The U.N Human Rights Council announced that it will hold a much requested discussion on racism and police brutality. The idea was brought on by leaders from 54 different African nations and will be held Wednesday, June, 17. During the debate, they plan to discuss human rights violations within systematic racism, police brutality and brutality towards peaceful protestors.
“The death of George Floyd, unfortunately, is not an isolated incident,” Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso Désirésaid in a statement to the council. “After the widespread indignation over this situation it would be inconceivable that the Human Rights Council not deal with these questions, which are very relevant in accordance with its mandate.”
Despite being on a three-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.N Human Rights Council believes it is imperative to discuss these injustices as it has become a global concern. There has also been the issue of the harsh and violent treatment of those peacefully organizing to protest against police brutality. These protests, which have been occurring globally, have not only faced unjust media critique, but also have turned violent at the hands of officers. Many leaders have been outspoken about the use of “non-lethal” weaponry including tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray.
Council President Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger told U.N News, “As you have seen with demonstrations all over the world, including here in Geneva, so this is a topic that is not just about one country, it goes well beyond that.”
The U.S, of course, is at the center of this issue. According to U.N News, over 600 rights groups had called for an investigation into police violence after the tragic death of George Floyd. However, two years ago, former U.S U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley pulled out of the Human Rights Council, dubbing it “hypocritical and self-serving.”
The debate will be available for streaming Wednesday on the United Nations website.