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Children’s Rights ICERD Submission for the U.S. Periodic Report

Every day, unjust child welfare laws and policies subject Black families to surveillance, policing, and discrimination that causes devastating harm, breaking apart families and violating their human rights. At every stage of the child welfare system, Black children and families face racism and unequal outcomes compared to their white counterparts.

This failure to dismantle systems and laws that discriminate against Black children and families represents an urgent human rights violation. 

Together, with over 30 advocacy organizations, Children’s Rights has called on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to hold the United States accountable for its failure to adequately address or remedy racial discrimination within the child welfare system.

In August 2022, Children’s Rights will be in Geneva for the UN review of the United States’ performance on efforts to eliminate racial discrimination. With over half of Black children experiencing surveillance by the child welfare system, it is clear the U.S. is failing to uphold its obligations under the Convention.

WE NEED ANSWERS

1

What concrete steps is the U.S. taking to recognize, review, and remedy racial disparities and ongoing discrimination against Black families in the child welfare system?

2

What concrete steps will the U.S. take to review federal laws that perpetuate racism in the child welfare system and harm Black children and families? 

Is the Administration committed to drafting, recommending, and sponsoring legislation that rescinds harmful laws and policy and enhances protections for Black children?

3

How will the U.S. work to prevent the poverty-based removals of Black children? 

What action will it take to address the underlying factors that lead families to child welfare involvement for poverty reasons 

4

What concrete steps will the U.S. take to ensure that key factors, including the right to family integrity and the known trauma of family separation, are considered by child welfare agents and judicial decision makers in determinations regarding child removal?

WE NEED ANSWERS

1

What concrete steps is the U.S. taking to recognize, review, and remedy racial disparities and ongoing discrimination against Black families in the child welfare system?

2

What concrete steps will the U.S. take to review federal laws that perpetuate racism in the child welfare system and harm Black children and families? 

Is the Administration committed to drafting, recommending, and sponsoring legislation that rescinds harmful laws and policy and enhances protections for Black children?

3

How will the U.S. work to prevent the poverty-based removals of Black children? 

What action will it take to address the underlying factors that lead families to child welfare involvement for poverty reasons 

4

What concrete steps will the U.S. take to ensure that key factors, including the right to family integrity and the known trauma of family separation, are considered by child welfare agents and judicial decision makers in determinations regarding child removal?

Alejandra Londono Gomez
Policy Analyst & Former Child Welfare Worker

Angela Olivia Burton
Attorney

Bobbi Taylor
Lived Experience Engagement Consultant

Brooklyn Defender Services

Center for Family Representation

Center for the Study of Social Policy

Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Culture Creations, Inc.

Disability and Civil Rights Clinic, Brooklyn Law School

Dorothy E. Roberts
George A. Weiss, University Professor of Africana Studies, Law & Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

East Bay Family Defenders

Families Together in New York State

Family Defense Consulting

Heather Imperiale
Mother, Activist

Honorable Bryanne Hamill

JMacForFamilies 

Lawyers for Children

Louisiana Elite Advocacy Force

Mining For Gold, LLC

MJCF Coalition

National Association of Counsel for Children

National Center for Youth Law

Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem

NYU School of Law Family Defense Clinic

Parent Legislative Action Network

Partners for Our Children, Seattle, WA

Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts, The University of Baltimore School of Law

The Bronx Defenders

The National Juvenile Justice Network

upEND Movement

Village Arms LLC

Whitney Bunts
Policy Analyst

Racial Injustice in Child Welfare is an Urgent Human Rights Issue

We’re calling on the UN Committee to hold the U.S. government accountable.

Racial Injustice in the Child Welfare System is an Urgent Human Rights Issue.

We’re calling on the UN Committee to hold the U.S. government accountable.

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