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Urgent Debate: UN Human Rights Council — “Race-based human rights violations, systemic racism, police violence against persons of African descent, and violence against peaceful protests”

17 June 2020 @ 15:00 - 16:00 CEST

Free

THE DEBATE CAN BE VIEWED AT UNTV: webtv.un.org

The UN Human Rights Council will be holding an urgent debate on “race-based human rights violations, systemic racism, police violence against persons of African descent, and violence against peaceful protests.” This unprecedented meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:00pm Geneva time (9:00am New York time).

Last Friday, the African Group (which represents the 54 African countries in the United Nations) submitted a request for an Urgent Debate during this week’s Council session which resumed after it was suspended in March due to COVID-19. While the request for an “Urgent Debate” (which is technically equivalent to a special session) is not specific to the U.S., it is very clear that racism and impunity for police killings of people of African descent in the United States including recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were the impetus for the request.

George Floyd’s tragic murder has sparked what appears to be an unstoppable global movement demanding concrete and bold actions to end racist policing practices and impunity for police violence.

While there is a  recognition that the global nature of racism and police violence, there is now an invitation to encourage governments, especially members of the UN Human Rights Council, to ensure that the Urgent Debate and its outcome, are focused on efforts to hold the United States accountable. The recommendation is the creation of an independent international accountability mechanism to document and investigate extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black men and women, and police violence against protesters and journalists.

We are encouraged to contact foreign embassies in Washington D.C. that are members of the UNHRC (see list here) especially U.S. allies and urge them to support international accountability for police killings in the U.S. This is a call made by families of victims of police killings in the United States and over 660 groups from 66 countries to mandate an independent Commission of Inquiry.

Venue

Virtual

Organizer

UN Human Rights Council