Thursday, November 16, 2023
The UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Ashwini K.P, has issued her official statement following her two-week visit to the United States this past month. She visited Washington D.C., Detroit, MI, Flint, MI, Los Angeles CA, Baton Rouge, LA, and Atlanta, GA, where she met with federal and state authorities, individuals from racial and ethnic groups, civil society organizations, service providers, academics, and other stakeholders to get a full picture of the state of racism in the United States.
In her press conference on November 14, 2023, Ashwini implored the U.S. government to “increase its efforts to address enduring systemic racism,” and expressed shock at how deeply the system of racism runs in every state she visited, and how these systems continue to reinforce themselves. She cited testimonies she received from members of racially marginalized groups, which detailed voter disenfranchisement, homelessness, environmental racism, racially discriminatory food systems, inequitable healthcare and health outcomes and discriminatory migration governance systems. Ashwani warned that the U.S. needs to increase and improve its anti-racism efforts, and further address white supremacy, underlying power imbalances, and historical drivers of racism and racial discrimination.
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
On Friday, November 17, please join the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the Gibson-Banks Center for Race and the Law for a conference and book launch for Race and National Security, in which leading experts challenge conventional interpretations of national security by illuminating the underpinning of White supremacy in our social consciousness.
Race and National Security centers the experience of those who have long been on the receiving end of racialized state violence. It finds that re-envisioning national security requires more than just reducing the size and scope of the security state. Race and National Security invites us to radically reimagine a world where the security state does not keep Black, Brown, and other marginalized peoples subordinated through threats of and actual incarceration, violence, torture, and death. Speakers will challenge national security orthodoxy and disrupts accepted truths. This conversation will bring together in one conference domestic, transnational, and comparative and international law perspectives on racial justice and national security.
The conference will be in-person only for the most part, with one panel to be broadcast virtually as well. This panel will be on the topic of Race & its Effects on National and Transnational Security and will take place from 11:30 A.M to 1:00 P.M ET. The panelists will be Chaz Arnett, E. Tendayi Achiume, Monica C. Bell, Khaled A Beydoun, Maryam Jamshidi, Catherine Powell, and Aziz Rana.
Registration is free. The organizers kindly request all RSVPs by November 14. Register for the event here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tuesday, June 20, 2023
Jeremiah Ho, Colonizing Queerness, University of Colorado Law Review (forthcoming 2023). Abstract below.
This Article investigates how and why the cultural script of inequality persists for queer identities despite major legal advancements such as marriage, anti-discrimination, and employment protections. By regarding LGBTQ legal advancements as part of the American settler colonial project, I conclude that such victories are not liberatory or empowering but are attempts at colonizing queer identities. American settler colonialism’s structural promotion of a normative sexuality illustrates how our settler colonialist legacy is not just a race project (as settler colonialism is most widely studied) but also a race-gender-sexuality project. Even in apparent strokes of progress, American settler colonialism’s eliminationist motives continually privilege white heteropatriarchal structures that dominate over non-normative sexualities.
Through covert demands upon queer identities to assimilate with the status quo, such settler colonialist motivations are visible in the way Supreme Court gay rights advancements have facilitated a conditional but normative path to mainstream citizenship for queer identities. By employing concepts from critical race theory, queer studies, and settler colonial theory, this Article illuminates on how the Court’s cases are indeed part of American settler colonialism’s sexuality project and answers why such legal advancements always appear monumental, but ultimately remain in the control of a discriminatory status quo. Only if queer legal advancements are accompanied by essential shifts from the normative structures of white settler heteropatriarchy will such victories live up to their liberatory claims. Otherwise, such apparent progress will continually attempt to marginalize—indeed, colonize—queerness.
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Event 6/1: Congressional Black Caucus Institute, ACLU and SPLC side event during the 2nd session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent
On Thursday June 1, 2023, at 6:15pm ET, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center are jointly hosting a side event during the 2nd session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent. The U.S. has long promoted human rights abroad, but largely fails to incorporate its own international human rights commitments into domestic law or policy. This side event will explore why and how NHRIs are essential to fulfillment of human rights of people of African Descent, obstacles caused by the lack of a U.S. NHRI, and best options for the U.S. to move toward joining its allies and UN member peers in creating an NHRI.
