Urgent Debate on the “current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and the violence against peaceful protest”

June 17, 2020

43rd Human Rights Council Session

Statement by the International Lesbian and Gay Association

Madam President,

Black Lives Matter.

This statement is submitted by ILGA-World together with the International Institute for Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality). It draws the attention to the situation of racial injustice and police brutality that affects people of African descent including those persons within these communities with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) worldwide.

The murder of George Floyd[1] has sparked an outcry that has highlighted the structural and systemic racism that permeates the United States and has reverberated and been taken up by other communities around the world. The militarized-like response to these protests has curtailed the right to freedom of assembly and expression while repeated incidents of police brutality have continued to be denounced and reported.

Around the world, during this International Decade for the People of African Descent, afro descendant LGBTI people are killed[2] and their deaths are ignored because they are People of African Descent and have diverse SOGIESC. State actors such as the police are among the perpetrators of violence and murder of these people These actors fail in their duty to protect human rights. And in cases in which state actors are not among the perpetrators of such violence, such crimes are often not properly investigated, persecuted and punished. This leads to impunity of the perpetrators.

International human rights law must be the framework that guides States in response to acts such as these. States should look at how the administration of justice is applied and how people of African descent, including LGBTI people are disproportionally impacted by an unfair judicial system which is a direct legacy of centuries of colonialism and slavery. We welcome the letter of the UNSR on Racism and we call upon States and stakeholders alike to address the root causes of racial violence, discrimination and stigma and its intersections with SOGIESC.

Thus, we urge States to support the creation of two independent international mechanisms of inquiry on Systemic Racism and Law Enforcement in the United States of America and on the Systemic Racism in Law Enforcement, Related to Legacies of Slavery and Colonialism and we urge these mechanisms to assess how these issues intersects and are amplified due to other grounds, such as SOGIESC and gender.

I thank you, Madam President.

[1] New York Times. 8 Minutes and 46 seconds: How George Floyd was Killed in Police Custody. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html

[2] Time Magazine. Two Black Trans Women Were Killed in the Past week as Trump Revokes Discrimination. https://time.com/5853325/black-trans-women-killed-riah-milton-dominique-remmie-fells-trump/. NBC News. Black transgender man fatally shot by Florida police <https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/black-transgender-man-fatally-shot-florida-police-n1218156>. National Association of Travestis and Transsexuals (ANTRA). Murders and Violence against Travestis and Trans People in Brazil – 2018. <https://antrabrasil.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/murders-and-violence-against-travestis-and-trans-people-in-brazil-2018.pdf>. TGEU. <https://transrespect.org/en/tmm-update-trans-day-of-remembrance-2019/>,

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