UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Don't deny racism, eliminate it!
According to a new report by the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), people of African descent quite frequently become the victims of structural racism. Hundreds of years of discrimination and violence in many countries have created structures in which Black people are systematically disadvantaged, according to the report published today which was commissioned by the HRC after the murder of the African-American man George Floyd.
UN experts mapped inequalities in how ethnic groups are being approached and especially investigated whether Black people are being discriminated against just by other individuals or whether they are also experiencing more widespread discrimination during contact with the authorities and police, through laws and regulations, or during employment. Mr Floyd died in May 2020 during an arrest when officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.
Last week Chauvin was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for second-degree murder. "The current state of affairs is unsustainable," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said yesterday.
"I am calling on all countries to stop denying racism and to eliminate it," Bachelet said. In many countries, according to the UN, people of African descent are pushed to the margins of society economically, politically and socially.
In Europe, Latin America and North America above all, according to the report, disproportionately more Black people live in poverty and have difficulty accessing adequate housing, clean water, education, health care and jobs. Stereotypes about Black people are sometimes applied to them from childhood by teachers who distrust children of African descent and guide them in the direction of education that affords them fewer opportunities as adults.
According to the UN report, the contributions and performances of Black people tend to only be mentioned in fields such as dance, music or sports. The report also criticizes former US President Donald Trump for having derogatorily labeled those who participate in antiracist progests as "sick and mentally disturbed anarchists and agitators".
In many countries there are initiatives striving to correct this situation, but there are not enough of them, according to the UN Human Rights Council report. However, the German Government is praised by the report for having recently acknowledged that the atrocities perpetrated by colonial Germany against the Herero and Nama tribes in Namibia were a genocide and planning to officially ask forgiveness for those crimes against humanity.
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