WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States doesn't really care about human rights in other countries but has been "selectively" using such issues as forced labor to go after its targets, human rights expert and lawyer Daniel Kovalik has recently said.
Speaking to Xinhua during an interview via video link, Kovalik, who teaches international human rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, pointed out that human rights are "now being used as a cudgel, as a pretext, for the West, and in particular the U.S., to dominate the globe."
He said if the United States is concerned about human rights it should address its own issues, such as forced labor in its prisons.
In the United States, prison labor, which has ballooned into a multi-billion U.S. dollar industry, is enabled by the 13th amendment of the Constitution that prohibits slavery "except as a punishment for crime."
Nearly 1.8 million individuals are incarcerated in state, federal, and private prisons in the United States, with a significant number of them working to produce goods or perform services for private companies, non-profit organizations, and state or federal agencies.
"We have an entire industrial prison complex where prisoners are forced to work for nearly nothing," said Kovalik, adding that California, the most populous U.S. state, has regularly sent prison inmates to respond to natural disasters, including wildfires.
"So again, if the U.S. cared about forced labor, it would deal with those issues. But the problem is that's not the issue. They don't care about that issue," the human rights expert noted. "They use it selectively and they use it strategically to go after other countries."
Over the past few decades, the United States has thrown mud at others in the international community based on unsubstantiated claims of human rights violations in efforts to justify its interventionist and military actions, which have breached the human rights of people in many countries and led to severe humanitarian crises that could have been avoided.
Calling human rights and humanitarianism pretexts for America's interventionism, Kovalik said, "The U.S. is not advancing human rights through its military interventions. It's not advancing humanitarianism. In fact, it's undermining it in a huge way." Enditem