ACLU Statement on United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent

December 5, 2022 10:30 am

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GENEVA — The following statement is from Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, on the first session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent:

“The United Nations is taking a small but welcome step toward addressing and eliminating systemic racism against people of African descent this week. We are encouraged by the United States’ participation in and support for the forum, which provides a unique opportunity for the Biden administration to bolster its human rights record and commit to fully implementing the United States’ racial justice obligations

“Earlier this year, the U.S. was given a blueprint from the U.N Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on how to start confronting structural and systemic racism, and it’s time for U.S. officials to heed these recommendations and take swift action. This includes establishing a federal commission to study and develop reparations for slavery and creating of a national plan of action to fully implement the anti-racism treaty.

“The U.S. must also promote the International Decade for People of African Descent domestically through the allocation of resources to promote the decade at all levels of government and with meaningful consultation with directly impacted Black communities. We cannot allow systemic racism to continue to infect our institutions. With the political will and international accountability, the Biden administration can make a big difference.”

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