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UN: US lacks commitment to 'reparations for people of African descent'

[JURIST] A group of UN experts on people of African descent stated [press release] Friday that "ideology ensuring the domination of one group over another continues to negatively impact the civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of African Americans today." Following a tour of several US cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York, the group expressed concern over police killings and violence in the African American community, racial bias and mass incarceration in the criminal justice system, and the "criminalization of poverty," which disproportionately affects African Americans. Led by Mireille Fanon Mendes France and comprised of Sabelo Gumedze and Ricardo A. Sunga III, the experts opined on discrimination in almost all human development indicators.

Discrimination issues take many forms [JURIST op-ed] in the US. In late January the Obama administration announced new efforts to close the gender pay gap [JURIST report] in the US. Earlier in the month a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] a North Carolina voter ID law, one that rights groups have criticized as disproportionately impacting low-income individuals, can go into effect in March. At the beginning of January, Alabama chief justice Roy Moore instructed [JURIST report] state judges not to issue same-sex marriage licenses. The Alabama Supreme Court had ruled in March 2015 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is legal, and Moore's order states that ruling remains in effect despite the June Supreme Court ruling finding such bans unconstitutional.

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