45th Session of the Human Rights Council
October 1, 2020
Item 9: General Debate Following High Commissioner’s Oral Update on Res. 43/1
Joint Statement Submitted by the American Civil Liberties Union
Thank you Madame President,
This is a joint statement.
We welcome the High Commissioner’s first update.
While we were disappointed that the Council adopted a watered-down resolution due to enormous diplomatic pressure from the United States and other allied countries, we consider the outcome of the urgent debate a crucial first step towards full accountability for systemic police violence against Black people in the United States and more generally against people of African descent around the world. We make the following recommendations to ensure effective implementation of the resolution and a transparent, inclusive process for producing the report
First, report should center the lived experiences of people of African descent and be informed primarily by individuals and communities directly impacted by structural racism and police violence.
Second, report must examine and highlight individual cases of extrajudicial killings of people of African descent and entrenched impunity for police violence rooted in structural racism.
Third, report should thoroughly examine the history of racist policing in the United States and other countries in order to make recommendations for a concrete path forward regarding the Council’s role to ensure effective accountability and follow-up.
Fourth, sufficient resources must be allocated to ensure that the report comprehensively and thoroughly examines structural racism and police violence.
Fifth, the report must be based on regional hearings and consultations, potentially facilitated by OHCHR’s regional and field offices, that will provide adequate and meaningful opportunities for a wide range of voices and experiences to be presented. Holding public hearings will increase the transparency and legitimacy of the process and outcome. It will also create opportunities to educate the public on racial justice and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement at this historic juncture.
I thank you.