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Black Lives Matter supporters and others march across the Brooklyn Bridge to honor George Floyd on the one year anniversary of his death on May 25, 2021 in New York City. Photo by Spencer Platt via Getty Images

The United Nations announced Tuesday plans to form a panel of experts to examine the root causes and effects of systemic racism in policing around the world, including the legacies of slavery and colonialism, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The move follows a year of heightened attention on police brutality against Black people, and comes after a UN human rights report detailed the need for reparatory justice and accountability.

Details: The panel, comprised of three experts in law enforcement and human rights, is expected have a three-year mandate for its investigation and to make recommendations for actionable change.

  • The other side: Britain and other former European colonial powers pushed back against the proposed panel, arguing that several UN entities are already responding to societal problems related to race and that colonialism-focused probes could divert attention from addressing contemporary racism.

Between the lines: "Civil rights groups see the resolution as a litmus test of the Biden administration’s readiness to follow through on campaign promises to tackle racism and how it will engage with the human rights council," the Times writes.

Worth noting: The investigation is the result of a resolution by African countries following UN findings that described systemic barriers to education, health care, employment, housing, clean water, political participation and other fundamental rights.

  • "[A] main part of the problem is that many people believe the misconceptions that the abolition of slavery, the end of the transatlantic trade and colonialism have removed the racially discriminatory structures built by those practices; [but] we found that this is not true," the UN Human Rights Office’s Mona Rishmawi said in a statement when the report was released in June.
  • For people of African descent, these legacies are "a part of their daily life and the daily reality of dehumanization, marginalization and denial of their rights."

The big picture: Protests in response to George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis last May triggered mass demonstrations around the world.

What to watch: Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. are working on a police reform bill.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden warns: "The 21st century Jim Crow assault is real"

Photo: Bloomberg / Getty Images

President Biden delivered remarks on Tuesday addressing efforts to curb voting rights in GOP-led states, saying the "21st century Jim Crow assault is real."

Why it matters: Biden noted Republican lawmakers across the United States have introduced nearly 400 bills in the past year in attempts to restrict voting rights. State lawmakers have enacted nearly 30 laws since the 2020 election aimed at restricting ballot access, per a June 21 tally by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law.

Jul 12, 2021 - World

U.S. restricts visas of 100 Nicaraguans associated with Ortega government

Daniel Ortega in 2019. Photo: Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. State Department imposed visa restrictions Monday on 100 members of Nicaragua's National Assembly and judicial system, accusing them of being involved in human rights abuses, crackdowns on peaceful protest and in passing laws aimed at suppressing free speech.

Why it matters: The restrictions come amid escalating political tension in the Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega’s government has detained 26 opposition figures in recent weeks, including several presidential candidates, and has also forced some critics to flee the country.

Updated 40 mins ago - Sports

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Go deeper: Full Axios coverage