March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

| March 21, 2016

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The 2016 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is devoted to the challenges and achievements of a document called the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. This comes 15 years after the landmark document was adopted at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa.

The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action is a comprehensive framework for fighting racism and related forms of intolerance and discrimination. It reads: “People of African descent have for centuries been victims of racism, racial discrimination and enslavement and the denial by history of many of their rights … they should be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and should not suffer discrimination of any kind.”

Racism and related acts of intolerance continue to occur on a daily basis all around the world. Rising bigotry and prejudice are challenges for all countries, and the Internet provides a new vehicle for their proliferation.

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Photo: Daughters, mothers, grandmothers, midwives, ministers, academics, activists, domestic workers and a diverse range of women take part in the Black Women’s March against Racism and Violence in Brasilia, Brazil (18 November 2015). Credit: UNDP/Tiago Zenero