UN Rights Office Invokes George Floyd to Address Systemic Racism

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The United Nations Human Rights Council released a report invoking the name of George Floyd while calling on countries to adopt a “transformative agenda” to fight systemic racism.

The report was released two days after former police Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years for Floyd’s murder.

The report found that law enforcement officers were hardly ever held accountable for human rights violations and crimes against people of “African descent” due to “deficient investigations, a lack of independent and robust oversight…and a widespread “presumption of guilt” Black people.

“The status quo is untenable,” UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said. “Systemic racism needs a systemic response. We need a transformative approach that tackles the interconnected areas that drive racism, and lead to repeated, wholly avoidable, tragedies like the death of George Floyd”.

The report also says it’s the same case for Black people who are trying to access justice. The findings link the consequences directly to the western world’s history of slavery.

“We realized that a main part of the problem is that many people believe the misconceptions that the abolition of slavery, the end of the transatlantic trade and colonialism have removed the racially discriminatory structures built by those practices; [but] we found that this is not true,” said UN Human Rights Office’s Mona Rishmawi, Chief, Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch.

The report also accuses countries of not paying adequate attention to the negative impact of policies on minority populations and the “conscious and unconscious bias,” adding that these legacy impacts are “a part of their [African descendants) daily life and the daily reality of dehumanization, marginalization and denial of their rights.”

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