“Urgent Debate during the resumed 43rd session of the Human Rights Council between 15-19 June on "the current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protest"
Statement by: International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
18 June 2020
Thank you Madam President,
We welcome this urgent debate but believe that had the DDPA not been undermined and instead been fully implemented by all, we would not be in this critical moment today.
Recently, we witnessed large protests in several countries in response to police conduct towards racial minorities that led to the recent murder of George Floyd by a police officer. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon. Injustices involved in racial profiling are embedded into criminal justice systems and has resulted in the deaths of countless people of African descent in the United States and elsewhere.
EAFORD, International-Lawyers.Org, and Geneva International Centre for Justice, believe that this global wave of activism and international outcry is pivotal because each country has their own history of inequality and racism. This is evident as countries who have legacies of colonialism are tearing down monuments, changing street names, and demanding change within their own police systems.
We have also seen Criminal Justice systems protect criminals and is thus in desperate need of reform. For instance, the ‘Qualified Immunity’, a legal doctrine in the United States, allows officers to only be convicted if they went against a “clearly established” constitutional right. This lets police officers commit acts of misconduct with impunity.
This lack of accountability leads to these same actions of wrongful killings and discrimination to repeat themselves.
In conclusion, we call on all UN Member States to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and its ‘programme of activities’ towards ending racial discrimination and injustices. Every country must adopt concrete equal opportunities for all peoples especially at the social, cultural, economic, and political level.