UN calls for immediate dismantling of systemic racism
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The UN rights chief on Monday called for the immediate dismantling of systemic racism against blacks around the world to avoid repeating outrages like the murder of George Floyd.
In a report sparked by the death of Floyd, who was murdered by a white American policeman, Michelle Bachelet said the dehumanization of people of African descent had nurtured a culture of tolerance for racial discrimination and discrimination. violence.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has outlined a four-point agenda for transformative change in racial justice and equality, and urged states to implement it.
Bachelet’s recommendations include remedies for historic racism, as well as funding for groups like Black Lives Matter.
“The status quo is untenable,” said former Chilean President Bachelet, who presented her 23-page report to the UN Human Rights Council.
“Systemic racism needs a systemic response” to dismantle centuries of entrenched discrimination and violence, she said.
“We need a transformative approach that tackles the interconnected areas that fuel racism and lead to repeated and completely preventable tragedies like the death of George Floyd.”
The report comes three days after former police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Images of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, indifferent to the moans of the dying man, sparked global racial justice protests under the “Black Lives Matter” banner.
– “Dehumanisation” –
After Floyd’s death, the United Nations Office of Human Rights was commissioned in June last year to produce a comprehensive report on systemic racism, human rights violations by the forces of the United Nations. order against blacks and government responses to peaceful protests against racism.
It also covered liability and redress for victims.
The report’s analysis was based on online consultations with more than 340 people, most of them black.
Bachelet’s office received information on more than 250 deaths of Africans and people of African descent in Europe and the Americas, at least 190 of which were attributable to law enforcement officials.
In many cases, information suggests that the victims “did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury,” according to the report.
The survey found that in many countries in Europe and the Americas, people of African descent live disproportionately in poverty and face serious barriers to accessing education, health care and employment, as well as political participation and other basic human rights.
“The dehumanization of people of African descent (…) has sustained and cultivated a tolerance for racial discrimination, inequality and violence,” the report said.
– Agenda for change –
The report calls for immediate action to end what it has described as systemic violations of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.
He calls for overthrowing “cultures of denial” of racism.
Second, he said there should be no impunity for human rights violations committed by law enforcement agencies, while trust should be built and institutional oversight strengthened.
Third, the voices of blacks and anti-racist activists must be heard and their concerns taken into account, according to the report.
This should include ensuring representation at all levels in state institutions, including law enforcement, criminal justice and policy making.
Finally, the legacy of historic racism must be tackled, in particular through accountability and redress, the report concluded.
“Behind contemporary forms of racism, dehumanization and exclusion lies the failure to recognize the responsibilities of slavery … and to fully repair the damage,” he said.
This should include redressing “centuries of violence and discrimination … including through formal acknowledgments and apologies, truth processes and reparations,” he added.
© 2021 AFP