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Ferguson to Geneva: Using the Human Rights Framework to Push Forward a Vision for Racial Justice in the United States after Ferguson

33 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2015 Last revised: 22 Jul 2015

Justin Hansford

Saint Louis University - School of Law; Georgetown University Law Center; University of the Witwatersrand Law School; Harvard University Chalres Warren Center

Meena Jagannath

Community Justice Project, Inc.

Date Written: April 24, 2015

Abstract

As demonstrations under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter continue to erupt around the United States against state-sponsored violence, and as state, local, and federal officials continue to eschew fundamental social change, families and protesters have begun to explore alternative international forums in the search for justice. The Ferguson to Geneva delegation represents a significant event in this internationalist turn. The delegation, consisting of the parents of Mike Brown, Jr. and young Black leaders from Ferguson, chose to air their grievances before the United Nations Committee Against Torture in the fall of 2014. This article reproduces the delegation’s “shadow report,” which laid the groundwork for its testimony, and further describes delegation members' subsequent efforts to leverage the outcome of the United Nations Committee review process to bolster domestic advocacy. It concludes finally that international human rights law and its formal accountability mechanisms should not encompass the totality of what people perceive as the potential and depth of the human rights discourse; instead, these should be considered nothing more than tools that can be strategically employed to support a broader process of organizing and grassroots resistance.

Suggested Citation

Hansford, Justin and Jagannath, Meena, Ferguson to Geneva: Using the Human Rights Framework to Push Forward a Vision for Racial Justice in the United States after Ferguson (April 24, 2015). Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, Vol. 12, p. 101, Summer 2015; Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2598743

Justin Hansford (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.justinhansford.com

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC DC 20001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.justinhansford.com

University of the Witwatersrand Law School ( email )

1 Jan Smuts
Johannesburg
South Africa

Harvard University Chalres Warren Center ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.justinhansford.com

Meena Jagannath

Community Justice Project, Inc. ( email )

3000 Biscayne Blvd.
Ste 102
Miami, FL Florida 33137
United States
7866189049 (Phone)
7866189049 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.communityjusticeproject.com

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