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International Year for People of African Descent


On 18 December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning on 1 January 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent (PDF). The Year aims at strengthening national action and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent. This includes their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture.

Around 200 million people who identify themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. In proclaiming this International Year, the international community is recognising that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.

The main objective of the Year is to raise awareness of the challenges facing people of African descent. It is hoped that the Year will foster discussions that will generate proposals for solutions to tackle these challenges.

Calendar of events
29-30 April - Conference "Sur la route d'Afrique" (On the Road to Africa)
CHRS Armée du Salut, Paris, France
More details (PDF - in French)

18-20 April - Interregional Philosophical Dialogue between Africa and the Americas - "Africa and its Diaspora"
Purdue University, Indiana, United States of America
More details

30 April - 4 May - Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent/ 10th session
Palais des Nations room XVIII, Geneva, Switzerland
More details

21-23 March – SEPHIS Workshop "Equity, Justice, Development: People of African Descent in Latin America in comparative Perspective"
University of Cartagena, Colombia
Contact: milanes58@gmail.com
More details (PDF)

21 March – International Day against Racial Discrimination – Film Screening: "Defensa 1464"
Palais des Nations room XII, Geneva, Switzerland
More details (PDF)

7 March - Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD): Thematic Discussion on racial discrimination against people of African descent
Palais des Nations room XVIII, Geneva, Switzerland
More details

2 March - Human Rights Council/ 16th session: Panel on the enjoyment of the HRs of people of African descent
Palais des Nations room XX, Geneva, Switzerland
More details

See more ...




Fellowship Programme
The Fellowship Programme will provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the UN human rights system, with a focus on issues of particular relevance to people of African descent.

The logo for the International Year for People of African Descent comes in all six official UN languages, in colour and black and white and in different formats for adaption to all situations. The look can be downloaded for use on your promotional materials.

Statements and messages
Statements by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the Chair of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

This electronic toolkit offers practical resources designed to assist you tackle the issues related to people of African descent, during the International Year and beyond.

Information notes
The information notes offer an overview on people of African descent and their human rights concerns.

Feature stories
Feature stories about people of African descent and the work of the United Nations to promote and protect their human rights.

Related links
The resources page provides links to other web pages of the United Nations system commemorating the International Year for People of African Descent.