Independent Expert Mechanism on Racism and Law Enforcement to visit the United States
21 April 2023
GENEVA (21 April 2023) – An independent panel of experts, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to further transformative change for racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement for Africans and people of African descent, will visit the United States of America from 24 April to 5 May 2023.
During its two-week visit, the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement is scheduled to visit Washington D.C., Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City. The Expert Mechanism will engage with Government officials at the federal, state and local levels, law enforcement authorities, civil society organizations, as well as affected individuals and communities. It will also visit places of detention.
“We look forward to gaining first-hand insight about the lived experiences of people of African descent in the United States, and to offer recommendations to the government at all levels, to support efforts in combatting systemic racism and excessive use of force, and ensure accountability and justice”, said Juan Méndez, member of the Expert Mechanism.
The Mechanism will examine laws, policies and practices regulating the use of force by law enforcement officials, including their alignment with international human rights standards. It will also make recommendations as to 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 in the United States.
The Mechanism will hold a press conference at the end of its mission to share preliminary findings from the visit. The press conference will take place in Washington DC on 5 May at 3 pm D.C. time/ EDT. Details on the exact venue will follow.
The Expert Mechanism will present a report on its visit to the UN Human Rights Council at its 54th session in September-October 2023.
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Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (South Africa, chairperson); Dr. Tracie Keesee (United States of America) and Professor Juan Méndez (Argentina) were appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council in December 2021 to serve as independent experts. The International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement was established in July 2021 by the Human Rights Council to make recommendations, inter alia, 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.