The United States is party to a number of international treaties aimed toward the protection of human rights for all. Domestically, the United States has made efforts to remedy violations of human rights with the passage of the Alien Tort Claims Act, a federal statute that allows victims of human rights abuses to bring civil claims against their alleged assailants. This category relates closely to Immigrant Rights, but differs in that questions of human rights have both a domestic and international reach separate from an individual’s status as an immigrant in the U.S.
Mehinovic v. Vuckovic, 1998-2002
General Description: Alien Tort Claims Act
Summary of the Issues Involved: Plaintiffs, four individuals who were detained and tortured during the mid-1990s conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina, filed a suit against their alleged assailant under the Alien Tort Claims Act. Defendant was living in Georgia when the plaintiffs filed their claim. Plaintiffs sought compensation for torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, arbitrary detention, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, among other claims. The court found the Plaintiffs’ claims had merit and awarded compensation for the harm done to them.