In a report to the United Nations, NCAC and Freemuse assess the United States’ compliance with its human rights obligations. The free speech groups argue that the U.S. “must do more to protect the rights of youth in public primary and secondary schools as well as the rights of inmates in jails, prisons, and detention centers.”
The joint submission notes that hundreds of books are challenged and banned in classrooms and libraries every year, and criticizes the arbitrary decision-making of school boards who often lack formal policies for reviewing and responding to these challenges. “Although the federal government has a limited role in education,” commented Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs for the NCAC, “much more could be done.”
The submission also documents censorship that occurs unabated in jails, prisons, and detention centers. NCAC and Freemuse urge further investigation into the protection of incarcerated persons’ freedom of expression.