June 3, 2020
In response to recent incidents of police brutality and racism in the United States, the Project to Implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples expresses its solidarity with African Americans and other people of color, and offers several resources to guide reform of policing consistent with human rights standards.
“Based on the facts as generally known, the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor violate the human right to life, as well as rights to be free from discrimination and violence, rights that the United States has committed to uphold as a matter of international law,” said James Anaya, Dean of the University of Colorado Law School.
The United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights issued a statement this week urging the United States to take “serious action” to halt police killings of unarmed African Americans.
“International human rights law is binding on all States and their agents, including law enforcement officials,” as explained by Human Rights Standards and Practice for the Police, a manual published by the Office of the High Commissioner.
“Condemning these incidents of violence and discrimination, we call for law reform at the national and state levels to hold police accountable and ensure the human rights of African Americans, as well as indigenous peoples and other minorities,” said John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund.
General Human Rights Instruments
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities
Policing and Human Rights
Statement of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Regarding US Police Killings of Unarmed African Americans
UN Human Rights Committee Comment on “The Right to Life” Para 12
Human Rights Standards and Practice for the Police
Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power
Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials
Natives Lives Matter: The Overlooked Police Brutality Against Native Americans
In Solidarity. A statement from the Center for Native American Youth