"General Debate Item 9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action"
Statement by: International-Lawyers.org
1 October 2020
Thank You, President.
The voices of protesters and victims of racism still go unheard. Hasn’t it been enough?
People of color receive unequal services, are subject to unfounded employment and housing practices and are routinely racially profiled. As these barriers continue to hinder their development, it leaves them trapped in a generational cycle of poverty and injustice.
In the US, the legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” aims to protect government officials from lawsuits if they acted in good faith and did not clearly violate constitutional rights. However, in recent years this has essentially enabled policy brutality to go unpunished, which disproportionally affects people of color.
No country is immune from racism. The problem is deeply ingrained in our societies and therefore requires addressing root causes for institutional change. Being aware is not enough, proactive steps need to be taken.
We appeal not only to the governments, but to its people; racism, be it conscious or unconscious must end. International Lawyers and Geneva International Centre for Justice call on all UN Member States to take initiatives to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action to end racial inequalities and unite against human rights violations; as well as to educate people on all forms of racial discrimination, in order to stop this horrendous cycle of injustice.