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.