The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund – with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the NAACP – this week submitted a shadow report, “Falling Further Behind: Combating Racial Discrimination in America,” to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which monitors the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, or CERD.
CERD is an international human rights treaty that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin. The United States ratified CERD in 1994 and submitted its latest report to the United Nations in June of last year. Next month, the CERD committee in Geneva will review the government’s report and recent efforts to implement the treaty.
The Leadership Conference’s shadow report covers a number of critical issues, including criminal justice, education, employment, housing, immigration, voting rights, and discrimination against women of color, and offers recommendations to enhance the government’s implementation of its obligations under the treaty.
“America’s track record of creating opportunities for people of color and ending racial discrimination is decidedly mixed,” says Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference, in the report’s forward. “On nearly every indicator that we use in the United States to measure progress, people of color are falling further behind.”
The report is being released 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and 20 years after CERD’s ratification. Beyond its utility in assessing the United States’ compliance with the treaty, the report serves as a public education tool to aid in the protection and promotion of racial justice throughout the country.