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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

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


A/RES/69/16

General Assembly resolution on the Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent 


A/RES/68/237

General Assembly resolution proclaiming the International Decade for People of African Descent


Fact sheet: People of African Descent


Calls for Input


Call for inputs for the 2024 report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the implementation of the programme of activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent
Deadline: 30 April 2024


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


Disaggregated data to advance the human rights of people of African descent
The present publication focuses on the collection and use of disaggregated data in efforts to promote and protect the human rights of people of African descent. It examines international human rights standards and good practices related to data collection, analysis, dissemination and publication and draws on the observations and recommendations of international human rights mechanisms and on contributions from stakeholders. It includes recommendations for Member States to apply a human rights-based approach to data in order to understand and combat the discrimination experienced by people of African descent. The approach is based, inter alia, on respecting the self-identification of rights holders as people of African descent. The human rights-based approach also promotes participatory and transparent data-gathering exercises, as well as privacy and security safeguards that would mitigate the risk of violations in the process of data management.


Voices of the Decade
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)


Women and girls of African descent: Human rights achievements and challenges (2018)


Latest reports


A/78/317

Report of the Secretary-General on the Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent


A/77/333

Report of the Secretary-General on the Programme of activities for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent


A/76/322

2021 Secretary-General Progress report on Implementation of Activities on the International Decade for People of African Descent


A/75/363

2020 Secretary-General Progress report on Implementation of activities of the International Decade for People of African Descent


A/HRC/45/47

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


A/74/308

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.


A/73/354

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.