CM – UN human rights chief calls for « wide range » of reparations for racism

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Michelle Bachelet urged countries to adopt « a wide range of reparative measures » to address the legacies of slavery, colonial rule and racial discrimination.

Published: July 12, 2021 17:56 |

Last updated: July 12, 2021 5:56 pm

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In this file photo dated December 9, 2020, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaks during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland. (File Photo | AP)

BERLIN: The UN human rights chief called on Monday July 12, 2021, countries to « fully fund comprehensive litigation » and take « a wide range of reparative measures » to protect the legacy address slavery, colonial rule and racial discrimination.

Michelle Bachelet presented a landmark report to the UN Human Rights Council that was published last month following the assassination of George Floyd in the US. A year in the making, it hopes to build on the momentum of the intensified global review of racism and its effects on people of African descent.

Bachelet told the Geneva council that the research « failed to find a single example of a state who has fully dealt with its past or considered its impact on the lives of people of African descent today « although some attempts have been made to discover the truth through apologies, litigation, and commemoration.

She recommended that countries » put in place comprehensive litigation, to step up and fully fund – with the full participation of the communities concerned – to share the truth about what has been done and the damage it continues to do « .

 » The truth about this legacy and its effects today find out and take steps to remedy this damage through a wide range of remedial measures Fighting is critical to healing our societies and bringing horrific crimes to justice, ”said Bachelet. « Measures to deal with the past will change our future. »

The Human Rights Council approved the report during a special session last year following the murder of Floyd, a black American who was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis in May 2020, commissioned. The official, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22 1/2 years in prison last month.

The US executive director in Geneva, Benjamin Moeling, welcomed the « insightful and frank report » in a video statement to the council.

« The United States is honestly and transparently addressing these challenges at home and abroad by addressing the underlying issues of racial discrimination and the use of excessive force in the police force, » he said.

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