United Nations WGEPAD 20th session, “Leaving no one behind, people of African descent and the Sustainable Development Goals”

Academic Leads: Dr Michael McEachraneDr Ornette D Clennon, Professor Robbie Shilliam and Esther Ojulari

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Publications and Outputs

Click here.

  • Our UN Expertise and Policy Development. Click, here

United Nations General Assembly

Human Rights Council: Thirty-sixth session, 

11 – 29 September 2017

Agenda item 9

Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related
forms of intolerance, follow-up to and implementation of
the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

As part of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD), our work with the IDPAD Coalition UK led us to write a proposal for action to recognise the structural legacies of colonialism. We submitted the proposal to the twentieth session for The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) and it was successfully incorporated into their draft recommendations and subsequently into their final report which was presented to the United Nations General Assembly via The Human Rights Council: Thirty-sixth session, 11 – 29 September, 2017

Our proposal can be read here. (See Publications and Outputs, above)

Our WGEPAD presentation can be read here.

Our areas of policy influence in their final report:

Conclusions (pp. 15 – 16)

66. The Working Group will consider the development of operational guidelines
for use by stakeholders (Governments, the United Nations and civil society) on how to prioritize people of African descent as a particularly discriminated-against group at all stages of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Working
Group will advocate for: (a) special attention to the human rights situation of people
of African descent, based on an analysis of disparities and specific programmes of
action to address gaps and improve their human rights situation; and (b) the designing of special projects, in collaboration with people of African descent and civil society, to support their initiatives.

68. The Working Group will consider contributing to a baseline study on data on
people of African descent, including the collection of disaggregated data in accordance with human rights principles governing participation, disaggregation, selfidentification, transparency, privacy and accountability. The study will be followed by an expert meeting on the importance of collecting data on people of African descent in order to close the gaps and address the inequalities and discrimination that they face.

Recommendations (pp. 16 – 17)

75. In order to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, States must provide
effective, accountable and inclusive public institutions which must, inter alia,
effectively protect the human rights of people of African descent. The Working Group recommends community-based monitoring of the Goals. Grass-roots organizations can become active partners for change.

77. States must ensure that people of African descent have access to quality
education which enables them to compete on an equal footing with others in the
labour market. States must acknowledge the persistence of structural racism and
multiple forms of discrimination within the education system and must therefore put in place appropriate legislation and affirmative action policies to tackle the problem. School curriculums for all should take into consideration an accurate account of the history of the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans, enslavement and colonialism.

83. States should promote a new appreciation of traditional knowledge, practices
and cultural expressions through transmission mechanisms specific to each culture
and with regard to the protection of the biological and cultural heritage of people of
African descent.

Pathways to Impact: Helping to shape UN Human Rights Council Policy

Draft Policy development work can be read here.