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Concrete actions are needed to ‘rest the scourge of racism’ – UN expert – Global issues

After Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) reviewed the US racial justice record, the United Nations human rights office issued statement in which CERD Expert and Faith Dikeledi National Rapporteur Pansy Tlakula recounts her observation that the country’s gun homicide rate has increased, particularly among black men and in communities poor.

While acknowledging measures have been taken to tackle gun violence, Ms Tlakula wondered what to do to address its “different impact” on race and ethnic minorities as well as Indigenous Peoples.

Anti-racism protesters in Brooklyn, New York, demonstrate for justice for the murder of African-American, George Floyd.

United Nations News / Shirin Yaseen

Anti-racism protesters in Brooklyn, New York, demonstrate for justice for the murder of African-American, George Floyd.

Lack of federal coordination

Amid the dramatic increase in hate crimes against minorities, the Commission has welcomed recent U.S. legislation, such as COVID-19 The Hate Crimes Act, but questions why the country has yet to institutionalize a coordination mechanism, such as a national human rights organization.

Ms. Tlakula said that the Commission had repeatedly expressed concern about the lack of such a mechanism, and asked what measures had been adopted to create a lasting and effective coordination mechanism at the federal level.

The Committee noted that the United States was aware of its recommendations for the creation of a national human rights institute and that it would consider such recommendations to the extent that they could be implemented under Joe’s chair. Biden.

Police reform

The commission also pointed out that the country is ensuring accountability around the use of force, noting that the Department of Homeland Security has enforced strict standards of conduct for police officers.

Furthermore, a full use of force policy, emphasizing respect for human life, was enacted in 2018 and updated in 2021.

And police have been trained in de-escalation, the use of force, and border fence patrols.

The U.S. Office of Liberals and Civil Rights also investigates cases of excessive force and tracks them through an online dashboard, with more than 600 such incidents recorded for so far this year.

Make recommendations

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Tlakula told the Commission that uncomfortable conversations and concrete measures and actions were needed to “quiet the scourge of racism”.

She also expressed hope that the country would continue to hold consultations with civil society, maintaining that they would lead to progress in the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.

The US delegation replied

US Ambassador to Dong Nhan Quyen Association and the head of the delegation, Michèle Taylor, acknowledged that the United States needed to do a better job of eliminating apartheid and were “deeply committed” to using all the levers at its disposal to do so. so.

The United States Department of State’s Special Representative for Racism and Equity and co-leader of the delegation, Desirée Cormier Smith, said that the country shares the Commission’s vision for sustained efforts to eradicate abolish racism. She also expressed sadness that ethnic and racial groups still need to fight for the liberties enjoyed by white people.

Administrative point

The Committee will make concluding observations on the US report after its session concludes on August 30.

A summary of the Commission’s public meetings can be found hereand webcasts here.

Special rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council based in Geneva to check and report back about a particular human rights topic or a country situation. The positions are honorary and professionals are not paid for their work.

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