The United States defended its human rights record before a council of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, but recognized progress needs to be made.

The U.S. delegation led by Keith Harper, ambassador to the United Nation Council, and Principal Deputy Legal Adviser Mary McLeod are expected to face questions about human rights at the Universal Periodic Review, some stemming from the deaths of unarmed African-Americans.

“We must rededicate ourselves to ensuring that our civil rights laws live up to their promise,” James Cadogan, senior counselor in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, said Monday. “The tragic deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, Tamir Rice in Ohio, and Walter Scott in South Carolina have… challenged us to do better and to work harder for progress.”

The U.N. council turned its attention to the human rights record of the United States after ongoing racial tension due to deaths of black men by police officers accused of excessive use of force.

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