Blog of Rights

U.N. Independent Expert to Testify on Racism in the United States

By Nahal Zamani, Human Rights Program at 5:26pm

Tomorrow morning, the U.N. expert on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related forms of intolerance, Githu Muigai, will present his annual report findings on contemporary forms of racism before the Human Rights Council. This is following a fact-finding mission in various countries, which included a visit to the U.S. by Muigai's predecessor, Doudou Diène, that took place in May and June 2008 at the invitation of the Bush administration's State Department.

The rapporteur's report is available online, and highlights racism in the criminal justice system, the disparity between sentencing for crack and powder cocaine, abuses facing immigrant and African-American workers in the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the overall vulnerability of immigrant workers and the need to meaningfully address the "school-to-prison pipeline." The report also calls on Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) and create a bipartisan commission to evaluate the on-going fight against racism.

The report's findings also highlight U.S. failures to fight racism and protect equality for all. By abiding by the Rapportuer's recommendations, we can address the ongoing issues of racism inside our own borders — thereby leading by example and enforcing critical civil and human rights laws.

You can watch the presentation online, starting at 9 a.m. (EDT) at: http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp

More information about the ACLU's work with the special rapporteur is available online.

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