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Dr. Randall 2 12 09
 

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Eliminating Racism: ...

Eliminating Racism:
International Human Rights and the
African American Community

A profound and important presentation by Dr. Vernillia Randall, Professor of Law at the University of Dayton.

Please visit http://www.un.org/durbanreview2009/ for further information, share with *anyone* who might be able to urge movement on this issue!

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    Dr. Randall 2 12 09 Dr. Randall 2 12 09 Document Transcript

    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Vernellia R. Randall Professor of Law The University of Dayton School of Law February 12, 2009
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. International Human Rights Standards and Eliminating Racism Racism and Human Rights 1945: Charter of the UN (Art. 1, par 3) 1948: UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art.1,2) 1963: UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965: International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Convention on Elimination on All Forms of Racial Discrimination Article 1 Article 2 Racial Discrimination shall mean ● any distinction, exclusion, Government Obligation to ● restriction or preference based Eliminate Discrimination including on race, color, descent, or requirement to review and amend/ national or ethnic origin which eliminate discriminatory policies, has the purpose or effect of and to implement affirmative nullifying or impairing the measures to ensure adequate recognition, enjoyment or development and protection in exercise, on an equal footing, of economic, social and cultural human rights and fundamental fields. freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. Convention on Elimination on All Forms of Racial Discrimination Article 3 Article 6 Racial Segregation/Apartheid Condemned Effective Legal Protection and Remedies Article 4 Article 7 Obligation to Combat Hate Propaganda Prohibited Prejudice and Promote Human Rights Education including on Article 5 All Rights Guaranteed without Treaties Discrimination including equal enjoyment of political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. CERD, Article 5 In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2 of this Convention, States Parties Equal treatment before the ● undertake to prohibit and to tribunals eliminate racial discrimination in Security of person and protection ● all its forms and to guarantee the against violence or bodily harm right of everyone, without Political rights ● distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, to equality Civil rights ● before the law, notably in the Economic, social and cultural ● enjoyment of the following rights: rights, including to health and housing Access to any place or service ● intended for use by the general public Economic, social and cultural rights under CERD Article 5 The rights to work, to free choice of The right to education and training; ● ● employment, to just and favorable The right to equal participation in ● conditions of work, to protection cultural activities; against unemployment, to equal pay for equal work, to just and The right of access to any place or ● favorable remuneration; service intended for use by the general public, such as transport The right to form and join trade ● hotels, restaurants, cafes, theatres unions; and parks The right to housing; ● The right to public health, medical ● care, social security and social services;
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. United States and CERD Senate ratified it in 1994. (almost 30 years later) ● U.S. required submit periodic report ● – first report was due in one year (1995) – And then every 2 years thereafter did not make first report until 2001 (combined with 2nd and ● 3rd report) Did not make second report until 2008 (combined with 4th , ● 5th , and 6th report Committee recommend making 7th , 8th and 9th report and ● submit November 2011 Reservations Example: not accept any obligations under articles 4 and 7 of CERD that restrict rights to individual freedom of speech, expression and association as protected by the U.S. Constitution. United Understandings States RUD Example: to the extent that it exercises jurisdiction over the matters covered by the Convention . . . [otherwise] the extent that there is state and local government jurisdiction, the Federal Government shall take appropriate measures to ensure the fulfillment of CERD Declarations Example: Not Self-executing
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination publishes its interpretation of the ● body of independent experts ● content of human rights provisions, known as general recommendations monitors implementation of CERD ● (or general comments), on thematic examines state report and addresses its ● issues and concerns and recommendations organizes thematic discussions. ● performs other mechanisms its ● – United States Member: Mr. Pierre- monitoring functions: Richard Prosper – the early-warning – procedure, – the examination of inter- In last “concluding observations to ● state complaints and the United States”(2008), committee noted 32 concerns and – the examination recommentations. of individual complaints. Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination United States of America 18 February - 7 March 2008 United States Asked to Report Back in One Year (2009?) on: organise public awareness and strengthen its efforts to combat racial ● ● education programmes on the profiling at the federal and state levels Convention and its provisions, and (item 14) step up its efforts to make government discontinue the use of life sentence ● officials, the judiciary, federal and state without parole against persons law enforcement officials, teachers, under the age of eighteen at the time social workers and the public in general the offence was committed, and review aware about the responsibilities . . . the situation of persons already serving under the Convention. . . (item 36) such sentences. (item 21) increase its efforts . . . to facilitate the ● return of persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina to their homes,. . . ensure . . . genuine consultation and participation of persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina. . . (item 31)
