GENEVA (27 October 2022) – An independent panel of experts set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council to examine violations of the rights of African people and people of African descent by law enforcement is set to visit Sweden from 31 October to 4 November 2022.
The International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement plans to engage with government officials, law enforcement authorities, equality bodies, the national human rights institution, civil society organisations, academics, lawyers, and members of independent United Nations bodies, as well as affected individuals and communities. The Mechanism is due to visit Stockholm, Malmö, and Lund.
”As Parliamentary elections were recently held, and Sweden has a new Government for the next four years, we welcome this critical opportunity to engage in constructive discussions to identify positive initiatives or good practices, and challenges, and to provide useful recommendations to the Government and others with regard to advancing racial justice for Africans and people of African descent in the context of law enforcement and the criminal justice system,” Yvonne Mokgoro, chair of the Mechanism, said.
The country visit presents an opportunity for the Mechanism to offer recommendations that support the Government’s efforts in combatting systemic and structural racism, excessive use of force, and other human rights violations by law enforcement and the criminal justice system against Africans and people of African descent. The Mechanism’s visit is informed by extensive preparatory research and input, including from a call for inputs ahead of the visit.
The Mechanism will look at laws, policies and practices regulating the use of force by law enforcement officials, including their alignment with international human rights standards. The Mechanism will also examine the relationship between the police and the community, including interactions and outcomes, police training, as well as 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.
The Mechanism will present its observations and recommendations to the State through a confidential written report which will subsequently be made public on its website.
“This being our first country visit since our appointment, we look forward to engaging with the authorities, civil society, and other stakeholders to assess the legislative, institutional and policy framework, as well as the empirical facts and data around racial justice in the context of law enforcement and criminal justice in Sweden,” Ms. Mokgoro said.
The Mechanism, comprised of Ms. Mokgoro (Chair), Tracie Keesee, and Juan Méndez, is holding a press conference at the end of its mission to share preliminary observations from the visit.
The press conference is planned for 4 November from 12:00 to 13:00 at Moon Conference Room, Birger Jarlsgatan 57 C, 113 56 Stockholm, Sweden. Access is strictly limited to journalists, who are urged to sign up at this link.
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.