To join this side event via zoom, register at https://splcenter-org.zoom.us/j/6105889743.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
By: Gabrielle Thomas1 and Denisse Córdova Montes
In 1808, the U.S. abolished the transatlantic slave trade, but today, the semiotics of the slave ship continues through forced movements and separations of migrants and refugees. Slave codes sustained through immigration laws and policies of both political parties endlessly reignite the generational trauma of forced removal. At a thematic hearing at the 186th Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR), the Human Rights Clinic at University of Miami School of Law (HRC), alongside Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), RFK Human Rights (RFK), and University of Pennsylvania Transnational Legal Clinic (UPenn TLC), provided testimony of systemic racism committed by ICE officials against Haitian immigrants. At the hearing, we argued that the U.S. government’s treatment of Black migrants is discriminatory and in violation of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The U.S. government responded with an evasive claim of racially equitable practices within their immigration system.
Black Immigrants Face a Double Jeopardy of Being Both Black and Immigrants
The U.S. government’s lack of transparency about its racist practices, despite public and frequent documentation of the disproportionate negative treatment of Black immigrants, remains of the upmost concern. Black immigrants face a double jeopardy of being both Black and immigrant. They are stopped, questioned, arrested, and deported at disproportionate and higher rates. Black persons, more generally, are five times more likely to be stopped without cause than a white person. The racism of the militarized criminal justice system spills over into their immigration system creating a prison-to-deportation pipeline. In our hearing with the IACHR, Daniel Tse of HBA and RFK highlighted that, “though [Black migrants] are less than 6% of the undocumented population, they make up more than 20% of the immigrant population facing detention and deportation on criminal grounds.” Furthermore, “76% of [Black migrants] are deported because of contact with the police and the criminal legal system.”
Haitian Immigrants Face Heightened Discrimination in the Immigration System and are Deported to Conditions Tantamount to Torture
Haitian migrants, in particular, face heightened police harassment, heightened state monitoring, heightened unjust immigration enforcement, and harsher prosecution. Once arrested and put into ICE custody, Haitian migrants must pay higher bonds for release than other migrants in detention. These migrants also serve longer sentences in ICE custody and face a heightened risk of deportation. For black migrants, speaking out results in retaliatory violence from ICE officers and retaliatory transfers to distant facilities and unfamiliar lands.
Recently, our clinic documented conditions tantamount to torture in Haitian prisons, where recently deported individuals were detained upon arrival in Haiti. Once deported to Haiti, migrants were detained indefinitely, inflicted with severe pain and suffering, and faced heightened persecution, extortion, and harassment for being and sounding “American”. Many of these Haitians know no other home than America where their family reside. James – a man previously deported to Haiti – faced crippling discrimination as a “deep” – slang for deported individual – and encountered violations of his rights to work, health, family, food, and security while encountering gang kidnapping and brutality. Despite the horrors James faced, when questioned about the conditions he endured after deportation, James expressed his need to simply see his children. Before the U.S. deported James, he provided for his two daughters and remained a devoted father. He stressed that one of his daughters turns sixteen this year, but “they took [my] kids away,” and he is down in Haiti struggling
The U.S. Has a Long History of Anti-Black U.S. Immigration Policies
Forced movement and separation of Black migrants did not start with Trump era politics nor did they cease with the emancipation proclamation. The practice of ruthlessly ejecting Black persons from the U.S. started before the Civil War. Since the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1807, the U.S. has implemented anti-black immigration policies to prevent the unfavorable freed Black persons from coming into this country. The liberation of Haitians from French occupation nearly two thousand miles away, fueled Thomas Jefferson to pass a bill in 1803, prohibiting any “Negro and mulatto” migrants. During this total ban on Black migrants in the country, in the 1857 Dred Scott Dred Scott v. Sanford case, Mr. Scott and Mrs. Scott argued that after their perilous journey from chattel slavery to safety, they have a right to stay free and citizens. This 11-year struggle reaffirmed 1803 race-based restrictions on migration ending with the Supreme Court ruling that Mr. and Mrs. Scott, were not citizens and as, “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves, whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore did not have standing to sue in federal court.”
