October 28, 2019 | From City of New Orleans

City of New Orleans Submits Its First Human Rights Report to the United Nations

NEW ORLEANS- The City’s newly established Office of Human Rights and Equity has submitted its first independent report to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review. The United Nations uses the Universal Period Review (UPR) process to collect information from local human rights organizations around the world.

The information submitted by New Orleans will be used to create a UPR Stakeholder Report, a broader analysis of human rights issues in the United States. This is used to inform treaties, sets priorities and provides guidance to organizations around the world.

"Our work helps place the unique challenges that New Orleans faces in their proper international context. This report underscores our City's commitment to the hard work being done by our international human rights institutions. Since establishing the City’s first Office of Human Rights & Equity we have been making real progress in addressing the disparities our people face, and submitting this report is another important step in this work," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We are building upon this work with the proposed change to the City’s Home Rule Charter that would create a local Human Rights Commission, which would help us to protect all our people from discrimination."

Read the report here.

New Orleans made its submission after the Office of Human Rights and Equity solicited feedback from various City departments, community stakeholders, and advocacy organizations. The focus areas were:

  • Racial discrimination
  • Environmental justice and sustainability
  • Criminal justice
  • Housing and economic justice
  • Health and healthcare

Across the country, reports submitted by groups involved in the UPR Cities initiative cite housing rights, racial inequities, and lack of democracy among the top concerns.

Reports submitted include:

The report shines a light on the Office's work on human rights and equity issues. On Nov. 16, a proposed change to the Home Rule Charter of New Orleans would create a local Human Rights Commission that would be empowered to enforce state and municipal laws that protect residents from discrimination.

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