Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN calls for immediate dismantling of systemic racism targeting blacks



UN calls for immediate dismantling of systemic racism targeting blacks

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The death of George Floyd triggered protests for racial justice around the world. AFP

UN calls for immediate dismantling of systemic racism targeting blacks

The UN rights chief called on June 28 for systemic racism against black people to be immediately dismantled around the world to avoid repeating outrages like the killing of George Floyd.

In a report triggered by the death of Floyd, who was murdered by a white US police officer, Michelle Bachelet said the dehumanisation of people of African descent had fed a culture of tolerance for racial discrimination and violence.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights set out a four-point agenda for transformative change on racial justice and equality, and urged states to implement it.

Bachelet’s recommendations include reparations for historical racism, as well as funding for groups like Black Lives Matter.

“The status quo is untenable,” said the former Chilean president Bachelet, who presented her 23-page report to the UN Human Rights Council. “Systemic racism needs a systemic response” to dismantle centuries of entrenched discrimination and violence, she said.

The report’s analysis was based on online consultations with more than 340 people, most of them black.

Bachelet’s office received information on more than 250 deaths of Africans and people of African descent in Europe and the Americas, at least 190 of which were at the hands of law enforcement officials.

In many cases, information suggests the victims “did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury”, the report said.

The investigation said that in many countries in Europe and the Americas, people of African descent disproportionately live in poverty and face serious barriers in accessing education, healthcare and employment, as well as political participation and other fundamental human rights.

“The dehumanisation of people of African descent … has sustained and cultivated a tolerance for racial discrimination, inequality and violence,” the report said.

Bachelet’s office looked into more than 60 countries.

The report urges immediate action to end what it described as systemic violations of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights, calling for reversing “cultures of denial” when it comes to racism.

Secondly, it said there must be no impunity for human rights violations by law enforcement officials. Rather than defunding the police, the report focuses on “re-imagining” law enforcement through better training, notably in handling people with mental health issues.

Thirdly, the voices of black people and anti-racism activists must be heard and their concerns acted upon, said the report. This should include ensuring representation at every level in state institutions, including law enforcement, criminal justice and policy-making.

Finally, the legacies of historic racism must be confronted, including through accountability and redress, the report concluded.

“Behind contemporary forms of racism, dehumanisation and exclusion lies the failure to acknowledge the responsibilities for enslavement … and to comprehensively repair the harms,” it said.

This should include making amends for “centuries of violence and discrimination . . . including through formal acknowledgement and apologies, truth-telling processes, and reparations”, it added.

Countries in Europe and the Americas must “dismantle structures and systems designed and shaped by enslavement, colonialism” and discrimination, the report said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group