US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



600+ organizations signed onto our request for a Special Session of the Human Rights Council on police violence in the US

Jun 8, 2020

Update from 6/17 - 29 more organizations have signed the letter after it was initially submitted, bringing the total number of signatories to 690. View the list of additional signatories here.


“Mamie Till Mobley made a decision to open the casket of her son Emmett Till so the world could see the atrocities Black people faced in America. I want people across the world and the leaders in the United Nations to see the video of my brother George Floyd, to listen to his cry for help, and I want them to answer his cry. I appeal to the United Nations to help him. Help me. Help us. Help Black men and women in America.” 

- Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd. 


We are so moved by the outpouring of support we have received in less just a few days - thank you to all of our members and partners who signed on to our letter requesting a Special Session of the Human Rights Council, and thank you to the hundreds of organizations who are not current members and who have signed on. We hope this will be the beginning of many new and lasting collaborations and relationships. 

Over 600 organizations signed on to our letter, which was graciously endorsed by family members of Philando Castile, Jordan Davis, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Michael Brown. A special thank you to Valerie Castile, Ron Davis, Philonise Floyd and Quincy Mason, Lezley McSpadden, and Tamika Palmer who called for and supported this joint effort between the US Human Rights Network and our partners at the ACLU. 

The final letter was sent to the United Nations today, with over 600 signatories from 60 countries. View the final letter here.

View our joint press release with the ACLU here.

Never before has the Human Rights Council received this kind of civil society support for a Special Session on the topic of racial justice in the United States. We are proud and humbled to stand alongside family members of victims of police violence, and hundreds of civil society organizations across the world in calling for this Special Session. 

"At the US Human Rights Network, we come from and work with communities most targeted by police violence. Our grassroots members are at the forefront of leading protests, organizing mutual aid, providing bail for protestors, and providing support and safety info for those targeted by law enforcement. We can attest to the very real collective pain experienced by Black people all over the world as a result of experiencing and witnessing anti-Black violent repression at the hands of law enforcement and racist vigilantes. We believe it is important to move this issue to the international stage to highlight the hypocrisy of the US government's stance, where it calls out human rights abuses abroad, but ignores this government-sanctioned violence at home."

- Salimah Hankins, USHRN Interim Executive Director 

We will keep you informed of any developments as the United Nations responds to our request. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and solidarity with Black lives. We know that all of our freedom is connected; only when Black people are free will we all be free.