2021 focus: Recognition, justice and development: The midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent
This year, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is focused on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent undertaken by the Human Rights Council in Geneva as part of its 43rd session. As the Decade approaches its half-way mark in 2020, a review will take stock of the progress made and decide on further necessary actions.
There are around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent living in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent.
Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, people of African descent constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups. They still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security and their degree of political participation is often low. In addition, people of African descent can suffer from multiple forms of discrimination based on age, sex, language, religion, political opinion, social origin, property, disability, birth, or other status.
The International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by General Assembly resolution and observed from 2015 to 2024, provides a solid framework to take effective measures to address these issues in the spirit of recognition, justice and development. The midterm review is vital for assessing the effectiveness of the programme of activities of the Decade, its implementation and challenges during the first five years and, based on the assessment, generating improvements in the activities and programmes planned for the next five years. The final assessment will provide guidance to the various existing mechanisms and all stakeholders, including concrete recommendations for future courses of action to ensure the continued protection and promotion of the rights of people of African descent after the conclusion of the Decade.