Civil And Human Rights Groups Ask For Further U.N. Involvement To End Racial Discrimination In U.S.

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–March 7, 2011.  The American Civil Liberties Union joined a coalition of civil and human rights groups in sending a letter today to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, asking the committee to urge the United States government to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws and treaties regarding racial discrimination.

While the committee and other U.N. human rights experts have provided specific and detailed recommendations over the last three years advising the U.S. government of the need to address ongoing issues of racial discrimination through domestic implementation of human rights obligations, including the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the Obama administration has yet to take concrete measures to fully implement the ICERD and other related human rights obligations. The U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is the principle global body monitoring countries compliance with ICERD, which the U.S. ratified in 1994.

The letter asked the committee to urge the U.S. government to adopt a national plan of action for ICERD implementation, with full and meaningful consultation with civil society and affected communities and in collaboration with local and state governments.

According to the letter, “People of African descent in the United States continue to face intentional, structural, and de facto forms of discrimination which manifest in unequal access to quality education, housing, health services, employment, electoral disfranchisement and discrimination in the criminal justice system, among many other issues.”

The full text of the letter is available online at:

Groups signing the letter are:
American Civil Liberties Union

Amnesty International USA

Asian American Justice Center

Center for Constitutional Rights

Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute

Human Rights at Home Campaign

Human Rights Watch

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights

National Coalition-Black Women’s Roundtable

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Rights Working Group

Urban Justice Center

U.S. Human Rights Network

World Organization for Human Rights USA