Forced Movement and Separation of Black Families Should Come to an End
The widespread emancipation of Black peoples throughout the Americas in the late nineteenth century further ignited racist and xenophobic sentiments. The Calvin Coolidge Administration implemented the Immigration Act of 1924 which turned away Black migrants with a nationality-based quota system that favored European countries. The U.S. executive branch continued to implement excessive anti-Black immigration policies under the Carter, Reagan, H.W. Bush, and Clinton administrations.
Today, the disproportionate treatment of Haitian migrants continues. Like the Immigration Act of 1924 with nationality-based quota system that preferred European countries, the Biden administration expelled nearly 20,000 Haitians the same year he extended protections to as many as 180,000 Ukrainian migrants. In 2021, confirming that U.S. border policies still operate to create a racial double-standard, the U.S. government decided to exempt Ukrainians from the Title 42 Policy that led to Homeland Security riding on horses into crowds of Haitian refugees with whips on December 6, 2021 exhibiting modern-day “Slave Patrol”.
The afterlife of the slave ship lives in policies that dehumanize Black migrants by disproportionately persecuting them and knowingly sending them to their torture and death. Newly obtained documents revealed that high-ranking ICE officials directly involved in the mass deportation of Black migrants felt disdain for Africa, disregard for Black migrants, and hostility towards immigrant rights activists. Who gets to be human in crisis? All migrants have a right to be treated with dignity. The disproportionate treatment of Black migrants and Haitians must come to an end and the U.S. should stop deportations to Haiti.
1Gabrielle Thomas is a rising 3L student at the University of Miami School of Law. She served as a Human Rights Clinic law intern as a 2L.
Monday, May 8, 2023
UN Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice in the Context of Law Enforcement ends visit to U.S.
The UN Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement ended a 12-day visit to the United States of America on May 5, 2023, calling on the U.S. Government to boost efforts to promote accountability for past and future violations.
During the visit (April 24 to May 5, 2023), the Mechanism visited Washington DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City and met with representatives of civil society and victims, as well as federal, State and local officials including from law enforcement, city administrations, judicial actors, police unions and affinity groups.
In it's press release dated May 5, 2023, the Mechanism stated that it was
pleased to learn about various promising initiatives, including at the State level, that authorities have developed to combat racial discrimination affecting people of African descent. However, the Mechanism feels an urgency, and a moral responsibility, to echo the harrowing pain of victims and their resounding calls for accountability and support, which it heard throughout its journey.
"We saw some promising initiatives centering the voices of victims and survivors, as well as law enforcement initiatives that could be replicated throughout the United States. We welcome the reparatory measures taken so far, including executive orders signed in 2021 and 2022, as well as individual reparation initiatives by way of civilian settlement for damages,” said Tracie Keesee, an expert member of the Mechanism. “But we strongly believe that more robust action, including on part of federal authorities, is needed to result in strong accountability measures for past and future violations.”
“This includes boosting oversight mechanisms with compelling power; the allocation of appropriate resources; and the provision of robust and holistic reparation, support and rehabilitation to victims, including access to justice and health, including mental health services,” Keesee said.
The Mechanism has shared its preliminary findings with the government and will draft a full report to be published in the coming months and presented to the Human Rights Council at its 54th session (September-October 2023).
Sunday, April 2, 2023
On April 6, 2023, at 12:00pm EST, join the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) for a webinar on race and international law.
International law has historically perpetuated racist practices by providing the legal architecture for slavery and the slave trade; colonialism; the theft of art or other objects; the relegation of many people of color to the economic, cultural, and social periphery; and in other ways. Many of these structures have formally been abolished and much progress has been made. But the legacy of racism in international law continues. This legacy might, for example, be seen in the marginalization of Africa in the international legal system, the relative lack of attention to race in international human rights and economic law discourses, and in the frames for addressing climate change. In this webinar, panelists will discuss race and international law in a historical and contemporary perspective, while looking forward to consider the changes that might be made. They will focus, among other topics, the representation of historically disenfranchised groups in international law and the prospects for reparations for past and ongoing harms.
