Skip to main content
call for input | Special Procedures

Call for written submissions: Visit by the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to Colombia

Issued by

Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent


22 April 2024

Purpose: The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) would like to invite all interested individuals and organizations, in particular people of African descent, representatives of civil society organizations, experts and academics, to provide information on the human rights situation of people of African descent in Colombia.

The Working Group is undertaking a fact-finding country visit to Colombia in May 2024. The Working Group’s visit is at the invitation of the Government and will be facilitated by the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights. The programme of the visit will include meetings with Government officials, national institutions, civil society organizations, academia and people of African descent.

What is the WGEPAD?

The Working Group is a UN body of independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. It is dedicated to improving the human rights situation of people of African descent worldwide. To fulfil its mandate, the Working Group undertakes country visits; holds two annual sessions; responds to information and allegations received concerning its mandate under the Special procedures communications procedure; and reports to the UN Human Rights Council and the General Assembly on issues relating to its mandate.

The purpose of country visits

Country visits provide an opportunity to examine in detail the situation of people of African descent in the country, to identify any problems and to make recommendations for how these could be resolved. The Working Group also identifies good practices that could be replicated in other countries. The visits are intended to provide an independent and impartial assessment, which will then be of use to all actors.

What happens during a country visit?

The Working Group meets with relevant Government ministers and other officials, representatives of independent human rights institutions, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academia, the media, human rights defenders, and people of African descent, among others. The Working Group usually begins a visit in the capital city and then continues with visits to other cities or towns of particular relevance to the situation of people of African descent.

What sort of information is gathered during a country visit?

The Working Group will gather information regarding: any forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance faced by people of African descent; measures taken to prevent racial discrimination and protect victims of racism and hate crimes; mechanisms for the protection, integration and inclusion of migrants and refugees; responses to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that specific groups of African descent may face; and other actions undertaken by the authorities to protect people of African descent from human rights violations.

Specifically with regard to its visit to Colombia, the Working Group is particularly interested in learning more about the following topics as relevant:

  • Key human rights concerns and violations that people of African descent in Colombia experience;
  • Emblematic cases of racial discrimination faced by people of African descent in Colombia;
  • Racial bias and discrimination in the criminal justice system and law enforcement, including racial profiling and combating terrorism;
  • Afrophobia, xenophobia, racially motivated acts of violence, including hate crimes;
  • Access to justice, protection of victims of racial discrimination and the legal aid system;
  • Access to education, health, employment, housing, social and public services;
  • Human rights of migrants and refugees, immigration laws, detention/probation centres; citizenship; and deportation issues;
  • Representation in the media, racist discourse/racist hate speech including in social media, stigmatization and harmful racial stereotyping; misuse of political platforms;
  • Cultural rights;
  • Recognition and remembrance of past atrocities and legacies through education and history teaching, revision of curriculum, and teacher training;
  • The situation of youth and children, women and girls, and multiple/intersecting forms of discrimination;
  • Data collection/analysis and statistics on the composition of the population, including recent statistical information available on the demographics of people of African descent in Colombia;
  • Information on measures to prevent racial discrimination, protect victims of racism and improve the human rights situation of people of African descent and to promote racial equality and social cohesion, notably through laws, policies, action plans, special projects, programmes, strategies or other initiatives.
What happens after the country visit?

At the end of its visit, the Working Group will prepare and submit a statement outlining its preliminary findings to the Government. It will inform the public of its findings by means of a press conference, after having briefed the Government. Additionally, the Working Group may choose to give other media interviews. The Working Group will present the report on its visit to Colombia to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2024, and the report will be available on the OHCHR website.

Key questions and types of input/comments sought

Respondents are requested to limit their submission to a maximum of 2500 words. Relevant reports, academic studies and other types of background materials can be attached as an annex or included as hyperlinks.

How inputs will be used?

The inputs will inform the preparation of the visit. All inputs will be treated as confidential unless otherwise indicated.

Media inquiries

There will be a press conference at the end of the visit. For more information and media requests, please write to: [email protected]

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts, please contact Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected]) or Maya Derouaz ([email protected]).

Next Steps

Input/comments may be sent by e-mail by 20 April 2024 18:00 CEST.

Email address:
[email protected]

Email subject line:
Call for written submissions: Visit by the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent to Colombia

Word/Page limit:
2500 words

Accepted file formats:
PDF, Word

Accepted Languages:
English, A short summary in English would be useful if the original submission is in another language.

Postal addresses:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland