xi's moments
Home | Newsmakers

UN experts concerned about minority rights

By MINLU ZHANG in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-08-31 10:54

Independent United Nations human rights experts on Tuesday expressed concern about what they called the disproportionate impact of abortion restrictions and gun violence on racial minorities in the US.

In the report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said that the US Supreme Court decision ending a federal right to abortion will affect racial and ethnic minorities more.

They are "disproportionally impacted by higher maternal mortality and morbidity rates, higher risk of unwanted pregnancies and lack of means to overcome socioeconomic barriers to access safe abortion", says the report.

The committee of 18 experts, which evaluates how countries adhere to an international convention on eliminating racial discrimination, "was deeply concerned" about the US Supreme Court ruling in June that overturned five decades of constitutional protections and prompted several right-leaning states to impose immediate abortion bans.

The committee warned of "the consequent profound disparate impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of racial and ethnic minorities".

The calls came as part of a regular review of UN member states by the committee. The US was among seven countries to be considered this summer.

Committee Member Pansy Tlakula said that the 18-member committee had asked Washington to take specific measures to stop criminal prosecutions of women and abortion service providers, Reuters reported.

"There was a willingness from the United States to look at some of the issues that we raised with them," she told a press briefing, saying it had asked Washington to report back on progress within a year.

According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2019, the abortion rate for black women was 23.8 per 1,000 women. For Hispanic women, it was 11.7 per 1,000. And for white women, it was 6.6 per 1,000.

Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death than white women, and the risk spans income and education levels, according to a 2018 report from the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Many of the 22 US states that have banned or may now heavily restrict abortion are in the South, which is home to nearly half of the country's black population.

The UN Committee in the report also expressed concern over the use of excessive or deadly force by law enforcement officials against minorities.

The UN committee urged consideration of new laws or a review of existing ones to help combat excessive use of force by law enforcement in the US and called on the US to adopt "all necessary measures".

About 1,000 civilians are killed each year by law-enforcement officers in the US.

Black men are 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by police during their lifetime, according to a 2019 study published by the National Academy of Sciences.

In its report, the UN committee called for a "national action plan" to combat racial discrimination and an effort to limit the impact of gun violence on minorities.

Tlakula told reporters that the committee had asked the US to report back within a year on any steps taken to mitigate the impacts of the abortion restrictions and gun violence on racial minorities, PBS reported.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349