20 December 2017


UN HRC: United Nations Human Rights Council

Agenda Item: Elimination of violence and discrimination against Black Americans in the United States of America

Under-Secretary-General: Edanur Göçmen

Academic Assistants to the Committee: Berat Broc Zorlu, Mehmet Emin Akyar

The racial discrimination in United States of America dates back in fifteenth century. Starting from the discovery of the new world, also called the lands of America, the exploitation of the land was an issue due to the need of raw materials which also required millions of skilled laborers. The enslavement of Indians rapidly proved to be inefficient because the native population was hard to control and it was profoundly affected by the diseases brought from the Old world. Proletariat in Europe had not counted as skilled labour force since they are not accustomed to the weather of the new land. The final solution came from Africa where Europeans discovered a potential slave market at the time of their arrival in the middle of the fifteenth century. The enslavement of blacks continued until 1864, Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which abolished the slavery.

The abolition of slavery started a new discussion based on the status as a citizen of black person within the United States. Debates resulted as the law of segregation and disenfranchisement in the 1890s, namely Jim Crows Laws. These laws promoted the idea that the races are equal but they should be separate. In contrast with the idea, the law itself created separate but not equal. Taking the implementations into consideration, there was a separation between the races with referring to the colour, between blacks and whites, in public transportation, public sphere and so on and so forth. Incidental to these discriminatory implications resistance had started to share and share alike.

On the other hand, regarding the international context of the time, the end of World War II, the establishment of the United Nations to prevent any further wars or discriminatory acts and violence against people and, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 lead up the movements concerning human rights. From this standpoint, civil rights movements lead by Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X and so on received attraction globally. Even though the resistance created a tremendous impression globally, the question and the debates are still valid.

Black Americans are still subjected to marginalisation, discrimination and violence. To find a resolution which satisfies both parties and to end the violence and discrimination against Black Americans, the United Nations Human Rights Council takes this occasion as duty on behalf of the human rights.