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Executive Order 13107

Issued by William J. Clinton on Thursday 10 December 1998

Implementation of Human Rights Treaties

Federal Register, Volume 63 Issue 240 (Tuesday, December 15, 1998)

[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 240 (Tuesday, December 15, 1998)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 68991-68993]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-33348]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 63, No. 240 / Tuesday, December 15, 1998 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 68991]]

                Executive Order 13107 of December 10, 1998

Implementation of Human Rights Treaties

                By the authority vested in me as President by the 
                Constitution and the laws of the United States of 
                America, and bearing in mind the obligations of the 
                United States pursuant to the International Covenant on 
                Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention 
                Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading 
                Treatment or Punishment (CAT), the Convention on the 
                Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 
                (CERD), and other relevant treaties concerned with the 
                protection and promotion of human rights to which the 
                United States is now or may become a party in the 
                future, it is hereby ordered as follows:

                Section 1. Implementation of Human Rights Obligations. 
                (a) It shall be the policy and practice of the 
                Government of the United States, being committed to the 
                protection and promotion of human rights and 
                fundamental freedoms, fully to respect and implement 
                its obligations under the international human rights 
                treaties to which it is a party, including the ICCPR, 
                the CAT, and the CERD.

                    (b) It shall also be the policy and practice of the 
                Government of the United States to promote respect for 
                international human rights, both in our relationships 
                with all other countries and by working with and 
                strengthening the various international mechanisms for 
                the promotion of human rights, including, inter alia, 
                those of the United Nations, the International Labor 
                Organization, and the Organization of American States.

                Sec. 2. Responsibility of Executive Departments and 
                Agencies. (a) All executive departments and agencies 
                (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 101-105, including boards and 
                commissions, and hereinafter referred to collectively 
                as ``agency'' or ``agencies'') shall maintain a current 
                awareness of United States international human rights 
                obligations that are relevant to their functions and 
                shall perform such functions so as to respect and 
                implement those obligations fully. The head of each 
                agency shall designate a single contact officer who 
                will be responsible for overall coordination of the 
                implementation of this order. Under this order, all 
                such agencies shall retain their established 
                institutional roles in the implementation, 
                interpretation, and enforcement of Federal law and 

                    (b) The heads of agencies shall have lead 
                responsibility, in coordination with other appropriate 
                agencies, for questions concerning implementation of 
                human rights obligations that fall within their 
                respective operating and program responsibilities and 
                authorities or, to the extent that matters do not fall 
                within the operating and program responsibilities and 
                authorities of any agency, that most closely relate to 
                their general areas of concern.

                Sec. 3. Human Rights Inquiries and Complaints. Each 
                agency shall take lead responsibility, in coordination 
                with other appropriate agencies, for responding to 
                inquiries, requests for information, and complaints 
                about violations of human rights obligations that fall 
                within its areas of responsibility or, if the matter 
                does not fall within its areas of responsibility, 
                referring it to the appropriate agency for response.

                Sec. 4. Interagency Working Group on Human Rights 
                Treaties. (a) There is hereby established an 
                Interagency Working Group on Human Rights Treaties for 
                the purpose of providing guidance, oversight, and 
                coordination with respect to questions concerning the 
                adherence to and implementation of human rights 
                obligations and related matters.

[[Page 68992]]

                    (b) The designee of the Assistant to the President 
                for National Security Affairs shall chair the 
                Interagency Working Group, which shall consist of 
                appropriate policy and legal representatives at the 
                Assistant Secretary level from the Department of State, 
                the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor, the 
                Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 
                other agencies as the chair deems appropriate. The 
                principal members may designate alternates to attend 
                meetings in their stead.
                    (c) The principal functions of the Interagency 
                Working Group shall include:
                    (i) coordinating the interagency review of any 
                significant issues concerning the implementation of 
                this order and analysis and recommendations in 
                connection with pursuing the ratification of human 
                rights treaties, as such questions may from time to 
                time arise;
                    (ii) coordinating the preparation of reports that 
                are to be submitted by the United States in fulfillment 
                of treaty obligations;
                    (iii) coordinating the responses of the United 
                States Government to complaints against it concerning 
                alleged human rights violations submitted to the United 
                Nations, the Organization of American States, and other 
                international organizations;
                    (iv) developing effective mechanisms to ensure that 
                legislation proposed by the Administration is reviewed 
                for conformity with international human rights 
                obligations and that these obligations are taken into 
                account in reviewing legislation under consideration by 
                the Congress as well;
                    (v) developing recommended proposals and mechanisms 
                for improving the monitoring of the actions by the 
                various States, Commonwealths, and territories of the 
                United States and, where appropriate, of Native 
                Americans and Federally recognized Indian tribes, 
                including the review of State, Commonwealth, and 
                territorial laws for their conformity with relevant 
                treaties, the provision of relevant information for 
                reports and other monitoring purposes, and the 
                promotion of effective remedial mechanisms;
                    (vi) developing plans for public outreach and 
                education concerning the provisions of the ICCPR, CAT, 
                CERD, and other relevant treaties, and human rights-
                related provisions of domestic law;
                    (vii) coordinating and directing an annual review 
                of United States reservations, declarations, and 
                understandings to human rights treaties, and matters as 
                to which there have been nontrivial complaints or 
                allegations of inconsistency with or breach of 
                international human rights obligations, in order to 
                determine whether there should be consideration of any 
                modification of relevant reservations, declarations, 
                and understandings to human rights treaties, or United 
                States practices or laws. The results and 
                recommendations of this review shall be reviewed by the 
                head of each participating agency;
                    (viii) making such other recommendations as it 
                shall deem appropriate to the President, through the 
                Assistant to the President for National Security 
                Affairs, concerning United States adherence to or 
                implementation of human rights treaties and related 
                matters; and
                    (ix) coordinating such other significant tasks in 
                connection with human rights treaties or international 
                human rights institutions, including the Inter-American 
                Commission on Human Rights and the Special Rapporteurs 
                and complaints procedures established by the United 
                Nations Human Rights Commission.
                    (d) The work of the Interagency Working Group shall 
                not supplant the work of other interagency entities, 
                including the President's Committee on the 
                International Labor Organization, that address 
                international human rights issues.

                Sec. 5. Cooperation Among Executive Departments and 
                Agencies. All agencies shall cooperate in carrying out 
                the provisions of this order. The Interagency Working 
                Group shall facilitate such cooperative measures.

[[Page 68993]]

                Sec. 6. Judicial Review, Scope, and Administration. (a) 
                Nothing in this order shall create any right or 
                benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any 
                party against the United States, its agencies or 
                instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any 
                other person.

                    (b) This order does not supersede Federal statutes 
                and does not impose any justiciable obligations on the 
                executive branch.
                    (c) The term ``treaty obligations'' shall mean 
                treaty obligations as approved by the Senate pursuant 
                to Article II, section 2, clause 2 of the United States 
                    (d) To the maximum extent practicable and subject 
                to the availability of appropriations, agencies shall 
                carry out the provisions of this order.

                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    December 10, 1998.

[FR Doc. 98-33348
Filed 12-14-98; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3195-01-P

Citation: 63 FR 68991

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