Geneva: The UN rights chief called Monday for systemic racism against black people to be immediately dismantled around the world to avoid repeating outrages like the killing of George Floyd.
In a report triggered by the death of Floyd, who was murdered by a white US police officer, Michelle Bachelet said the dehumanisation of people of African descent had fed a culture of tolerance for racial discrimination and violence.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights set out a four-point agenda for transformative change on racial justice and equality, and urged states to implement it.
Bachelet’s recommendations include reparations for historical racism, as well as funding for groups like Black Lives Matter.
“The status quo is untenable,” said the former Chilean president Bachelet, who presented her 23-page report to the UN Human Rights Council.
“Systemic racism needs a systemic response” to dismantle centuries of entrenched discrimination and violence, she said.
“We need a transformative approach that tackles the interconnected areas that drive racism, and lead to repeated, wholly avoidable tragedies like the death of George Floyd.”
The report comes three days after former policeman Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison for murdering Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
Footage of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, indifferent to the dying man’s groans, sparked global racial justice protests under the banner “Black Lives Matter. After Floyd’s death, the UN Human Rights Office was mandated in June last year to produce a comprehensive report on systemic racism, human rights violations by law enforcement agencies against black people, and government responses to peaceful anti-racism protests. AFP