Lack of right to counsel affects POC communities, says treaty body

08/29/2014, Report, All Basic Human Needs

In 2014, a shadow report written by Columbia University's Human Rights Institute and Northeastern School of Law's Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (NUSL) responded to a report issued by the United States regarding its compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). On August 29, 2014, the CERD Committee issued its recommendations to the United States. There is a blog post by a NUSL student that summarizes the key language from the recommendations, but the key portions 1) urge the U.S. to adopt a right to counsel in immigration proceedings; and 2) reiterate the concern about how a lack of a right to counsel in basic human needs cases disproportionately affects people of color and urged the U.S. to "ensure effective access to legal representation for indigent persons belonging to racial and ethnic minorities in civil proceedings, particularly with regard to proceedings that have serious consequences for their security and stability, such as evictions, foreclosures, domestic violence, discrimination in employment, termination of subsistence income or medical assistance, loss of child custody, and deportation proceedings."


You can read more about CERD in our comprehensive bibliography.



NCCRC contributed to the shadow report.