On 3 November 2022 the newly established United Nations Expert Mechanism on Racial Justice and Equality in Law Enforcement (EMLER) visited the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund.
EMLER was established in 2021 in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter protests summer 2020. It belongs to its mandate to examine systemic racism and to “further transformative change for racial justice and equality in the context of law enforcement globally, especially where relating to the legacies of colonialism and the Transatlantic slave trade in enslaved Africans…”
It is the role of the three-person Expert Mechanism to conduct country visits and write reports and issue recommendations about those visits to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly.
Sweden was the first stop for EMLER. RWI hosted a well-attended roundtable discussion with the three expert members—Justice Yvonne Mokgoro, Dr. Tracie Keesee and Professor Juan Méndez—and representatives of civil society, antidiscrimination bureaus and researchers from Lund and Malmö Universities.
“We are very grateful for Sweden’s cooperation for this first visit of our Mandate. We will be taking with us good practices that we will highlight in our final report including on the police training, and resources allocated to the investigation of hate crimes,” Mokgoro said.
Several participants mentioned that in some segregated communities racial profiling is common, that current policy developments such as visitation zones will lead to increased racial profiling, that the Police really has no policies in place to monitor and prevent racial profiling and that the current anti-discrimination law offers little protection against racial and ethnic discrimination in law enforcement.
The Experts mentioned that they had been surprised by the lack of policies in the Police Authority against racial discrimination.