).

The Indian culture in the United States has long been suppressed. The country assimilated the Indian culture through legislation and mainstream culture. At the end of the 19th century, the United States carried out "white man's education" and implemented compulsory English-only education. Most of the people who now speak Indian languages are the seniors living in reservations. It is estimated that only five percent of Indians will speak their own languages 50 years later if there are no measures from the U.S. government.

The financial crisis was far from being the sole reason for the inadequate guarantee of Americans' economic, social and cultural rights. So far, the U.S. has not approved the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The above problems concerning human rights are the reflection of the U.S. ideology and political system that ignore people's economic, social and cultural rights.

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Editor: Lu Hui
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