Black Lives Matter

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The Internationalisation of Black Lives Matter at the Human Rights Council

‘Black Lives Matter’ resonated at the Human Rights Council on 17 June during the urgent debate on the ‘current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests’. The stirring words of Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, the speech of Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the statements of leading human rights organisations such as the ACLU (joined by the US Human Rights Network), Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International echoed the rallying cry of the resurgent social movement of the same name throughout the meeting. The debate was compelling in connecting George Floyd’s murder on a Minneapolis street on 25 May and the worldwide anti-racism protests it sparked with the UN’s principal human rights body at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. There was a sense of hope, even expectation, that this, the latest example of the ‘internationalisation’ of…

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George Floyd’s Murder and the New Hope for Police Reform

The anti-racist protests dominating both old and new media these last three weeks are denouncing much more than racist and violent — indeed murderous — policing in the United States and many other countries. All honor and mourn George Floyd. Most invoke the names of other black men and women outrageously killed by police in recent…

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The Value of Life

The right to life has been described by the UN Human Rights Committee as ‘the supreme right’. Its realisation is the precondition for the exercise of all other rights. Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that: ‘Every human being has the inherent right to life.’ The right to life…

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Learning from US Streets / A moment of reckoning

Around the world, people are following in the steps of the US street, protesting in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd against racism and police violence.  The anguish, outcry and anger that started in Minneapolis resonate globally, reaching into the corridors of multi-lateral institutions too. How are we international human rights experts to…

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Black Lives Matter and International Law

We are today launching a symposium which will run over the next few weeks, with the aim of bringing together legal experts on various intersecting issues relating to the Black Lives Matter movement, police violence in America, and the historic racism and inequality that is demonstrated by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown,…

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