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Brazil: Independent UN panel to assess racial justice in the context of law enforcement in awaited visit

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Non-official UN languages: Portuguese Português (Word)

GENEVA (24 November 2023) – Members of the International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement will visit Brazil from 27 November to 8 December 2023.

The experts will look into laws, policies and practices regulating the use of force by law enforcement officials, including their alignment with international human rights standards, 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 in Brazil.

“We look forward to gaining first-hand insight about the lived experiences of people of African descent in Brazil, 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 Mendez, member of the Expert Mechanism.

During their two-week visit, members of the Expert Mechanism will travel to Brasilia, Salvador, Fortaleza, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The experts will meet with Government officials at the federal and state levels, representatives of law enforcement, civil society, affected individuals and communities, among others, and will visit places of detention.

The Expert Mechanism’s visit is informed by extensive preparatory research and input, including pursuant to a call for inputs ahead of the visit.

At the end of their mission on Friday 8 December, the experts will share preliminary findings and recommendations at a virtual press conference scheduled to be held at the UN Information Center at the Palacio Itamaraty in Rio de Janeiro, at 11.30 am local time. Registration with UNIC Rio is required (by email [email protected] until 12pm on December 6th) and access will be limited to journalists.

The Expert Mechanism will present a formal country visit report to the 57th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, in September 2024.

Background: 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. Dr. Tracie Keesee (United States of America); Professor Juan Méndez (Argentina) and Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (South Africa) were appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council in December 2021 to serve as its independent experts.

For media requests and queries, please contact: (traveling with the Experts in Brazil) Alan Mayo ([email protected] / +41 79 201 0123); In Rio de Janeiro: UNIC Rio - Ana Rosa Reis +55 21 98177-0682 / [email protected]; In Geneva: Todd Pitman, Media Adviser for the UN Human Rights Council’s Investigative Missions, [email protected]/ +41 76 691 1761; or Pascal Sim, Human Rights Council Media Officer, [email protected] / +41 79 477 4411.

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