PHRGE Submits Shadow Reports to UN Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination


07.15.22 — Northeastern Law’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) has submitted two shadow reports to the UN Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which will be reviewing U.S. compliance with the Race Convention in August. One report, “Race and Representation in the United States: Civil Right to Counsel as a Human Right,” submitted on behalf of the National Coalition on the Civil Right to Civil Counsel (NCCRC), describes the racial impacts of the lack of a guarantee of civil counsel in cases such as housing evictions.  The other report, “Toward An Effective National Human Rights Institution for the United States of America,” submitted on behalf of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA), describes issues of systemic racism being addressed by local human rights commissions across the country and makes the case for the creation of a national human rights institution to coordinate and support these local responses.

Northeastern Law alumni/ae were deeply involved in this work. PHRGE Senior Fellow Deena Hurwitz ’96 guided the IAOHRA report and John Pollock ’05 partnered with PHRGE in his role as national coordinator of the NCCRC.  Jenny Wakefield '23, a current PHRGE co-op student, led the research effort and Professor Martha Davis, co-director of PHRGE,  contributed her expertise on UN procedures. Wakefield and Davis will travel to Geneva in August to attend the CERD review and continue their advocacy on these issues.

“This CERD review, postponed for years during the Trump administration, comes at a critical time for U.S. race relations,” said Davis. “We look forward to being on the ground in Geneva to help ensure that the Biden administration takes the committee’s constructive comments seriously and moves the needle on domestic human rights issues that disparately impact marginalized BIPOC communities.”

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