OHCHR and the International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024

“The Decade is a unique platform that emphasises the important contribution made by people of African descent to every society, and promotes concrete measures to stop discrimination and promote their full inclusion.”

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Human Rights Council, 43rd session, 13 March 2020
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In December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 68/237, by which it proclaimed 2015 to 2024 to be the International Decade for People of African Descent, with the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development”.
The resolution established the following specific objectives for the International Decade:

  • To strengthen national, regional and international action and cooperation in relation to the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights by people of African descent and their full and equal participation in all aspects of society;
  • To promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies;
  • To adopt and strengthen national, regional and international legal frameworks in accordance with the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and to ensure their full and effective implementation.

Key documents

General Assembly resolution on the Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent  View resolution: A/RES/69/16

General Assembly resolution proclaiming the International Decade for People of African Descent View resolution A/RES/68/237

Fact Sheet (PDF / Word )

View dedicated UN website for the International Decade for People of African Descent

Role of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was appointed to act as coordinator of the Decade in order to follow up on the implementation of activities outlined in the framework.

 In this capacity, OHCHR:

Latest publications

Voices of the Decade
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Voices of the Decade features 11 stories of fellows of African descent, providing a snapshot of the important and inspiring work achieved to promote the human rights of people of African descent throughout the world. Voices of the Decade is a call, and a source of inspiration, for everyone to work together towards recognition, justice and development for people of African descent.

Preventing and countering racial profiling of people of African descent (2019)
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Women and girls of African descent: Human rights achievements and challenges (2018)
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Latest reports

2020 Mid-term report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on her activities in follow-up to the implementation of the programme of activities within the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent
View report A/HRC/45/47 (Advanced Edited Version)

2019 Secretary-General Progress report on Implementation of the Activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent:  The focus of the 2019 progress report, submitted by the Secretary General to the 74th session of the General Assembly, is the Right to Development, and the rights of people of African descent in relation to Sustainable Development Goals, notably goals 4, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.
View report A/74/308

2018 Secretary-General Progress reporton Implementation of the Activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent:  The focus of the 2018 progress report, submitted by the Secretary General to the 73rd session of the General Assembly, is the issue of Racial Profiling.
View report A/73/354