We have seen a prior post‘s list of the 19 significant multilateral human rights treaties that have been ratified by the U.S. Other posts have reviewed the complex and difficult procedures for obtaining U.S. ratification of three of these treaties; the Convention Against Torture, the Genocide Convention and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
In addition, the U.S. has signed, but not yet ratified, nine other such treaties.
Five of these nine non-ratified treaties have been signed (as indicated below) and submitted to the Senate for advice and consent, but such action has not happened, thus preventing their ratification by the U.S.: (1) American Convention on Human Rights (President Carter, June 1, 1977); (2) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (President Carter, October 5, 1977);(3) Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (President Carter, December 12, 1977); (4) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (President Carter, July 17, 1980); and (5) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (President Obama July 30, 2009).
Moreover, only one of these nine treaties was put to a vote in the whole Senate (the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities), and on December 4, 2012, it failed by five votes to get the constitutionally necessary two-thirds vote for advice and consent.
Another of these nine treaties (Discrimination Against Women) went to the Senate floor twice (in 1994 and 2002) with favorable recommendations from the Foreign Relations Committee, but was never voted upon by the entire Senate, and thus the resolutions for advice and consent to this treaty died upon adjournment of those congressional sessions.
The Senate Committee held hearings on two of these signed treaties in 1978 (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and American Convention on Human Rights), but never reported them to the entire Senate. Thus, they died in committee as did Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions, which never received a committee hearing.
Thus, all of these five signed human rights treaties remain on the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ inventory (as of 2/10/2013) of 87 treaties awaiting further action by the Committee and the Senate as a whole.
As an outsider, I believe that these five treaties will be brought to the Senate floor if and only if the Committee’s Chair believes there is a reasonable likelihood that they would receive the constitutionally necessary two-thirds vote for advice and consent. Their past languishing in committee is an indication, in my opinion, that there has not been over the years the necessary two-thirds senatorial support for having these treaties ratified.
The other four other human rights treaties that have been signed, but not ratified, by the U.S. apparently have not even been submitted to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent to ratification: (1) Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriage (President Kennedy, December 10, 1962); (2) Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (President Carter, December 12, 1977); (3) Convention on the Rights of the Child (President Clinton, February 16, 1995); and (4) the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (President Clinton, December 31, 2000).
The fate of these nine human rights treaties that have been signed, but not ratified, is additional evidence of the complex and difficult procedures for obtaining U.S. ratification of treaties. And it is not only human rights treaties that do not make it to the end of the ratification process as we have seen in posts about the Treaty of the Law of the Sea.
 See David Weissbrodt, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, Joan Fitzpatrick, Frank Newman, International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process at 138 (4th ed. LexisNexis 2009).
 The American Convention on Human Rights is substantially similar to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic. Social and Cultural Rights. In addition, it establishes the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
 The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides that the parties shall take steps for the progressive realization (to the full extent of available resources) of the rights to gain a living by work, to have safe and healthy working conditions, to enjoy trade union rights, to receive social security, to have protection for the family, to possess adequate housing and clothing, to be free from hunger, to receive health care, to obtain free public education and to participate in cultural life, creative activity and scientific research.
 Optional Protocol II offers protection to civilians and the wounded in non-international armed conflicts.
 This summary of the five listed treaties is based upon their being listed on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ inventory of treaties awaiting Senate action.
 The assertion that the first three of these four treaties have not been submitted to the Senate is an inference from their not being on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s inventory of treaties awaiting Senate action and their not having been ratified by the U.S. Another possible inference is that they were submitted to, and rejected by the entire Senate, but I have not seen any indication that happened with respect to these three treaties. If anyone knows of the full Senate’s rejection of any of these four treaties, please add a comment to this post. Prior research regarding the Rome Statute, on the other hand, confirms that it has not been submitted to the Senate.
 Optional Protocol I offers protection to civilians and the wounded in international armed conflicts.
Tags: Additional Protocol I to Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol II to Geneva Conventions, American Convention on Human Rights, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Convention on Consent to Marriage Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriage, Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on Rights of Child, Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities, George W. Bush, human rights, international Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, Jimmy Carter, John F. Kennedy, Rome Statute of International Criminal Court, Treaty on Law of the Sea, U.S. Senate