UN Experts: Systemic Racism, Discrimination Undermine Human Rights Gains


On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a group of UN experts issue the following Joint Statement:

“The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is all the more important this year, especially as we mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Systemic racism, racial discrimination and various forms of xenophobia around the world have undermined the universality of human rights and the gains made by humankind in ending enslavement, apartheid, colonial rule and discriminatory laws and practices.

To live in a world free of racism and discrimination, as envisaged by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains an unfulfilled agenda of the international community.

We call for strong political will to advance the global anti-racial discrimination agenda, in particular through the full and effective implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, as well as strengthening of legislation and sound implementation aiming at combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Member States must therefore urgently demonstrate collective action and forge consensus to combat racism and racial discrimination, including through constructive engagement at the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, and with all the UN anti-racism mechanisms and bodies.

Member States now also need to show greater resolve and commitment to implement the extensive recommendations made by these mechanisms and bodies, and to address the current and historical challenges.

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