Facts & Figures: Human Rights Record in the United States in 2006
GOV.cn Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Information Office of China's State Council on Thursday released the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006. Key facts and figures in the document include the following:

Violent crimes

-- There were 5.2 million violent crimes in the United States in 2005, up 2.5 percent from the previous year, the highest rate in 15 years.

-- In 2005, for every 1,000 persons age 12 or older, there occurred 1 rape or sexual assault, 1 assault with injury, and 3 robberies.

-- Murder, robbery and other violent crimes reported in the United States jumped 3.7 percent in the first half of 2006 over the same period in 2005, with robbery alone up by a starling 9.7 percent.

-- The United States has the largest number of privately owned guns in the world. In 2005, 477,040 victims of violent crimes stated that they faced an offender with a firearm. Campus shootings are rampant in the United States.

Crimes and Penalities

-- Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. Department of Justice has used the material witness warrant to imprison without charge at least 70 men.

-- Nearly three-quarters of terrorism suspects seized by the United States in the five years following the Sept. 11 attacks have not even made it to trial because of lack of evidence against them.

-- About three percent of the U.S. adult population, or one in every 32 adults, were in the nation's prisons and jails or on probation or parole. The federal prisons were operating at 34 percent over capacity.

-- The United States is the only country in the world that allows the use of police dogs to terrify prisoners. Each year, approximately 7,000 Americans died in U.S. prisons and jails. More than 1.5 million inmates are released each year carrying life threatening contagious diseases.

-- At least 13 percent of inmates in U.S. prisons had suffered sexual assaults and many have suffered frequent sexual abuses. The number of prisoners who had suffered sexual assaults over the past20 years is likely to exceed one million.

Citizens' privacy rights intruded

-- Two-thirds of Americans believe that the FBI and other federal agencies are intruding on their privacy rights. The use of electronic surveillance and search warrants in national security investigations jumped 15 percent in 2005.

-- Pentagon research team monitors more than 5,000 jihadist Websites, focusing daily on the 25 to 100 most hostile and active.

-- 76 percent of companies in the United States monitor employees' website connections, 65 percent block access to specific sites, and 36 percent track the content, keystrokes and time spent at the keyboard. More than half of employers retain and review e-mail messages.

Money politics

-- In 2004, candidates for the House of Representatives who raised less than one million U.S. dollars had almost no chance of winning, The average successful Senate campaign cost 7 million dollars. In 2006, all state campaigns in the United States were predicted to cost about 2.4 billion dollars.

-- Seventy-four percent of respondents to an opinion research poll say the U.S. Congress is generally out of touch with average Americans, and 79 percent of the surveyed say they fell big business does have too much influence over the administration's decisions.

-- More than 1,000 government employees, including hundreds of police officers, have been convicted in FBI graft cases in the past two years.

-- Over the past five and half years, U.S. Republican and Democratic lawmakers accepted nearly 50 million U.S. dollars in trips, often to resorts and exclusive locales.

-- From January 2000 through June 2005, House and Senate members and their aides were away from Washington for more than 81,000 days - a combined 222 years - on at least 23,000 trips. U.S. lawmakers accepted thousands of costly jaunts to some of the world's choicest destinations: at least 200 to Paris, 150 to Hawaii and 140 to Italy.

Poverty in richest country

-- The United States is the richest country in the world, but there were 37 million people, or 7.7 million families, living in poverty in 2005, accounting for 12.6 percent of total U.S. population, which means that one out of eight Americans was living in poverty.

-- 34.8 million Americans did not have enough money or other resources to buy food.

-- Currently, there are 600,000 or so homeless people nationwide, including 16,000 homeless in Washington D.C. and 3,800in New York City.

-- The number of American people without health insurance coverage rose to 46.6 million in 2005, accounting for 15.9 percent of the total population and up 1.3 million over 2004. Racial discrimination

-- White people's income was 64 percent more than the blacks and 40 percent more than the Hispanics.

-- Nearly one in five Hispanics lacked sufficient access to nutritious food and one in 20 regularly went hungry. Blacks took up 42 percent of all the homeless people in the United States.

-- The unemployment rate of the blacks was more than twice that of the whites: 8.6 percent for the blacks and 3.9 percent for the whites.

-- One out of 12 black men were in jail or prison, compared with one in 100 white men. Researchers pointed to poverty, a lack of opportunities, racism in the criminal justice system for the black-white prison gap.

-- The number of extreme racist and neo-Nazi organizations has increased by 33 percent in recent five years, rising from 672 in 2004 to 803 in 2005.

The disadvantaged

-- The female-to-male earnings ratio was 76 percent in the United States with median earnings of women and men standing at about 32,000 and 42,000 U.S. dollars, respectively.

-- In 2005, 37 percent of the low-wage mothers had to give up necessary medical care, and a third had their electricity or phone turned off because they could not pay the bills.

-- During 2005, there were an estimated 93,934 female victims of forcible rape, or 62.5 out of every 100,000 women suffered from forcible rape.

-- Nearly 1.3 million American children who were homeless or fled home wandered in streets.

-- The U.S. Department of Justice received nearly 800,000 cases of missing children and kidnapping every year. And among the nearly 100 dangerous missing cases each year, about 40 percent of the missing children were killed eventually.

-- People with disabilities are nearly three times more likely to live in poverty than people without disabilities; 26 percent of people with disabilities had annual household income below 15,000 U.S. dollars, versus 9 percent those without disabilities.

U.S. Human Rights Record Abroad

-- More than 655,000 Iraqis have died in Iraq since war started in March 2003, meaning about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

-- Since August 2002, 98 prisoners had died in American-run prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the dead, 34 died of premeditated murder, 11 deaths were suspicious, and 8 to 12 were tortured to death.

-- In May 2006 human rights group Amnesty International condemned the detention of some 14,000 prisoners in Iraq without charge or trial.

-- A poll by the BBC World Service released on January 23, 2007showed that the image of the United States has deteriorated around the world in the past year. Some 73 percent of the total disapproved of U.S. government's handling of the military campaign in Iraq, with 49 percent of respondents saying Washington was playing a mainly negative role internationally.

An average of only 29 percent of some 18,000 people surveyed in18 countries over the last three months believed that the United States is having a mainly positive influence internationally, down7 percent from the previous poll conducted a year earlier.

Editor: Yangtze Yan
Source: Xinhua