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UN Committee calls on US to comply with international obligations to tackle racial discrimination


Geneva (15 June 2020) The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on the United States to make immediate structural reforms to end racial discrimination, and to uphold its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

In its formal statement published online, the Committee urged the United States Government to fully respect the Convention, which it ratified in 1994, and to ensure a wide understanding of the Convention among its law enforcement officials through training and education curricula.

“No one shall be victim of racial discrimination, it’s the essence of the Convention,” said Noureddine Amir, Chairperson of the Committee, adding, “we cannot afford any delay in the promotion of understanding among all races, discontinuing racial profiling and criminalizing racially motivated attacks.”

The Committee, which is composed of 18 independent experts, expressed its deep concern at the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the recurrence of killings of unarmed African Americans by police officers and individuals over the years.

“Systemic and structural discrimination have permeated government institutions for centuries, stripping African Americans of their rights to equal treatment before the tribunals, threatening their personal security, and depriving them of their civil, economic, social and cultural rights embodied in the Convention,” Amir said.

The Committee urged the United States Government to publicly recognize the existence of structural racial discrimination in society, as well as to unequivocally and unconditionally condemn racially motivated killings of African Americans and other minorities.

To eliminate racial discrimination, the Committee recalled its recommendations, made after the previous two reviews of the United States. These include, ensuring the full implementation of the Convention throughout the country, monitoring compliance of domestic laws and policies with the Convention, and systematically carrying out anti-discrimination training of government officials at the federal, state and local levels.


The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination monitors States parties’ adherence to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Committee is made up of 18 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties. The Committee’s concluding observations are an independent assessment of States’ compliance with their human rights obligations under the treaty.

For media inquiries, please contact the UN Human Rights Office Media Section at +41 (0) 22 928 9855 / media@ohchr.org or Vivian Kwok at +41 22 917 9362/ vkwok@ohchr.org

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