Statements Issued by the CIHR

Statements Issued by the CIHR

 On the Killing of George Floyd and the Protests (Summer 2020)

The Center for International Human Rights (CIHR) strongly condemns the killing of George Floyd. What makes this incident particularly troubling is not just the sheer lack of basic humanity exhibited by the law enforcement officers involved, but that such inhumane conduct reinforces the realization that it is part of the everyday experience of African-American people across the United States. The ensuing protests constitute a legitimate response to the anger and frustration generated by systemic racism which negates fundamental human rights norms of non-discrimination and racial equality. In addition, the militarized response favored by the current Administration indicates that constitutional rights to freedom of expression and association are also at risk.

At this juncture, it is important to engage in a conversation of the underlying issues that are causing these demonstrations in this country and abroad. The basic parameters and priorities of political and socio-economic life are in need of critical reexamination and assessment in order to ensure a more inclusive social order. This is a global conversation that should involve domestic, as well as international actors and processes. In this vein, we endorse the idea of petitioning the United Nations Human Rights Council for the establishment of an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate racial injustice in the United States. These issues transcend borders and their internationalization will reaffirm that they are part of a much-needed global conversation and that the relevant mechanisms and processes have been designed to address problems wherever they occur, and not designed to be confined to the Global South.


         -  George Andreopoulos, Professor of Political Science and Director, CIHR

         -  Jennifer Hirst, Graduate Student and Assistant to the Director, CIHR

          -  Marie- Michelle Strah, Adjunct Assistant Professor, International Crime and Justice Program

          -  Ray Hilker, Research Assistant, CIHR