UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged states to dismantle systematic racism against African and African-descendent peoples, in a June 28 report focusing on law enforcement around the world. “The status quo is untenable,” Bachelet said. “Systemic racism needs a systemic response. There needs to be a comprehensive rather than a piecemeal approach to dismantling systems entrenched in centuries of discrimination and violence. We need a transformative approach that tackles the interconnected areas that drive racism, and lead to repeated, wholly avoidable, tragedies like the death of George Floyd.”
“I am calling on all States to stop denying, and start dismantling, racism; to end impunity and build trust; to listen to the voices of people of African descent; and to confront past legacies and deliver redress,” Bachelet added.
The UN Human Rights Office was mandated in June 2020 by Human Rights Council resolution 43/1 to produce a comprehensive report on systemic racism and violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, as well as government responses to anti-racism protests.
The report features an analysis of 190 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the United States, as well as cases in the United Kingdom, France, Brazil and Colombia.
In her statement on release of the report, Bachelet hailed the worldwide activist upsurge over the past year that has sparked a “long-delayed” reckoning with racism. “The Black Lives Matter movement and other civil society groups led by people of African descent have provided grassroots leadership through listening to communities,” she said. “They are also providing people with the necessary agency and empowerment that enables them to claim their human rights. Such efforts should receive funding, public recognition and support.”
Photo: The Village Sun