Studies in European and American Cultures Issue 8
2001-10-01 発行

非自治地域から見たアメリカの人権政策 : グアム組織法を事例に

U. S. Human Rights Policy toward Guam as a Non-Self-Governing Territory
It has been argued that U.S. rivalry with the then Soviet Union shaped its human rights policy, especially in the late 1940's and 1950's. The U.S. tendency to manipulate human rights policies as one of their means to establish superiority over the Soviet Union is obvious in its policy regarding Guam. The U.S. designated Guam to be a Non-Self-Governing Territory within the United Nation (U.N.) system in 1946. Under the U. N. Charter, members are obliged "to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions (Art. 73-c)" and "to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General ...... statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social, and educational conditions in the territories (Art. 73-e)." As a result, the U.S. started sending information on Guam.

However since annexation in 1898, the U.S. continued to hold Guam under naval administration without clarifying the status of the island and its inhabitants. After 1947, the U.S. for the first time tried to define the status of Guam by providing civil government and U.S. citizenship to the Guamanians. This coincided with the designation of the island as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, and this required the U.S. to transmit information about the island to the U.N. and to publicize every aspect of the situation. Therefore, it was imperative for the U.S. to give a favorable impression both domestically and internationally, so that it could avoid criticism on human rights violations in Guam. To this aim, the Congress passed the Interim Organic Act of Guam in 1947 and Guam Organic Act in 1950. These acts expanded Guam's congressional discretion and granted U.S. citizenship to the Guamanians. With this, the U.S. seemed to have achieved self-government and improved human rights in the region.

However, when it comes to the actual contents of these acts, quite a few restrictions were imposed on the Guam congress and the Guamanians by the Federal Government. As I have mentioned, Guam Organic Act of 1950 was nothing but an excuse for the U.S. to escape domestic and international criticism on the violation of human rights. Because of this nature, the Act only made the Guamanians second class citizens and therefore, never served the purpose of developing self-government.