AFRICAN DESCENT AND AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Regional Conference on the International Year for People of African Descent:
The Situation of People of African Descent in the Americas – Prospects and Challenges
The IACHR’s Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination invites all OAS Member States, Permanent Observers and civil society organizations to participate in the Regional Conference “The Situation of People of African Descent in the Americas – Prospects and Challenges,” which will take place at the Hall of the Americas, in the Main Building of the OAS, on March 14, 2011. This conference is co-sponsored by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations and by the non-governmental organization Global Rights – Partners for Justice.
On December 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/64/169, which proclaimed 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent, with a view to strengthening national measures and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to the full enjoyment of their human rights. Moreover, the OAS General Assembly adopted, on May 8, 2010, Resolution AG/RES. 2550 (XL-O/10): “Recognition of the International Year for People of African Descent.”
Particularly since the creation of its Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discriminations, in 2005, the IACHR has examined the situation of people of African descent in the Americas, developed jurisprudence and identified certain priority challenges that afrodescendants face in the Hemisphere. In this framework, the Inter-American Commission is organizing this Regional Conference in order to discuss the following topics:
1) Affirmative action policies on behalf of people of African descent;
2) Collective Rights of people of African descent, particularly the right to their lands;
3) Racial discrimination in the justice systems, including racial profiling, police brutality and the discriminatory enforcement of criminal law through judicial processes.
Through this regional event, the IACHR aims at, among other objectives, raising awareness and identifying the main challenges faced by Afro-descendants in the Americas, as well as interchanging information on best practices. The IACHR considers that the Regional Conference will also strengthen the work of its Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination, while fostering a deeper understanding by Member States and OAS political organs about the State duty to respect and ensure the human rights of people of African descent.
If you have any questions regarding the Regional Conference, please contact Mr. Leonardo Hidaka: LHidaka@oas.org or (1.202) 458-6186