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JULY 1994


Information concerning human rights treaties is 
readily available to any interested person in the 
United States.  All treaties, including human rights 
treaties, to which the United States is a party are 
published by the federal government, first in the 
Treaties and International Agreements Series (TIAS) 
and thereafter in the multi-volume United States 
Treaties (UST) series.  Annually, the Department of 
State publishes a comprehensive listing of all 
treaties to which the United States is a party, 
known as Treaties in Force (TIF).  The 
constitutional requirement that the Senate give 
advice and consent to ratification of all treaties 
ensures that there is a public record of its 
consideration, typically including a formal 
transmission of the treaty from the President to the 
Senate, a record of the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee's public hearing and the Committee's 
report to the full Senate, together with the action 
of the Senate itself.

The texts of all human rights treaties (whether or 
not the United States has ratified) can also be 
readily obtained from the Government or virtually 
any public or private library, as they have been 
published in numerous non- governmental compilations 
and are also available in major computerized 
databases.  The United Nations' Compilation of 
International Instruments on Human Rights 
(ST/HR/1/Rev. 3) is also widely available.

Although there is no national educational curriculum 
in the United States, instruction in fundamental 
constitutional, civil and political rights occurs 
throughout the educational system, from grammar and 
secondary school, through the college and university 
levels.  Most institutions of higher education, 
public and private, include courses on 
constitutional law in their departments of political 
science or government.  Constitutional law is a 
required subject in law school curricula, and most 
law schools now offer advanced or specialized 
instruction in the area of civil and political 
rights, nondiscrimination law and related fields.  
Nearly every law school curriculum includes 
instruction in international law including basic 
human rights law.  Several textbooks have been 
published in the field, including documentary 
supplements which contain the texts of the more 
significant human rights instruments.  The numerous 
nongovernmental human rights advocacy groups in the 
United States, which operate freely, also contribute 
to public awareness and understanding of domestic 
and international rights and norms.

With particular respect to the International 
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the original 
transmittal of the treaty to the Senate was 
published in 1978 (Message from the President of the 
United States Transmitting Four Treaties Pertaining 
to Human Rights, 95th Cong., 2d Sess., Exec. E, Feb. 
23, 1978).  The record of Senate consideration has 
also been published (see Hearing before the Senate 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 102d Cong., 1st 
Sess., Nov. 21, 1991, S. Hrg. 102-478; Report of the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Exec. Rept. 102-
23, March 24, 1992; 102 Cong. Rec. S4781-4784 (daily 
ed. April 2, 1992).  The full text of the treaty has 
also been published in the official journal of the 
federal government (see 58 Fed. Reg. 45934-45942, 
No. 167, Aug. 31, 1993).  Copies of the Covenant 
have also been sent to the Attorneys General of each 
state and constituent unit in the United States, 
with a request that they be further distributed to 
relevant officials.  The fact of U.S. ratification 
and the text of the treaty have also been brought to 
the attention of state bar associations.  
Governmental officials have participated in a number 
of presentations at academic and professional 
meetings to highlight the significance of U.S. 

Finally, the advice and input of various 
nongovernmental organizations and other human rights 
professionals was sought and considered during the 
preparation of this report, and the report will be 
given wide distribution to the public and through 
interested groups such as the bar associations and 
human rights organizations. 
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