The distinguished panelists will be Antony Anghie of the University of Utah College of Law, Aslı Ü. Bâli of Yale Law School, and Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò of Georgetown University’s African Studies Program. The program will be moderated by Monica Hakimi, AJIL Co-Editor-in-Chief, of Columbia Law School.
Register for the program here.
Friday, March 10, 2023
On Thursday March 16, 2023, from 3:00 – 4:30 PM EST, Cornell Law School, Global Strategic Litigation Council for Refugee Rights, and the Refugee Solidarity Network, will present a virtual panel on Decolonizing Refugee law. Register here.
The legal protection of the rights of refugees and other migrants is inscribed within imperial and colonial legacies. This virtual event will consider decolonial practices and the protection of refugees with a focus on positive practices for refugee protection in South and Southeast Asia. Speakers will reflect on the challenges and opportunities for realizing human rights posed by colonial-era laws and legal work in countries which are neither parties to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees nor its 1967 Protocol. The event will open with framing remarks by Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, reflecting on these themes as well as decolonization itself as a frame for critique. The event will then proceed as a discussion of examples of legal advocacy work promoting refugee rights under contemporary applications of colonial-era laws, such as the Foreigners Act (1946) in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and open to a broader discussion of practical strategies for litigation and other legal advocacy in the context of such legacy legal frameworks.
- Tendayi Achiume, Alice Miñana Professsor of Law, UCLA Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
- Roshni Shanker, Executive Director, Migration & Asylum Project
- Umer Gilani, Advocate and Partner, The Law and Policy Chambers
- Zaid Hydari (co-facilitator), Executive Director, Refugee Solidarity Network
- Ian M. Kysel (co-facilitator), Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
Please note: additional speakers may be confirmed in due course.
Monday, February 13, 2023
UN experts call for new approaches to policing in the United States following deaths of Keenan Anderson and Tyre Nichols
On Friday, February 10, 2023, experts from the United Nations expressed grave concern over the January 3, 2023, death of Keenan Anderson at the hands of the Los Angeles Police Department and the death of Tyre Nichols on January 10, 2023, three days after he was beaten by police in Memphis, Tennessee.
“The brutal deaths of Keenan Anderson and Tyre Nichols are more reminders of the urgency to act,” said Yvonne Mokgoro, Chairperson of the UN International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the context of Law Enforcement.
The experts have sought detailed information on both the Anderson and Nichols incidents from the Government of the United States, on the ongoing investigations and regulations applicable to the use of less-lethal weapons vis-à-vis applicable human rights standards.
In both cases, the experts stressed that the force used appears to have violated international norms protecting the right to life and prohibiting torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. It is also not in line with standards set out under the United Nations Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
A full press statement regarding the Committee’s findings can be found here.
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
New Article:The End of California’s Anti-Asian Alien Land Law: A Case Study in Reparations and Transitional Justice
Gabriel “Jack” Chin and Anna Ratner, The End of California’s Anti-Asian Alien Land Law: A Case Study in Reparations and Transitional Justice, 20 Asian American Law Journal 17 (2022). Abstract below.
For nearly a century, California law embodied a rabid anti-Asian policy, which included school segregation, discriminatory law enforcement, a prohibition on marriage with Whites, denial of voting rights, and imposition of many other hardships. The Alien Land Law was a California innovation, copied in over a dozen other states. The Alien Land Law, targeting Japanese but applying to Chinese, Koreans, South Asians, and others, denied the right to own land to noncitizens who were racially ineligible to naturalize, that is, who were not White or Black. After World War II, California’s policy abruptly reversed. Years before Brown v. Board of Education, California courts became leaders in ending Jim Crow. In 1951, the California legislature voluntarily voted to pay reparations to people whose land had been escheated under the Alien Land Law. This article describes the enactment and effect of the reparations laws. It also describes the surprisingly benevolent treatment by courts of lawsuits undoing the secret trusts and other arrangements for land ownership intended to evade the Alien Land Law. But ultimately, the Alien Land Law precedent may be melancholy. California has not paid reparations to other groups who also have conclusive claims of mistreatment. Reparations in part were driven by geopolitical concerns arising from the Cold War and the hot war in Korea. In addition, anti-Asian immigration policy had succeeded in halting Japanese and other Asian immigration to the United States. Accordingly, one explanation for this remarkable act was that there was room for generosity to a handful of landowners with no concern that the overall racial arrangement might be compromised.
