GENEVA – Michelle Bachelet pointed out that in many countries, “people of African descent are more likely to live in poverty and face serious obstacles in the exercise of their rights.”
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called on states to adopt a program aimed at eliminating systemic racism. As noted in its report, published on Monday in Geneva, it is necessary to “stop denying racism and start fighting it.”
“I call on States to stop denying racism and start fighting it; end impunity and build trust; listen to the voices of people of African descent; overcome the legacy of the past and ensure reparations,” Bachelet said. She recommended that the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) “create a special mechanism with a certain period of validity or strengthen the existing mechanism to promote racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement in all regions of the world.”
Bachelet prepared her report based on the request of the HRC, set out in the resolution adopted in June 2020. The reason for the adoption of the resolution was the death of an African-American George Floyd in the United States as a result of a chokehold used by police officers during his arrest. In preparing the report, the office headed by Bachelet conducted online surveys of more than 340 people, mainly of African descent, and also studied various materials, including those provided by states.
Bachelet concluded that in many countries, especially in the Americas and Europe, “people of African descent are more likely to live in poverty and face serious obstacles in realizing their rights to education, health, work, adequate housing and access to clean water, and participation in politics.” According to the report, the available data indicate “a systemic, disproportionate and discriminatory impact on people of African descent when they encounter law enforcement agencies and the criminal justice system in some countries.”