UN body faults ‘piecemeal’ work to end racial discrimination

GENEVA (AP) — Recent initiatives in places like the Americas and Europe to end discrimination against people of African descent are mostly “piecemeal” and more efforts are needed to dismantle entrenched racism, the U.N. human rights office said Friday as it released a new report.

The report, prepared in August and published Friday, detailed government efforts to end racism.

It focused on seven cases of police-related deaths of people of African descent, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the United States; Adama Traore in France; Luana Barbosa dos Reis Santos and Joao Pedro Matos Pinto in Brazil; Kevin Clarke in Britain; and Janner García Palomino in Colombia.

The rights office decried continued patterns of discrimination, illegal deportations and excessive use of force against African migrants and migrants of African descent. It also said Blacks around the world were disproportionately impacted by the death penalty.

Acting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada al-Nashif said countries must show more political will to fight such racial discrimination.

“There have been some initiatives in different countries to address racism, but for the most part they are piecemeal,” al-Nashif said in a statement.

“They fall short of the comprehensive evidence-based approaches needed to dismantle the entrenched structural, institutional and societal racism that has existed for centuries, and continues to inflict deep harm today,” she said.

She called on countries to “redouble efforts to ensure accountability and redress wherever deaths of Africans and people of African descent have occurred in the context of law enforcement, and take measures to confront legacies that perpetuate and sustain systemic racism.”

Al-Nashif is expected to present the report to the Human Rights Council, the U.N.’s main human rights body, on Monday.

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