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination United States of America 18 February - 7 March 2008 Selected Items related to African Americans Residential Segregation: “Concerned that . . Felony Disenfranchisement: disparate impact ● ● African American persons, are that existing felon disenfranchisement laws . . . disproportionately concentrated in poor have on African American persons, who are residential areas characterized by sub-standard disproportionately represented at every stage of housing conditions, limited employment the criminal justice system. (Article 5 (c)) opportunities, inadequate access to health care Katrina Displacement: remains concerned ● facilities, under-resourced schools and high about the disparate impact that this natural exposure to crime and violence. (Article 3)” disaster continues to have on low-income (item 16) African American residents, many of whom Criminal Justice: “concern with regard to the continue to be displaced after more than two ● persistent racial disparities in the criminal justice years after the hurricane. (Article 5 (e) (iii)) system . . . due to the harsher treatment that . . . African American persons, receive at various stages of criminal proceedings. (Article 5 (a))” Police Brutality:concerned about allegations of ● brutality and use of excessive or deadly force by law enforcement officials against . . . African American persons. . . (item 25)
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Durban Declaration and Programme of Action Racism and Human Rights 1973: International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid 1978: UNESCO Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice 1978: First World Conference in Geneva to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination 1983: Second World Conference in Geneva to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination 2001: Third World Conference Against Racism and Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (Durban Declaration and Programme of Action)
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Durban World Conference Against Racism Consisted of two “conferences” State Parties NGO Forum United States walked out Much of controversy ● ● over language related to centered Israel and reparations (see Controversy to be ● next slide for actual language expected when some in DDPA) victim groups believe that other victim groups are perpetrator of their harm and marginalization. Durban Declaration and Programme of Action records a commitment by States to ● Specify that a victim-oriented ● work together to eradicate racism, approach is an important tool to racial discrimination, xenophobia eliminate racial discrimination. and related intolerance. Specific reference is made to comprehensive and action-oriented ● Africans and people of African – road map, descent offers a functional common ● Asians and persons of Asian – approach to realize the principles descent, of equality and non-discrimination. indigenous peoples, – Migrants – Refugees – Minorities – the Roma –
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Theme 1: Sources, cause, forms and contemporary ● manifestations Theme 2: Victims ● Theme 3: Measures of prevention, education and ● Durban protection Declaration and Programme of Action Theme 4: Provision for effective remedies, recourses, ● redress, [compensatory] and other measures Theme 5: Strategies to achieve full and effective equality ● Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should always have been so, especially the transatlantic slave trade and are among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans descent . . .were victims African and African Descent of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences; Urges States to facilitate the participation of people of African descent in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society and in the advancement and economic development of their countries, and to promote a greater knowledge of and respect for their heritage and culture;
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Durban Review African Descents Meeting (?) April 16- State Parties (April 20-24) - Purpose ● 17) or (April 18-19) To review progress and assess implementation DDPA NGO Forum (?) (April 18 - 19) To assess the effectiveness of the existing ● Durban follow-up mechanisms and other relevant United Nations mechanisms dealing with racism in order to strengthen them; NGO Role in States Review (April 20 - ● 24) To promote the universal ratification and implementation of the International Convention Share expertise – on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial – Comment on issues under Discrimination (CERD) and proper negotiation consideration of the recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial State views and Interact with – Discrimination; member states both in the formal Plenary & other To identify and share good practices in the fight Meetings against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. – Educate through workshops in “side events” ● A Side Note: DDPA Content on Israel and Palestine 61.We are concerned about the plight of 150. Calls upon States, in opposing all the Palestinian people under foreign forms of racism, to recognize the need occupation. We recognize the inalienable to counter anti-Semitism, anti-Arabism right of the Palestinian people to self- and Islamophobia world-wide, and determination and to the establishment of urges all States to take effective an independent State and we recognize measures to prevent the emergence of the right to security for all States in the movements based on racism and region, including Israel, and call upon all discriminatory ideas concerning these States to support the peace process and communities; bring it to an early conclusion; 0. As for the situation in the Middle 63. We recognize with deep concern the East, calls for the end of violence and increase in anti-Semitism and the swift resumption of negotiations, Islamophobia in various parts of the respect for international human rights world, as well as the emergence of racial and humanitarian law, respect for the and violent movements based on racism principle of self-determination and the and discriminatory ideas against Jewish, end of all suffering, thus allowing Israel Muslim and Arab communities; and the Palestinians to resume the peace process, and to develop and prosper in security and freedom;
