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Aug. 03, 2020

Philonise Floyd at the United Nations


Discussion Owner: Allyson McKinney Timm

The July 31 Roundtable, "Human Rights Accountability for Systemic Racism in U.S. Policing," explored how excessive police force used disproportionately against minorities violates not only civil rights but also human rights protected by international law.

Panelists reflected on the value of appealing to global authorities about systemic racism in U.S. law enforcement, as family members of Michael Brown and George Floyd have done. This Discussion considers how advocates can harness the power of an international human rights perspective in their work for domestic reform.

In June 2020, the brother of George Floyd offered moving testimony before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He asked the Council to address systemic racism in U.S. law enforcement and the harsh response to peaceful protesters following his brother’s death. The Council responded with a resolution calling for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate and report on these abuses. How can activists and advocates best utilize these developments to support their work for reform?