Following a two-day strategic consultation held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the National Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders adopted its 2024 Action Plan to build its internal capacity and consolidate its external visibility. This plan is crucial as it aims to strengthen its support to defenders in a context of increasingly narrow civic space and State focus on responses to terrorism.
On 4 October 2022 during the General Debate Item 9 of HRC51, ISHR and LabJaca delivered a joint statement highlighting the disproportionate killing of Brazil’s Black population, in particular the massacre in Jacarezinho last year. Read the joint statement below.
I’m Mariana de Paula, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’m a childhood friend of Kathlen Romeu, a young pregnant Black woman killed by the military police of Rio de Janeiro during an illegal raid. I’m also one of the founders of LabJaca, an organization from the Jacarezinho favela that aims to collect data and build narratives from the favelas so that stories like Kathlen’s and her baby’s aren’t forgotten and so that the favela can stand up for its rights.
Jacarezinho, the favela with the largest Black population in Rio de Janeiro, faces the lethal and selective absence of the Brazilian State and the weight of structural racism. It lacks fundamental rights such as health, education and leisure. In the last national census, our favela was ranked as the fourth worst on the Human Development Index (HDI) in the city and had the highest tuberculosis rate in the city. We also witnessed the devastating action of the state in supposedly guaranteeing security and protecting life in favelas. Last year, Jacarezinho was the scene of the most lethal police operation in Rio de Janeiro’s history, which killed 28 people, some with strong signs of executions. Eight months after the massacre, the same police started the “Integrated City” program, based on the same failed model of police confrontation that does not faciliate dialogue with the community and has led to the collapse of public security in Brazil and the disproportionate killing of its Black population.
In light of the Brazilian State’s actions in the favelas, we call on Brazil to:
- Base its public safety policy on the principle of life and human rights protection;
- Adopt concrete measures to end police impunity and fight systemic racism in police actions;
- End the “autos de resistência”;
- Take objective actions to end police impunity (strengthening external control bodies, transparency, and swiftness of judicial processes and recognizing a role to civil society);
- Implement the decision of the use of cameras by police, during service, in Rio and expand to the entire country;
- Change its drug policy from a failed militarized approach to a health based approach;
- Demilitarize its policies structures;
- Reduce the investment in military material and use these resources to provide reparations to communities victims of the war on drugs;
- Guarantee that every public safety program must have an equal share of the budget oriented to the social development of vulnerable territories and groups;
- Create a social-state mechanism that monitors public security actions and guarantees the real implementation of positive social impact counterparts.
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On 30 August 2022, the UN Human Rights Office concluded that the Chinese State may be responsible for committing crimes against humanity, in a report on human rights in the Uyghur region (Xinjiang). One year later, global pressure on Beijing remains high, ahead of a major UN human rights review in January.
The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights concluded its 77th Ordinary Session held in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania from 20 October to 9 November 2023. During the session, the Commission renewed its Bureau. It received solemn declarations from elected and re-elected members and launched several documents and newsletters, among others.