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.

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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.

  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?

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.