Action urged to tackle crimes against people of African descent

Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stressed that law enforcement officials must be held accountable for crimes against people of African descent and alternative approaches to policing should be applied.

On Monday, Bachelet told the ongoing 47th session of the Human Rights Council that the murder of African-American man George Floyd in May 2020, was a tipping point, which had shifted the world’s attention to the human rights violations routinely endured by Africans and people of African descent, reports Xinhua news agency.

In an interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council on systemic racism, Bachelet said that her office had received information about at least 190 deaths of people of African descent by law enforcement officials.

She said that 98 per cent of these cases took place in Europe, Latin America and North America.

She urged the relevant states to acknowledge the systemic nature of racism and to show stronger political will to ensure racial justice.

Urging human rights-based policy making, Bachelet also encouraged states to carry out a human rights audit of policies and practices related to law enforcement.

To reduce crime and increase safety, she said, greater efforts should be made to recruit and inlude people of African descent in law enforcement, the criminal justice system and policy making.