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The World Is Watching: IACHR Conducts Visit to the United States
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a regional human rights commission, will conduct a visit to the United States September 21-25, 2015. The main purpose of the visit is for the Commissioner Rose Marie Belle Antoine, Rapporteur on the Rights of Afro-descendants and Against Racial Discrimination, and the ESCR-unit to examine the situation of racial discrimination and police violence against African Americans. The main findings of the visit will be included in a report issued by the Commission analyzing the use of police force against African-Americans in the United States and its human rights implications. These findings will also be incorporated in a hemispheric report by the Commission analyzing human rights issues related to poverty. Earlier this year, on March 16, the Commission, at the request of the U.S. government, held a hearing on Criminal Justice and Race in the United States.
The IACHR visit began yesterday, in Miami, Florida. The visit will continue the rest of the week in Orlando, Florida (September 22), New Orleans, Louisiana (September 23), Ferguson, Missouri (September 24), and St. Louis, Missouri (September 25). In each location, the Commissioner will hold meetings with government authorities, civil society organizations, and representatives from the academic sector.
The IACHR visit is taking place the same week that the outcome report of the UN Human Rights Council on the U.S. Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations will be adopted in Geneva. The recommendations which highlight excessive use of force and racism as important human rights concerns in the U.S. will be adopted on September 24. USHRN has organized a civil society social media day of action to highlight the inadequacy of the U.S. Government's response.
In July 2015, the US Human Rights Network, along with a coalition of other grassroots organizations submitted a request for a thematic hearing with the IACHR on the right to water and sanitation in the United States. That request has been granted and will take place on October 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. The IACHR visit also comes on the heels of UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent plans to conduct an official visit to the United States in January 2016.
"We are glad to see that international and regional human rights bodies are monitoring the situation in the United States" said US Human Rights Network Executive Director, Ejim Dike. “The world is watching how the U.S. responds to racial discrimination and police violence against African Americans, and the time for comprehensive action to end racial discrimination and police violence in this country is overdue.”
The US Human Rights Network is a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations. We work to secure dignity and justice for all. www.ushrnetwork.org