The murder of George Floyd, a man of African descent whose death in police custody was captured on video in Minneapolis, United States, on 25 May 2020 and the worldwide protests that ensued forced a long-delayed reckoning with racism.
On 17 June 2020, the UN Human Rights Council held an urgent debate on “current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests”. On 19 June 2020, the Human Rights Council adopted by consensus resolution 43/1.
As requested by the resolution, on 1 October 2020, the High Commissioner presented her first oral update to the Human Rights Council at its 45th session. She presented her second oral update to the Council at its 46th session.
The resolution requests the High Commissioner to:
- Prepare a comprehensive report, with the assistance of relevant special procedure mandate holders, on “systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies, especially those incidents that resulted in the death of George Floyd and other Africans and of people of African descent, to contribute to accountability and redress for victims”. The report will be presented to the Council at its forty-seventh session taking place in June 2021, to be followed by an interactive dialogue.
- Examine “government responses to anti-racism peaceful protests, including the alleged use of excessive force against protesters, bystanders and journalists”.
- Provide an oral update on the preparation of the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-fifth and forty-sixth sessions, at the September 2020 and March 2021 sessions of the Human Rights Council.
- Include updates on “police brutality against Africans and people of African descent” in all of her oral updates to the Council.
The High Commissioner established a dedicated team to work towards the effective implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 43/1.
Call for inputs to inform the report
To prepare the report, UN Human Rights sought the views of member States, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, UN entities, and other key stakeholders via a call for submissions. Inputs received are available on the dedicated report page.