Friday, September 29, 2023

Event 10/5: Human Rights Approaches to Reimagining Policing and Community Safety in the United States

On October 5, 2023, from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EDT, join the ACLU and UNARC for a webinar discussion with the Human Rights Council on two reports written by the UN Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement (EMLER). The first report focuses on reimagining policing, and the second report focuses on EMLER’s country visit to the United States this past May. The Council will discuss the relevant of these reports to the ongoing vital debate regarding the role of law enforcement in American society and the need for transformative change and the reimagination of community safety.

EMLER Side Event Flyer Final
The panelists will be Yasmin Cader, Kerry Mclean, Dr. Tracie L. Keesee, Prof. Juan E. Méndez, a U.S. government representative (TBA), and a family member of a victim of police violence (TBA). The moderator will be Salimah Hankins.

The event is free and will be held on Zoom. Click here to register.

September 29, 2023 in Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 28, 2023

New Report: UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement Releases Report after U.S. Visit

The UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement released its report on the United States on September 28, 2023, following the Mechanism’s official country visit to the United States earlier this year. During that visit, the Mechanism heard testimonies from 133 affected individuals, visited five detention centers and held meetings with civil society groups and a range of government and police authorities in the District of Columbia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City. 

The report found that racism in the US - a legacy of slavery, the slave trade, and one hundred years of legalized apartheid that followed slavery’s abolition – continues to exist today in the form of racial profiling, police killings, and many other human rights violations.

According to the report, Black people in America are three times more likely to be killed by police than whites, and 4.5 times more likely to be incarcerated. It also said that of the more than 1,000 cases of killings by police each year, only 1% result in officers being charged. If use of force regulations in the US are not reformed in accordance with international standards, many of these killings will continue, the report warned. The report calls on police agencies to address the issues of systemic racism against Black law enforcement officers and issues of white supremacy ideology inside these agencies.

The report cited with profound concern instances of children of African descent being sentenced to life imprisonment, pregnant women in prison being chained during childbirth, and persons held in solitary confinement for 10 years. It also described how some people of African descent have been prevented from voting years after completing their sentences and how some are subjected to forced labor in “plantation-style” prisons, which constitutes a contemporary form slavery.

The report made 30 recommendations to the US and all its jurisdictions, including the more than 18,000 police agencies in the country. It also highlighted local and federal good practices and recognised efforts the current administration and some local governments are doing to combat the issue.

The full report can be found here

September 28, 2023 in Race, United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Event 10/23: Webinar on Climate Change Impact on Children: Cases and Challenge

On October 23, 2023, from 1:00-2:15PM EDT, join the American Bar Association’s International Law Section for a webinar highlighting the effects of climate change on children. Although the bulk of climate lawsuits have been filed in the U.S., most have been thrown out of court bogged down in procedural arguments. This year however, Held v. Montana, the only constitutional climate litigation in the U.S. to go on trial, brought on behalf of children between the ages of five and 21, was heard in state judicial district court in the capital Helena in June 2023. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on August 14 in this landmark decision and decided that the Montana Environmental Policy Act was unconstitutional, and that Montana has a constitutional right to a healthful environment includes climate. The distinguished panelists will be Elizabeth Barad, Julia A. Olson, Mathew W. Dos Santos, and Nathan Bellinger.

The webinar is free for both members and non-members of the ABA. CLE is not available for this event. Click here to register.  

September 26, 2023 in Children, Environment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 22, 2023

October – November 2023 Deadlines: Calls for Input by Human Rights Mechanisms

The following calls for inputs have been issued by UN Human Rights Mechanisms with deadlines in October – November 2023 and law professors whose practice, research, and/or scholarship touches on these topics may be interested in submission:

Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment – Call for inputs to inform the Special Rapporteur’s report on the procedural or participatory elements of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, including access to information, public participation and access to justice with effective remedies. Deadline October 2, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children – Call for inputs to inform the report of the Special Rapporteur on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the entertainment industry. Deadline October 4, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights – Call for inputs on the Special Rapporteurs’ report on decriminalization of homelessness and extreme poverty. Deadline October 6, 2023. Read more.

High Commissioner of Human Rights – Call for inputs to inform the High Commissioner’s report on conscientious objection to military service. Deadline October 6, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance – Call for inputs to inform the visit of the Special Rapporteur to the United States. Deadline October 9, 2023. Read more.

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief – Call for inputs to inform the Special Rapporteur’s report on advocacy of hatred based on religion or belief. Deadline October 29, 2023. Read more.

High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs on the negative impact of the non-repatriation of funds of illicit origin to countries of origin on the enjoyment of human rights, and the importance of improving international cooperation. Deadline November 1, 2023. Read more.

High Commissioner for Human Rights – Call for inputs for analytical study on key challenges in ensuring access to medicines, vaccines and other health products. Deadline November 30, 2023. Read more.

This information was compiled from

September 22, 2023 in United Nations | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 15, 2023

New Report: Climate Reparations and Racial Justice from UCLA School of Law’s Promise Institute for Human Rights

Back in March 2023, the UCLA Promise Institute brought together a working group of experts from the United Nations (UN), the Inter-American system, and regional social movements to discuss the disproportionate impacts of the global climate crisis on racially marginalized peoples in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean—particularly people of African and Indigenous descent—in a convening called “Setting Institutional Priorities on Climate Reparations and Racial Justice: Learning from Social Movements” (Convening). Since then, the students of UCLA’s International Human Rights Clinic have been compiling the takeaways from the Convening, and on September 12, 2023, they published their final report.

The Report traces the themes of each session at the Convening. Section 1 provides an overview of perspectives on climate justice and reparations from movement leaders from the Global South and marginalized communities around the world. Section 2 briefly outlines the public international law basis to provide reparations and how scholars are advancing thinking around climate reparations, in particular. Further, this section explores how public international law constrains historical responsibility by adopting principles, procedures and remedies that ignore the experiences of marginalized people while also actively reproducing unequal relations. Section 3 provides an overview of current discussions around “loss and damage” within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and other international frameworks. It outlines how the framing of climate change within international fora tends to exclude the historical responsibility that should be borne by some states and transnational corporations. Finally, the Conclusion highlights some of the central themes and key takeaways that arose from the working group of experts and identifies topics for future research.

The report is available here.

September 15, 2023 in Environment, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)