Thursday, February 2, 2023
On February 23, 2023, from 11:00AM to 12:30PM EST, join the American Society of International Law for a webinar panel which will address three main topics: 1) reparations for the injustice against enslaved Africans and their generations; 2) reparations for Africans traumatized by the effects of slavery; and 3) the process of healing between Africans affected by slavery around the globe. The distinguished panelists will be Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Mario Nisbett, Crystena Parker-Shandal, and Carl Patrick Burrowes. The moderator will be Matiangai Sirleaf.
The webinar is free and open to all, but participants must have an ASIL account in order to register. The link to do so can be found here.
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Historic biases against women and people of color have repeatedly been shown to contribute to long-term economic instability. Despite laws such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act’s broad retroactive remedies, pay inequality persists in American society. Significantly, our federal framework fails to fully address employees’ limited access to pay information and their limited ability to negotiate. This is troublesome considering that, to prove discrimination, the laws also place the onus of information-gathering and negotiation on employees, who typically lack the means to avoid under-compensation resulting from historical discrimination.
Usually, those subject to pay discrimination are unaware they are being paid unfairly or fear backlash. As a result, salary negotiations are statistically unfavorable to women and, in particular, people of color: for example, Black and Hispanic women in the U.S. are estimated to achieve parity with white men’s salaries only by 2133 and 2220 (respectively). Recognizing the difficulty in accessing information that shows pay discrimination, pay secrecy among employers is a common denominator in the persistence of the wage gap. Since 2016, as many as a dozen states and localities have either established pay transparency laws, with recent legislation in New York, California, Washington, Colorado, and Connecticut that demand responsibility from employers.
California’s pay transparency law, effective January 1, 2023, now requires employers to include salary ranges in all job advertisements. Additionally, large employers must now submit annual pay data reports disclosing the median and mean hourly rates within each listing by race, ethnicity, and sex. It further provides a private right of action for individuals who file a complaint within a year of learning of employer violations. These provisions make California’s one of the most demanding and progressive pay transparency laws to date.
Similarly, since November 1, 2022, New York City’s pay transparency law requires employers to disclose salary minimums and maximums for all job advertisements based on a “good faith” belief of what they would pay a successful applicant. The New York State legislature recently passed similar legislation, signed in December, and taking effect later this year.
A common motivation among jurisdictions passing such legislation is to make discrimination more identifiable for employees and employers. If given upfront access to comparative salary data as a reference, employees may identify instances of pay discrimination earlier in the hiring process. Moreover, these laws push employers to actively evaluate the validity of their pay practices, as they stand to lose out on talent if their payscales are incongruous with market-rate salaries for similar positions.
Concurrently, the European Union reached a similar conclusion as it, too, struggles to enforce equal pay laws, with a persistent gender wage gap of about 13% (compared to about 17% in the U.S.). In a 2020 report, the European Commission found a significant issue hindering access to justice is “the establishment of a prima facie case of pay discrimination,” with lack of pay transparency as the main obstacle to addressing gender inequality. In response, the Commission issued an equal pay directive in 2021 focused on increasing access to justice and pay transparency for employees. On December 15, 2022, the European Parliament and the Council on the Directive reached agreement on implementing rules.
In practice, the benefits of transparency are readily observed. In unionized workplaces, where pay transparency practices are the most common, the wage gap is significantly smaller than in nonunionized workplaces. Studies have shown that union representation reduces women’s wage gap by “nearly 40% compared to the wage gap experienced by non-union women.” This benefit is attributable to the “transparency and equality provided in union contracts,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. Such benefits had been observed in Europe, where EU member states that implemented pay transparency laws found that workforce participation and retention improved, and women’s career progression strengthened.
