Nations should “start dismantling racism”, set up reparations programmes and prosecute law enforcement officials for unlawful killings of people of African descent, the U.N. human rights chief said on Monday.
Structural racism creates barriers to minorities’ access to jobs, healthcare, housing, education and justice, she said. “I am calling on all states to stop denying, and start dismantling, racism; to end impunity and build trust; to listen to the voices of people of African descent; and to confront past legacies and deliver redress,” Bachelet said. Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) welcomed the recommendations.
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“This historic report provides a blueprint for the United States and other countries to begin reckoning with the long history of systemic racism that permeates through policing and other state violence and structural discrimination against Black people,” he said. The report stated that at least 190 people of African descent have died worldwide at the hands of law enforcement officials in the past decade – most of them in the United States.
“With the exception of the case of George Floyd, no one was held accountable,” Mona Rishmawi, head of the rule of law branch who led the report, told a news conference. It selected seven “emblematic cases”, including that of Floyd. A judge sentenced former police officer Derek Chauvin on Friday to 22-1/2 years for his murder, video of which galvanized the national Black Lives Matter protest movement.