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. United States Walked out of every Has breached its ● ● world conference legal obligation under CERD. Has not participated in ● the in implementation of Durban Declaration and Programme Action Has not been a global ● leader on the elimination of racism What should be the United States Role in Global Efforts to Eliminate Racism? How do we get the United States: to take CERD obligations seriously? to participate in the Durban Review? to participate in the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent? What is already being done? What else can we do? Please Limit Your Comment/Question to 90 seconds.
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent study the problems of racial ● discrimination faced by people of African descent living in the Diaspora Paragraph 7 of the Durban Programme of propose measures to ensure full and Action specifically ● effective access to the justice system by people of African descent, quot;requests the Commission on Human Rights to consider establishing a working submit recommendations on the ● group or other mechanism of the United design, implementation and enforcement of effective measures to Nations to study the problems of racial eliminate racial profiling of people of discrimination faced by people of African African descent; descent living in the African Diaspora and make proposals for the elimination of elaborate short, medium and long- ● racial discrimination against people of term proposals for the elimination of African descentquot;. racial discrimination against people of African descent
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Developing programmes intended for ● people of African descent allocating additional investments to health Improving the human rights situation of ● systems, education, housing, people of African descent by devoting electricity, drinking water and special attention to their needs environmental control measures and promoting equal opportunities in Designing special projects, in ● employment, as well as other collaboration with people of African affirmative or positive action initiatives, descent, to support their initiatives at within the human rights framework; the community level and to facilitate the exchange of information and technical make proposals on the elimination of ● know-how between these populations racial discrimination against Africans and experts in these areas; and people of African descent in all parts of the world; ● address all the issues concerning the ● well-being of Africans and people of African descent contained in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent holds a 5-day session every conducts country visits upon the ● ● year. invitation of the Government, in order to facilitate in-depth organize its work on a thematic ● understanding of the situation of basis. Has examined: people of African descent administration of – Has conducted visit to – justice, Belgium the media, – Has been invited to the – access to education – United Stats no date set. racism and employment – submits a report of the annual ● session to the Commission on racism and health, and – Human Rights, presenting its racism and housing vis- – findings, conclusions and a-vis people of recommendations. African descent
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. The members of the Working Group, appointed on the basis of equitable geographic representation, are: - Mr. Joe Frans (Sweden) ● - Mr. Ralston quot;Rexquot; Nettleford (larnaica) ● - Ms. Maya Sahli (Algeria) ● - Ms. Monorama Bisvms (Bangladesh) ● - Ms. Mirjana Najcevska (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) ● Concerns about the Working Group Group does not include Lack of Permanent ● ● Status, has been significant portion – renewed for 3 years of People of African Lack of participation of ● descent State Parties, representation of – International Organizations, National slave descents Organizations from United States or Canada Lack of Participation of ● People of African Women of African – Descent and African descent Descent NGOs
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. What should be African Americans Role in the Global Efforts to Eliminate Racism? How do we connect with other African Descent Groups involved in the work? How can international standards and mechanisms help us in our struggle to eliminate racism in the United States? How do we get NGO's representing the interest of African Americans more involved in the Durban Review and the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent? Please Limit Your Comment/Question to 90 seconds.
    • Eliminating Racism: International Human Rights and the African American Community Copyright 2009. Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved. Resources Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ● (CERD), http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/d_icerd.htm United States Reservations, Understanding and – Declarations, http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/treaty2_asp.htm Committee on CERD, ● http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/6/cerd.htm – Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, ● http://www.unhchr.ch/html/racism/02-documents-cnt.html UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descents, ● http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/racism/groups/african/4african.htm Contact Information Vernellia R. Randall Professor of Law The University of Dayton School of Law 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-2772 Email: randall@udayton.edu Phone: 937-274-9079