In a notable fashion, pay transparency laws have begun cropping up in states across the U.S. Although non-compliance concerns have invariably arisen since the pay transparency laws have gone into effect, many believe these laws will be the most effective in dispersing the fog of confidentiality that enshrouds wage discrimination.
Thursday, January 26, 2023
New Article: Commission on Recognition and Reconstruction for the United States: Inspirational or Illusory?
Penelope Andrews, A Commission on Recognition and Reconstruction for the United States: Inspirational or Illusory?, 66 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev 359 (2022). Abstract below.
In this article I suggest that President Joe Biden issue an executive order to establish a Commission on Recognition and Reconstruction (CRR) to comprehensively confront the ongoing challenges to racial justice. I envisage the CRR as an adjunct to, and not a replacement for, the several measures currently being undertaken in law and policy to address these challenges. I imagine the CRR providing a national focus on the many ways that public and private institutions have responded to this current moment of racial distress, while also highlighting the obstacles and omissions toward the attainment of racial justice. The proposed CRR would then establish goals to be measurable in the short-, medium-, and long-term.
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Johanna Bond, Foreword: Centering Intersectionality in Human Rights Discourse, 79 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 953 (2022). Abstract below.
In the last decade, intersectionality theory has gained traction as a lens through which to analyze international human rights issues. Intersectionality theory is the notion that multiple systems of oppression intersect in peoples’ lives and are mutually constitutive, meaning that when, for example, race and gender intersect, the experience of discrimination goes beyond the formulaic addition of race discrimination and gender discrimination to produce a unique, intersectional experience of discrimination. The understanding that intersecting systems of oppression affect different groups differently is central to intersectionality theory. As such, the theory invites us to think about inter-group differences (i.e., differences between women and men) and intra-group differences (i.e., differences in the experiences of discrimination and rights violations between white women and women of color).
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Event 1/27: Temple's Inaugural Professor Henry J. Richardson III Lecture on Racial Justice by Gay McDougall
On January 27, 2023, from 3:00PM to 6:00PM EST, join Temple University Beasley School of Law’s Institute for International Law and Public Policy, the Blacks of the American Society of International Law, the Temple Law School Black Law Students’ Association, the Temple Law International Law Society, and the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal for the Inaugural Professor Henry J. Richardson III Lecture, presented in honor of the life work of Professor Henry J. Richardson III, who has for decades pursued racial justice in international law in his scholarship, teaching, and mentorship.
The speaker will be Professor Gay McDougall, a globally acclaimed expert on international human rights law who currently serves as an independent expert on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In December 2022, Professor McDougall was the first recipient of the AALS International Human Rights Section's Nelson Mandela Award.
The event will feature brief opening remarks, including remarks by Professor Richardson, a lecture by Professor McDougall followed by a question-and-answer session, and a reception. This event will take place in person at Temple’s Shusterman Hall as well as over Zoom.
The link to register for this free event can be found here.
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
On December 6, 2022, from 12-1pm ET, please join Northeastern University School of Law, the Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers’ Network and Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) for an event featuring speaker Professor Tendayi Achiume. Professor Achiume will reflect on her time a U.N. Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. This event will be sure to provide a lot of insights for U.S. advocates on working with Special Rapporteurs.
Register for the virtual event here.
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Event 11/10: University of Miami Symposium on Food, Housing, and Racial Justice in the United States.
On November 10, 2022, the Human Rights Clinic and Program at the University of Miami School of Law, in collaboration with the Human Rights Society at the University of Miami School of Law, the National Right to Food Community of Practice, West Virginia University Center for Resilient Communities, and WhyHunger, present a Symposium on Food, Housing, and Racial Justice in the United States.
Deep reflection, innovative thinking, and joint strategizing with regards to hunger and food equity that put the needs and interests of communities of color at the center is urgent. The event will focus on human rights and racialized approaches to addressing hunger and related economic and social rights violations.
Drawing on efforts from Miami to cities and states around the U.S., the event will discuss:
- Food insecurity
- Food system governance
- Access to land and housing
- Role of local, state, and federal governments
- Implementation of United Nations’ recommendations
This event will take place in person and will be available virtually from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST, at the University of Miami School of Law. To register, visit here.