As U.N. Probes U.S. Treatment of Native Americans, Clinton Is 58 Days Late in Releasing Human Rights Report

By Pete Winn | April 23, 2012 | 5:20 PM EDT

James Anaya, U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

( – The U.S. became the target Monday of a United Nations human rights investigation.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has still not released the human rights report she was required by law to send to Congress on Feb. 25.

On Monday, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples James Anaya began an official visit to the United States to probe the human rights “situation” of Native Americans.

“The aim of the Special Rapporteur's visit to the United States is to examine the human rights situation of the indigenous peoples of the country, that is, American Indians/Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians,” Anaya said in a statement.

Anaya, a law professor at the University of Arizona Law School, plans to visit locations in the Southwest, Midwest, Alaska, Pacific Northwest and Washington, D.C.

“During the visit, the Special Rapporteur will hold meetings and consultations with federal and state government officials, as well as with indigenous nations and their representatives, in various locations,” the statement said.

In December of 2010, the U.S. signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Anaya will “assess the ways in which the standards of the Declaration are currently reflected in U.S. law and policy, both domestically and abroad, and identify needed reforms or areas that need further attention in light of the Declaration,” according to a statement.

He will report back to the U.S and the U.N. on May 4.

Anaya’s visit, ironically, comes 58 days beyond the Feb. 25 date when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was required by law to report to Congress on the state of human rights in countries throughout the world.

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 imposes a deadline for Clinton to submit to Congress by Feb. 25 each year reports on the human rights conditions in countries around the world.

Section 116(d) of the law provides that “(T)he Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, by February 25 of each year, a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part, and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human rights report under this Act."

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