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Apology for slavery; discrimination report

U.N. Expert Calls on U.S. to Address Ongoing Issues of Racism

diversityAfter conducting an analysis of racism in America, a United Nations expert offered recommendations on how the nation needs to further address ongoing issues of discrimination.

In a report, compiled with analysis from former U.N. special rapporteur Doudou Diene and presented by current special rapporteur Githu Muigai at a June 16 U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, Congress is urged to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA), which would prevent law enforcement agents or agencies from engaging in racial profiling. Also encouraged is the creation of a bipartisan commission to evaluate ways to combat racism in America.

Other highlights of the report include racism in the criminal justice system, the disparity between sentencing for crack and powder cocaine, and abuses facing immigrant and African American workers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Diene toured the U.S. in May and June of last year to conduct the analysis, and met with representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU and other non-governmental organizations, government officials, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and members of local communities.

“For the U.S. to lead by example, it should heed the recommendations of this international expert and do more to address ongoing issues of racism and ethnic discrimination in this country,” said Chandra Bhatnagar, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Human Rights Program. “The rapporteur’s report offers the Obama administration a path forward on justice, equality and human rights.”

–Janell Hazelwood

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