HUMAN RIGHTS: UK Criminal Justice System – Systemic Racism is serious concern UN
Systemic racism within UK criminal justice system a serious concern: UN human rights experts
Racism in the United Kingdom is “structural, institutional and systemic”, independent UN human rights experts said on Friday, warning that people of African descent in the country continue to encounter discrimination and erosion of their fundamental rights.
“We have serious concerns about impunity and the failure to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, deaths in police custody, ‘joint enterprise’ convictions, and the dehumanising nature”, of the so-called ‘stop and search’ policing strategy, the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said in a statement at the end of an official visit to the UK.
‘Will this ever end?’
The Human Rights Council-appointed experts said they had gathered evidence of the all-too-real trauma felt by people of African descent who were suffering racial discrimination and injustice: “A woman of African descent we met during our visit lamented, ‘will this ever end?” they said.
A decade of economic austerity measures in the UK following the global crash of 2007-8, had exacerbated racism, racial discrimination and other intolerance which people of African descent encounter, thereby eroding their rights, the experts observed.
“From the perspective of people of African descent, racism in the UK is structural, institutional and systemic,” the experts said. The lived experience dealing with State and public institutions, the private sector and society, was that it perpetuates racial hierarchies, the experts concluded.
Racist acts, persistent and widespread
“Racialised acts targeting people of African descent have remained steadfast, and the experience is similar across different parts of the UK,” the experts said. “They are victimised and have no assurance of effective redress from authorities or the justice system”.
Welcoming emerging efforts towards reparation for the legacies of the trade and trafficking in enslaved Africans, the Working Group encouraged all stakeholders including the Government, to do more to ensure rehabilitation, restoration, and reconciliation.
“Streamlining accessible, independent and effective complaint mechanisms to address racism, ensuring police accountability, fair trial guarantees for all persons, and redress to all persons affected by the Windrush scandal, are imperative”
, said Catherine Namakula, Chair of the Working Group. “Austerity to the peril of fundamental rights, is a costly undertaking for the UK,”
she said. Learn More /…
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