Lets Not Discriminate
Racial discrimination can be defined as any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On this day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”.In 1966, the United Nations, General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and the United Nations, General Assembly have built an international framework for fighting racism, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.
This years theme is Mitigating and countering rising nationalist populism and extreme supremacist ideologies.
Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO message marking this day said “Racial discrimination still has not been banished to the history books. This vicious form of exclusion and intolerance continues to manifest itself on the sports field, in the media, on the streets, in the workplace and even in the corridors of power.’’
She further noted that “In the 50 years since the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination came into force in 1969, many of the more pernicious racial laws around the world have been eliminated, and slavery and apartheid abolished.’’
The rise of use social media has come with its positive and negative effects, often some social media users use it as a tool to injure others through harsh and judgmental posts that demeans someone’s character. Regulating users or educating them on possible actions that could trigger racial discrimination is fundamental.
Ms Audrey Azoulay in her message said “ The Internet can be fertile ground for the spread of racial discrimination, xenophobia and supremacist ideologies, often targeting migrants and refugee, as well as people of African descent. UNESCO – as the UN agency responsible for communication and information – develops tools for Media and Information Literacy to combat such attitudes online and tackle the spread of “fake news”.
In any occurrence of racial discrimination be it migrants, refugees, citizens of a country, quite a large percentage of children are vulnerable, their rights violated and may cause a lot of harm in the hands of the perpetrators.
On a daily basis, racial discrimination continues to silently deprive people of their basic rights to employment, housing and a social life embodied through iniquitous laws. Through UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities (ICCAR), we support Member States in developing urban policies to tackle modern day exclusion.
Ending racial discrimination is key by member states in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal number eleven of Sustainable cities and communities by the year 2030.
“On a daily basis, racial discrimination continues to silently deprive people of their basic rights to employment, housing and a social life embodied through iniquitous laws. Through UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities (ICCAR), we support Member States in developing urban policies to tackle modern day exclusion. In addition, this year, as the International Year of Indigenous’’ notes Ms Audrey Azoulay
We must rise to protect and defend human rights with one voice for better place and future,lets educate and create awareness.
The fight against discrimination is one we must all lead. On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, let us all stand together as Member States, civil society organizations and citizens to eliminate racial discrimination, and build more sustainable societies.
What’s your message towards ending racial discrimination. Join the conversation on our digital platforms @MtotoNews. #FightRacism
Photo Courtsey:// Save the Children
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