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Thematic reports

A/HRC/54/66: Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and of people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers through transformative change for racial justice and equality


05 September 2023

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People of African descent


Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 47/21, in the present report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights places a spotlight on the right to participate in public affairs for people of African descent, recognizing that its effective implementation is key to ensuring that decision-making is informed by their lived experiences and expertise, and a prerequisite to transformative change for racial justice and equality. Furthermore, the High Commissioner provides an overview of broader developments and actions taken by States and others since July 2022.

The High Commissioner notes measures by some authorities at different levels to enhance participation in the context of actions to promote racial justice and equality, while highlighting the immense challenges and barriers faced by people of African descent with regard to meaningful, inclusive and safe participation.

The High Commissioner calls on States to show stronger political will, by taking concrete and special measures to implement effectively all components of the right to participate in public affairs for people of African descent. Furthermore, he urges States to use upcoming landmark moments to accelerate the pace of action and unveil multipronged comprehensive evidence-based approaches that encompass far-reaching legal, policy and institutional measures to dismantle systemic racism in all areas of life – developed, implemented and monitored with the meaningful participation of people of African descent.

In a guidance note annexed to the present report, and pursuant to resolution 47/21 which requests the High Commissioner to provide support for and strengthen assistance to States and other stakeholders, particularly people of African descent and their organizations, the High Commissioner brings visibility to the specific challenges faced by people of African descent with regard to participation in non-electoral contexts and gives impetus for State action to develop tailored responses to guarantee their right to participate, integrating an intersectional approach.

Issued By:

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Delivered To:

Human Rights Council Fifty-fourth session