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Human Rights Lag In Land Of The Free, Watchdog Poll Says

Thu., Dec. 11, 1997

Fifty years after adoption of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Americans still face a wide range of human rights violations, a study suggests.

A poll commissioned by Human Rights USA, a private human rights education coalition, indicates that 49 percent of adults personally have experienced discrimination and 52 percent say the United States has a very or fairly serious problem when it comes to human rights.

“Today, fifty years later, the statistics are still numbing,” said Curt Goering, deputy director of Amnesty International USA. “The universal declaration remains an unfulfilled promise.”

Activists said that while Americans preach the need for human rights abroad, they often overlook their importance at home.

“In the United States, we have some mighty contradictions,” said Lyn Beth Neylon, Human Rights USA director.

Among those surveyed, 63 percent say the poor face discrimination, 61 percent say the disabled face discrimination and 41 percent say blacks routinely are discriminated against. Health care and welfare reform are human rights aspects needing more attention in the United States, the survey said.

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