51st session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: interactive dialogue with the
Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development
Friday 16 September 2022
Statement by Action Canada for Population and Development
Thank you, President.
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We welcome the Expert Mechanism’s study on racism and the right to development; two of the most neglected issues within human rights mechanisms. The study rightly contextualizes contemporary manifestations of racism as legacies of colonialism and slavery and an undeniable barrier to the right to development.
We were therefore disappointed that the study did not elaborate on reparations as an essential step towards racial justice within and among states as recommended by the Special Rapporteur on Racism. Countries that have amassed enormous wealth through the subjugation of entire peoples and exploitation of their natural resources, and continue to do so with the support of international financial institutions, owe a debt that must be paid.
This debt involves more than financial compensation. Wealthy countries must reckon with their colonial and imperial pasts and present, and confront the blatant racism at work within geopolitical spheres. Further, wealthy countries must desist from perpetuating the false dichotomy between civil and political rights on the one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other. This only serves to reinforce racist constructions of who is entitled to the right to development.
We would therefore ask the Expert Mechanism to elaborate on the role of reparations within the right development.
I thank you.