UN Human Rights Chief calls for a stop to racism

The United Nations Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet has called for equality in her recent report regarding racism. By advocating human rights on the behalf people from African descent, she argued states should “stop denying – and start dismantling”. This report was based on findings across 60 countries and concluded discrimination against those of African descent was evident. The report intends to “make amends” and provide reparations for racism. It also urges for the promotion of educational and societal reform. Discussions were held between 300 experts hoping to unify voices and end the escalation of racial violence.

After George Floyd’s death last May and Chauvin’s sentence to 22.5 years of prison on 25 June, the global report wanted to echo the excessive police force in North America, Europe, and Latin America. Bachelet claimed 190 Africans deaths were “rarely held accountable” worldwide, and only 7 of them were considered “emblematic cases”, including Floyd’s case.

As the former President of Chile, Bachelet believes reparations need to be both financial and societal. States would need to show their political will in battling injustices and commit to addressing inequality. US President Joe Biden also participated in this reform and brought in an initiative which promised to meet the specific needs of different racial groups.

Treva Lindsey, a scholar for Ohio’s Black Lives Matter Movement, noted the importance of understanding the “legacy of slavery, colonialism, and other forms of global white supremacy”. However, she noted small steps often bring big results and was encouraged by this direct address to systemic racism.


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Melody Chan

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May 2022
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