This week in an online event, 10 candidate States publicly spoke to an audience of around 200 people on their pledges as incoming Human Rights Council members for 2022 – 2024. They also faced questions on pressing human rights issues from both States and civil society organisations.
The signatories to the letters are calling on the Council to establish an independent commission of inquiry into police killings of Black men and women as well as violent law enforcement responses to protests in the United States, as well as a thematic commission of inquiry empowered to investigate systemic racism in law enforcement globally, especially where it is related to legacies of colonialism and transatlantic slavery, as called for by the UN Special Procedures.
In a letter sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today, the groups urge the UN to support the calls made by victims’ families and others to mandate an independent inquiry into police violence and provide recommendations for a national plan of action to eliminate systemic racism and racial discrimination in the United States. This includes the allocation of resources to achieve racial equality through the adoption of reparations and other programmes to remedy historic racial injustices.
In a letter sent by victims’ families and the groups to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of African States, the signatories expressed their appreciation for the African Group’ leadership at the Council and their support to the demands made by victims’ families, civil society organisations, and Special Procedures in the context of the urgent debate on the “current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests” and urged the African Group to continue supporting these demands in the follow-up resolution expected at the upcoming 47th session of the Council.
In June 2020, the African Group called on the Council to establish a commission of inquiry following the police murder of George Floyd and subsequent racial justice protests, but the Council instead adopted a watered-down resolution due to diplomatic pressure from the Trump administration and US allies. Instead, the adopted resolution mandated the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on systemic racism and police violence globally, which will be presented on 12 July 2021 at the Council.
The letters state that a robust international accountability mechanism would further support and complement, not undermine, efforts to dismantle systemic racism in the United States, especially in the context of police violence against Black people.
Contact: Salma El Hosseiny: [email protected]
For over five years, Assa Traoré, the sister of Adama Traoré, a black French man who was killed at the hands of the police, has faced judicial harassment for campaigning for a transparent investigation to establish the responsibility of the gendarmes, a name given to the paramilitary police officers in France, for the death of her brother and for them to be brought to justice. ISHR joined with the Adama Committee to call on the French Government to urgently put an end to the judicial harassment of Assa Troaré. This harassment diverts the public attention from the justice that is expected for Adama’s death and appears intended to dissuade Assa from continuing her struggle.
ISHR welcomes the Council’s historic consensus decision, led by the Africa Group, to adopt a resolution mandating an independent international expert mechanism to address systemic racism and to promote racial justice and equality for Africans and people of African descent. The adoption of this resolution is testament to the resilience, bravery and commitment of victims, their families, their representatives and anti-racism defenders globally.
ISHR, as part of a broad civil society coalition from the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and international human rights organisations, is calling on the UN Human Rights Council, during its 47th session, to adopt a resolution that ensures effective accountability and follow-up to HRC Resolution 43/1 on systemic racism and police violence against Africans and people of African descent in the United States and globally.
It's difficult to encapsulate such a complex year in a word, but "interconnected" is one that comes to mind when reflecting on 2020. We are proud to have remained deeply interconnected with defenders and to have supported, protected and amplified their work at the national, regional and international levels. With them, the "essential workers" of our times, we strive for a 2021 full of freedom, equality, dignity and justice.
In reaction to the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 in the United States, anti-racist advocates and the families of victims have succeeded in turning the tide at the UN on the issue of anti-Black racism and violence policewomen. In a new video released today, ISHR highlights their essential contributions, in tribute to George Floyd and all victims of racially-motivated police violence.
In an online discussion organised by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), Uyghur camp survivor Gülbahar Jalilova shared her story of long-term arbitrary detention. Her testimony echoes mounting evidence of human rights violations that call for systematic UN monitoring and public reporting.
Following limited remarks yesterday, ISHR joins with more than 20 organisations to press the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to initiate monitoring and reporting on the crisis targeting Uyghurs, as well as other key populations in China, especially in light of growing credible assessments of crimes against humanity.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder on 25 May 2020 in the U.S., antiracism defenders and families of victims of police violence have been turning the tables at the UN on anti-Black racism and police brutality. In a new video released today, ISHR is highlighting the essential contributions of defenders and victims' families and paying tribute to Floyd and to all the victims of racially charged police violence.
16 organisations* share reflections on the key outcomes of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the missed opportunities to address key issues and situations including pushbacks and other human rights violations faced by migrants and refugees, and the human rights situations in Algeria, Cameroon, China, India, Kashmir and the Philippines. A shortened version was delivered at the Council. Full written version below.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave her second update to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 19 March 2021. She reaffirmed that she will center the lived experiences of victims and their families, emphasised the necessity for the HRC to continue addressing systemic racism, and warned that without addressing the root causes, impunity for racist police violence will prevail.
Genuinely combating racial discrimination is essential for a more just and peaceful society. This notably requires an end to impunity, especially when the perpetrators of racial discrimination and violence are representatives of the State. This is what ISHR and its French national partner, the Collectif Urgence Notre Police Assassine (UNPA), reminded France in a video statement presented at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.