ourstory- UN Antiracism Coalition

PUSHING FOR CHANGE AT THE UN

Having worked together in 2020 to secure the historic urgent debate, ISHR, together with HRCnet (international coalition focused on the HRC) and in close consultation with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), organized strategy sessions for human rights defenders (some of whom were a part of the advocacy in June 2020 letter). Particularly, advocates met to push for the creation of a new mechanism with a sole focus of addressing systemic racism and police violence, and more importantly, to look at root causes such as colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade. 

HOW THE COALITION WAS CREATED

In June 2020, after the devastating murder of George Floyd and as people were spilling out into the streets in protest around the world, a group of organizations drafted a letter to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) requesting emergency action (a special session). The letter was signed by 690 organizations globally within 48 hours and it was endorsed by the family members of George Floyd and other victims’ families. Instead, the HRC held an urgent debate where countries from around the world weighed in. 

However, due to enormous diplomatic pressure from the Trump administration in the U.S. and other allied countries, the HRC did not establish the independent international commission of inquiry on the United States. The HRC did, however, instruct the UN High Commissioner to prepare a report on systemic racism and human rights violations against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement globally, including in the United States.

 

ourstory- UN Antiracism Coalition

A COALITION EMERGES

From the strategy sessions, The UN Antiracism Coalition was established. The coalition was a key player in strategizing behind the scenes and pushing for the passage of HRC Resolution 47/21 the “George Floyd Resolution.” This resolution created the new UN mechanism called EMLER as well as key issues the resolution addressed. The wide and sustained civil society mobilization, led by families of victims of police violence, has resulted in setting a critical precedent at the Council: centering impacted communities, in particular victims of violations and their families.

The coalition then expanded and began focusing its efforts on making sure that EMLER is highly effective and that its approach centers families of victims and impacted communities.” 

ourstory- UN Antiracism Coalition

PUSHING FOR CHANGE AT THE UN

Having worked together in 2020 to secure the historic urgent debate, ISHR, together with HRCnet (international coalition focused on the HRC) and in close consultation with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), organized strategy sessions for human rights defenders (some of whom were a part of the advocacy in June 2020 letter). Particularly, advocates met to push for the creation of a new mechanism with a sole focus of addressing systemic racism and police violence, and more importantly, to look at root causes such as colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade. 

HOW THE COALITION WAS CREATED

In June 2020, after the devastating murder of George Floyd and as people were spilling out into the streets in protest around the world, a group of organizations drafted a letter to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) requesting emergency action (a special session). The letter was signed by 690 organizations globally within 48 hours and it was endorsed by the family members of George Floyd and other victims’ families. Instead, the HRC held an urgent debate where countries from around the world weighed in. 

However, due to enormous diplomatic pressure from the Trump administration in the U.S. and other allied countries, the HRC did not establish the independent international commission of inquiry on the United States. The HRC did, however, instruct the UN High Commissioner to prepare a report on systemic racism and human rights violations against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement globally, including in the United States.

 

ourstory- UN Antiracism Coalition

A COALITION EMERGES

From the strategy sessions, The UN Antiracism Coalition was established. The coalition was a key player in strategizing behind the scenes and pushing for the passage of HRC Resolution 47/21 the “George Floyd Resolution.” This resolution created the new UN mechanism called EMLER as well as key issues the resolution addressed. The wide and sustained civil society mobilization, led by families of victims of police violence, has resulted in setting a critical precedent at the Council: centering impacted communities, in particular victims of violations and their families.

The coalition then expanded and began focusing its efforts on making sure that EMLER is highly effective and that its approach centers families of victims and impacted communities.” 

Timeline of Advocacy

The coalition prioritizes the lived experiences of people of African descent, centering the experiences of the Black communities and their demands for justice, equality and reparations.

The beginning

George Floyd

George Floyd is murdered by Minneapolis police officers in the United States

May 25th, 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Advocates take the case of George Floyd to the United Nations

Organizations draft a letter to the Human Rights Council requesting a special session. The letter was signed by 690 Organizations globally in 48 hours and it was endorsed by the family members of George Floyd and other victims’ families. Coalition member, ACLU, supports George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd in making a video statement directly to the HRC urging it to establish an independent international commission of inquiry focused on the situation in the United States. The HRC instead, instructs the UN High Commissioner to prepare a report.

June 2020

Reporting to the OHCHR

144 families of victims of police violence and over 360 civil society organizations sent a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the implementation of the 2020 resolution, urging her to focus the report on the lives of People of African Descent and prepare it in close collaboration with them. Several coalition members provided significant and influential input to that report, foregrounding and amplifying the voices and experiences of rights holders and victims of violations.

August 2020

Accountability Under HRC Resolution 43/1

171 families of victims of police violence in the United States and over 270 civil society organizations from more than 40 countries called on the UN High Commissioner and the Africa Group to ensure the HRC’s role in effective accountability to HRC Resolution 43/1.

May 2021

The High Commissioner presented a groundbreaking report

The High Commissioner presented a groundbreaking report that is grounded in the lived experiences of families of victims and people of African descent. During the same month, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, also known as the “George Floyd Resolution”, which created a new mechanism “to further transformative change for racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement globally, especially where relating to the legacies of colonialism and the Transatlantic slave trade in enslaved Africans”. It is also tasked with investigating “governments’ responses to peaceful anti-racism protests and all violations of international human rights law and to contribute to accountability and redress for victims”.

July 2021

The Human Rights Council President announced the appointment of the three experts to serve on the international independent expert mechanism

On December 16, 2021, The Human Rights Council President announced the appointment of the three experts to serve on the international independent expert mechanism. They are Juan E. Méndez (Argentina), Yvonne Mokgoro (South Africa), and Tracie L. Keesee (United States of America).

December 2021

UNARC 2022 Accomplishments

See here for a list of UNARC Accomplishments in our first year advocating since the experts for the new mechanism (EMLER) were appointed.

2022

Building a Global Movement

Building a Global Movement

Building a Global Movement