Friday, August 29, 2014

U.S. failing to eliminate racial discrimination, says UN

New York, NY, August 29, 2014 – Today, the United Nations CERD Committee released its Concluding Observations, which detail more than twenty areas of unacceptable racial discrimination in the United States. The observations call for the U.S. Government to “prohibit racial discrimination in all its forms in federal and state legislation, including indirect discrimination, covering all fields of law and public life.”

The Concluding Observations follow a two day review - on August 13 and 14 in Geneva - of the U.S.’s compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. At the review, the mother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton, and the father of Jordan Davis, Ron Davis, testified about the racially discriminatory practices and policies that played direct roles in their sons’ deaths. Ron Davis and Sybrina Fulton spoke powerfully of the loss of their sons and the loss of other young people to state violence, including 18 year old Michael Brown.

Despite this testimony, the U.S. Government delegation failed to meaningfully address how it is combating racial discrimination in the U.S. and focused primarily on initiatives that alone have proven to be insufficient. In neither its report nor delegate statements did the U.S. Government indicate a commitment to address racial discrimination in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.

In response to the Committee’s Concluding Observations, Ejim Dike, Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network, a coalition of over 250 human rights and social justice groups around the U.S., stated, “We welcome the recommendations of the UN CERD Committee, including the call for the U.S. Government to adopt a National Plan of Action on Racial Justice. After the death of Michael Brown and the police violence on the streets of Ferguson, it is clearer than ever that the U.S. Government needs to once and for all address the racism that plagues our nation.”

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Contact: Mike Ward, US Human Rights Network, mward@ushrnetwork.org

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