The Expert Mechanism’s mandate is detailed in resolution 47/21. It is established “in order to further transformative change for racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement globally, especially where relating to the legacies of colonialism and the Transatlantic slave trade in enslaved Africans, to investigate Governments’ responses to peaceful anti-racism protests and all violations of international human rights law and to contribute to accountability and redress for victims”.
The Expert Mechanism has a three-year mandate, within the purview of its mandate, to advance racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement in all parts of the world by, inter alia, conducting country visits, inclusive outreach and consultations with States, directly affected individuals and communities, and other stakeholders, and taking into account an intersectional approach by;
- Examining systemic racism, including as it relates to structural and institutional racism, faced by Africans and people of African descent, the excessive use of force and other violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement officials, including with regard to patterns, policies, processes and specific incidents, such as those identified in the report of the High Commissioner and relevant conference room paper
- Examining the root causes of systemic racism in law enforcement and the criminal justice system, the excessive use of force, racial profiling and other human rights violations by law enforcement officials against Africans and people of African descent, and how domestic law, policy and practices may lead to disproportionate and widespread interaction between law enforcement officers and Africans and people of African descent;
- Making recommendations regarding how domestic legal regimes on the use of force by law enforcement officials can be brought into line with the applicable human rights standards, such as the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the United Nations Human Rights Guidance on Less-Lethal Weapons in Law Enforcement, and ensure that law enforcement officials receive appropriate human rights training to ensure that they comply with obligations under international law;
- Making recommendations on the collection and publication of data, with strict safeguards and in line with international law, disaggregated by victims’ race or ethnic origin, on deaths and serious injuries by law enforcement officials and related prosecutions and convictions, as well as any disciplinary actions, to drive and assess responses to systemic racism in the area of law enforcement and the criminal justice system;
- Examining any nexus between supremacist movements and actors within law enforcement and the criminal justice system;
- Making recommendations with regard to addressing systemic racism, in law enforcement and the criminal justice systems, closing trust deficits, strengthening institutional oversight, adopting alternative and complementary methods to policing and the use of force, and encouraging stocktaking of lessons learned;
- Making recommendations on the concrete steps needed to ensure access to justice, accountability and redress for excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officials against Africans and people of African descent, including independent and well-resourced mechanisms to support victims of human rights violations by law enforcement officials, their families and communities;
- Monitoring the implementation of recommendations on ending impunity for violations by law enforcement officials emanating from the report of the High Commissioner, and identifying obstacles to their full implementation;
- Coordinating its work and further strengthening its participation, engagement and cooperation, as appropriate, with all relevant United Nations mechanisms, bodies and processes, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice regional human rights mechanisms and national human rights institutions.