US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



Resources/Statements Regarding 6/17 UNHRC Urgent Debate

Jun 16, 2020

List of statements and resources regarding tomorrow's historic UN Human Rights Council Urgent Debate on police violence and systemic racism:

- Special Rapporteur E. Tendayi Achiume's new article: The UN Should Establish a Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racism and Law Enforcement in the United States (June 16, 2020)

- OHCHR announcement: UN Committee calls on US to comply with international obligations to tackle racial discrimination (June 15, 2020)

- African Group request for an urgent debate on the current racially inspired human rights violations (June 12, 2020)

- USHRN + ACLU joint letter to the Human Rights Council requesting a Special Session on police violence, signed by 661 civil society organizations and endorsed by family members of George Floyd, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, and Jordan Davis (June 7, 2020)

- Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Statement on the Protests against Systemic Racism in the United States (June 5, 2020)

- The original sign-on letter has been reopened until 5pm Eastern today, June 15. Please only sign your organization on if you did not sign on the first time.


Please be reminded of urgent actions you can take and uplift to support our efforts:

- If you live the United States, please contact foreign embassies in Washington D.C. that are members of the UNHRC (see list here) especially U.S. allies and urge them to support international accountability for police killings in the U.S. 

* Suggested talking points: International accountability would look like a resolution that would establish an Independent Commission of Inquiry with the mandate to investigate the following:

- The recent history of racist policing in cities across the country that continues with seeming impunity  from  the killing  of  Michael  Brown  and  the  repression  of  protests  in Ferguson, Missouri, to the murder of George Floyd, and

- Allegations  of  excessive  use  of  force  against  peaceful  protesters  and  journalists  in  the demonstrations in U.S.cities since the murder of George Floyd. 

- If you live outside the U.S., please contact your Foreign Ministry or your country’s UN Mission in Geneva and let them know that you support the call made by families of victims of police killings in the United States and over 660 groups from 66 countries to mandate an independent Commission of Inquiry. This is the only credible accountability measure that can effectively respond to the current human rights crisis in the United States.

- Share the information on Wednesday's Urgent Debate with your networks and let them know to watch the debate on Wednesday, June 17 at 3:00pm Geneva time (6am Pacific / 8am Central / 9am Eastern). The session will be public and can be viewed online at this link: