To: Ministers of Foreign Affairs of African States
CC: Permanent Representatives of African States in Geneva
Re: The UN Human Rights Council’s role to ensure effective accountability and follow-up to HRC Resolution 43/1
The families of victims of police violence and undersigned civil society organizations write with regard to the follow up to Human Rights Council resolution (A/HRC/43/1) on “the promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers.”
We appreciate your governments’ leadership at the Council and your support to the demands made by victims’ families, civil society organizations, and Special Procedures in the context of the urgent debate on the “current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests”. We urge your governments to continue supporting these demands in the follow up resolution at the 47th session of the Council.
During her first oral update, the UN High Commissioner affirmed to the Council that the report will reflect and amplify the voices of victims of people of African descent, their families, and communities. She also affirmed that the report will examine the root causes that have enabled systemic racism and police violence including the legacies of enslavement, the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans, and its context of colonialism.
We share the High Commissioner’s assessment that we cannot let the urgency felt in the Council in June 2020 subside, and that the Council “can contribute to making this moment a critical turning point in the respect and protection of the human rights of people of African descent.”