The Advocates for Human Rights has Special Consultative status with the United Nations, allowing us to bring matters of concern to the attention of the UN human rights mechanisms. Volunteer Veronica Clark presented The Advocates for Human Rights’ statement on racism in the United States at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on March 20, 2017.
Mr. Vice President:
The Advocates for Human Rights is deeply concerned about the rise in hate crimes and incidents of bias targeting racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in the United State. Hate crimes are recognized and prosecuted in the U.S.under federal and state laws. Yet 5,850 criminal incidents and 6,885 related bias offenses were reported in 2015. Fifty-nine percent of victims were targeted because of a race/ethnicity/ancestry bias.
Further, policies and practices at the federal, state, and local levels continue to disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities. Racial and national origin bias pervades the U.S. criminal justice system, including widespread use of racial profiling and stark racial disparities in arrests, convictions, and sentencing.
The Advocates for Human Rights encourages Member States, including the U.S., to take concrete action to:
- Adopt at local, state and national levels comprehensive legislation prohibiting racial profiling;
- Collect and publish statistics about police stops, searches, and abuse, to monitor trends regarding racial profiling and treatment of minorities by law enforcement;
- Establish independent oversight bodies within police agencies, with real authority to conduct impartial investigations of all complaints of human rights violations;
- Provide adequate resources to train law enforcement officials;
- Assess the disproportionate impact of mandatory minimum sentences on racial and ethnic minorities; and
- Create a national commission to examine police tactics nationwide, including the use of excessive force, militarization of local police forces and policing of protests.