GENEVA (14 January 2022) – The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will carry out a fact-finding visit to Switzerland from 17 to 26 January 2022.
"We will gather information on any forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance, in order to assess the overall human rights situation of people of African descent in Switzerland," said Dominique Day, who heads the expert group.
The Working Group's delegation, which is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will travel to Bern, Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva, and meet representatives of the Government, national institutions, people of African descent, civil society organisations and individuals working on issues of racism and racial discrimination.
The delegation, which also includes human rights experts Catherine Namakula and Barbara Reynolds, will look into good practices and gaps in protecting the human rights of people of African descent in Switzerland. The Working Group will present a report containing its findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in September 2022.
The experts will also promote the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), which aims to highlight the contribution of people of African descent to societies, and to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation to ensure that the human rights of people of African descent around the world are respected, protected and fulfilled.
A news conference to share the delegation's preliminary findings will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, 26 January at Hotel Kreuz Bern, Zeughausgasse 41, CH-3011 Bern.
The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was established on 25 April 2002 by the then Commission on Human Rights, following the World Conference against Racism held in Durban in 2001. It is composed of five independent experts: Ms. Dominique Day (United States of America) current Chair-Rapporteur; Ms. Catherine Namakula (Uganda); Ms. Miriam Ekiudoko (Hungary); Ms. Barbara Reynolds (Guyana) and Mr. Sushil Raj (India).
The Working Group is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.
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