HRC 42: Statement on the Interactive Dialogue on People of African Descent

42nd Session of Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

Statement by Action Canada for Population and Development

19 September, 2019

Thank you Mr President, Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative and the Coalition of African Lesbians.

We welcome the working group’s reaffirmation of white supremacy and the elevation of whiteness as the root cause of discrmination and oppression of people of African descent.

We affirm that the institutionalisation of white supremacy disadvantages people of African descent on a wide range of levels including both the structural and interpersonal.

We highlight the recent xenophobic attacks perpetrated against African migrants in South Africa as an example of deep seated colonial legacies and the entrenchment of white supremacy in modern day African democracies and the continued struggle of African people for development and self-determination.

The institutionalization and intersection of racism, sexism and xenophobia structures societies in ways that further impede the ability of Black people, of Black women to live autonomous lives free from physical, emotional, sexual and economic violence.

We implore the working group to take into consideration the very real threat of the surveillance of people of African descent through the very data that is collected in an effort to curtail human rights violations and abuses leveled at this population.

We call on States to:

  1. To action their acknowledgement and regret of slavery, genocide apartheid and continued discrimination and oppression of people of African descent through the payment of reparations
  2. Acknowledge the role of business in taking advantage of undocumented migrant workers and perpetuating gross labour and human rights violations