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USA: Biden's newly-signed hate crimes legislation is 'major step forward'

Joe Biden signed the legislation earlier today, part of a move designed to curtail a dramatic rise in hate crimes against people of East Asian descent in the country © Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg/Getty

COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act promises accountability for violence against Asian and other communities of colour

‘The US must confront and uproot the systems of white supremacy’ - Joanne Lin

Responding to US President Joe Biden signing into law a new COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act -  which includes the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act to improve hate crime data collection - Joanne Lin, National Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at Amnesty International USA, said:

“The enactment of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act is a major step forward to address racial violence by improving hate crimes reporting in order to hold government and law-enforcement accountable to the needs of communities of colour.

“The US must confront and uproot the systems of white supremacy that have contributed to the targeting, profiling and scapegoating of communities of colour.”

The new law provides for improved data collection and law-enforcement policies on identifying, investigating and reporting hate crimes; provides grants for state-run hotlines for reporting and connection to support services; and creates opportunities to rebuild communities and address the root causes of hate crimes through alternative sentencing for offenders.

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