The International Day for People of African Descent was celebrated for the first time on 31 August 2021.
2024 will see the end of the International Decade for People of African Descent and while to date there has been some progress at legislative, policy and institutional levels, people of African descent continue to suffer discrimination. COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgency of addressing structural inequalities and systematic racism in the health sector.
Sadly, many people do not recognise or acknowledge that such inequalities are a reality suffered by so many. This is one of the biggest barriers against eradicating these historical inequalities.
On 19 June 2020, the Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on the “Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers”.
As a result of this, the High Commissioner for Human Rights presented her agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality to the Human Rights Council at its 47th session.
Through the observance of this International Day, the United Nations aims to promote the extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.
The International Decade aims to celebrate the important contributions of people of African descent worldwide, advance social justice and inclusion policies, eradicate racism and intolerance, promote human rights, and assist in creating better, more prosperous communities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals spearheaded by the United Nations.