The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: Exclusive

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Voices for action on The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination:

The 2022 edition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination focuses on the theme “VOICES FOR ACTION AGAINST RACISM”. This edition aims at highlighting the importance of strengthening meaningful and safe public participation and representation in all areas of decision-making to prevent and combat racial discrimination; reaffirming the importance of full respect for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and of protecting civic space, and recognizing the contribution of individuals and organizations that stand up against racial discrimination and the challenges they face.

Statement by President Biden on the International Day for the Elimination  of Racial Discrimination - U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the Republic of Korea

This simple message can be a powerful vehicle to encourage people everywhere. In order to strengthen and consolidate their voices against racism, to mobilize against all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination and injustice, and to ensure a safe environment for those who speak up. It lends itself towards telling personal interest stories and can feature people and populations from across the world.

This theme draws also inspiration from the High Commissioner’s report on racial justice and the Agenda Towards Transformative Change for Racial Justice and Equality: “LISTEN UP: Ensure that people of African descent and those who stand up against racism are protected and heard, and their concerns are acted on”.

Background.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a program of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the people struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.

Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and we have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities, and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March to remind people about the negative consequences of racial discrimination. The 2022 edition of the International Day focuses on the theme “VOICES FOR ACTION AGAINST RACISM”.

This edition aims, in particular, at highlighting the importance of strengthening meaningful and safe public participation and representation in all areas of decision-making to prevent and combat racial discrimination; reaffirming the importance of full respect for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and of protecting civic space, and recognizing the contribution of individuals and organizations that stand up against racial discrimination and the challenges they face.

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