‘New deal’ needed to end hatred, exclusion and discrimination against minorities, UN expert says – YubaNet

GENEVA (November 22, 2021) – A UN human rights expert today urged the United States of America to revise its legislation to prevent the increase in exclusion, discrimination, hate speech and crimes against minorities, arguing that the legal landscape for the protection of human rights is far from exhaustive and sometimes even coherent.

“What you have now is an uneven tapestry of laws first drafted over 60 years ago, showing signs of fatigue,” Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues, told reporters at the end of a 14-day visit to the United States. States.

“The United States is a nation of paradoxes when it comes to human rights and minorities, presenting itself as the land that welcomes the weary, poor and congregated masses of the world, but where support for slavery has grown. led to one of the most brutal civil wars in the world, where racial segregation persisted until the end of the 20e century, and where the experiences of indigenous peoples have been for centuries one of dispossession, brutality and even genocide, ”he said.

“While there were some significant and hard-won human rights gains, primarily during the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the United States stands out from Western democracies for its incomplete patchwork of recognition. rights and their legal protection, with minorities and indigenous peoples, most likely left behind in times of upheaval, uncertainty and crisis.

“The last few years have seen these gaps in human rights and the phenomenal growth of hate speech in social media, growing inequalities between the haves and have-nots, often minorities and indigenous peoples, creating toxic conditions. and an unhealthy pandemic of the mind, a poisoning of the individual. spirits and society in many parts of the country.

During his visit, de Varennes met officials at federal, state and territorial levels, minority groups, civil society organizations, minority representatives and experts from different regions of the country, both online and in person in the District of Colombia, Guam, California, Texas and Puerto Rico.

Despite significant changes taking shape in 2021 following the 2020 federal election, and for which the UN expert commended the US government, he said the US does not have comprehensive national legislation. on human rights that more closely conforms to their international human rights obligations, and of a national human rights institution in accordance with the Paris Principles on the Status of National Institutions for The promotion and protection of human rights has left serious gaps that need to be addressed.

“These gaps in national human rights protection are helping millions of Americans, especially minorities, face growing inequality, discrimination and even exclusion, a dramatic increase in discourse. hate crimes and hate crimes, as well as the challenges and threats caused by environmental degradation and economic growth. , disparities in health and education which leave a disproportionate proportion, ”he declared.

“Building a better America requires a new deal for the 21stst century for all Americans, but is most necessary for the most marginalized and vulnerable minorities, such as indigenous peoples, African Americans, Hispanics and others.

De Varennes highlighted the situation of African Americans, especially in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others. “They are among the most marginalized minorities in the country, are by far the most likely to be denied the right to vote in federal elections in states, to be incarcerated, to be the target of hate speech in the media.” social, disproportionate or even excluded in a number of areas.

The UN expert highlighted the underfunding of many public schools and the disproportionate impact on minority children in many parts of the country. From Varennes said he was also very concerned about disparities in sentencing and incarceration rates for minorities in the criminal justice system.

“I have been informed that minorities such as African Americans and Latinxes in particular find themselves disproportionately at the target of marginalization and criminalization that crushes them in a generational cycle of poverty, with a system legal system that is structurally put in place to benefit and forgive them. the richest, and penalizing the poorest, in particular the colored minorities ”, declared the expert.

“Recognizing the values ​​of equality, freedom and democracy – for which the United States is well known internationally – I hope these values ​​will also guide all state responses to human rights of persons belonging to minorities and will contribute to on the institutional and legal changes essential to face the formidable challenges of the first half of the 21st century, ”added de Varennes.

The expert will present his final report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in March 2022.

Mr. Fernand de Varennes was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on minority issues by the Human Rights Council in June 2017. It is charged by the United Nations Human Rights Council to promote the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic Minorities, religious and linguistic, among others.

Special rapporteurs are part of what is called the Special procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest group of independent experts in the United Nations human rights system, is the general name for the Council’s independent investigative and monitoring mechanisms that deal with either country-specific situations or thematic issues in all regions of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Read it United Nations Declaration on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.


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