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Statement on Police Violence Delivered During General Debate at 46th Human Rights Council Regular Session

Mar 29, 2021

In partnership with several key organizations including Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), this statement was delivered during the General Debate at the 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, under agenda Item: 9 - racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. The recording can be viewed here.

Crista Noel, of USHRN member organization Women's All Point Bulletin (WAPB), delivered this statement during the General Debate at the UN Human Rights Council. The debate started with the presentation of the High Commissioner and was followed by state delegates and civil society. The full text is below, and available for download here

The OHCHR is due to present the final report during the next session of the Council in June 2021.  Please stay tuned for additional advocacy leading up to these events.


Oral Intervention
Item 9 – General Debate


Speaker: Crista Eje Noel

Madame President, 

During the throes of the Covid 19 pandemic over 30 American organizations held the first IACHR regional hearing on structural racism and police violence

We testified to the common threads of state sanctioned violence against African people perpetrated across our continents by police including the disproportionate murders and assaults committed with impunity 

We did not falter when we recalled the horrors of white men preying on Black women’s bodies

Police violence in the cities with an overwhelming presence of African people like Chicago, Bogotá, and Río de Janeiro, reveal systemic racial bias manifested in terrorizing raids, surveillance and unwarranted mass incarceration. 

Still, countries refuse to acknowledged the statistical proof of disproportionate racial discrimination driving socioeconomic gaps.

Because we are still confronted with the fierce urgency of now 400 years later, we must courageously break the silence and end the legacy of colonialism, trans-Atlantic slavery and concepts of race while addressing the dehumanization of African people worldwide. 

We end with a call to the IACHR, OHCHR and HRC to assist us as we demand transformative measures to dismantle racist ideology and end State sanctioned violence against people of African descent.


Thank you.


Blessings,


American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) 

Conectas Direitos Humanos

Global Human Rights Clinic, University of Chicago Law School

ILEX Acción Jurídica 

US Human Rights Network 

Women’s All Points Bulletin (WAPB)