Countdown to Human Rights Day
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During its 20th session the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent (WGEPAD) held a Consultation with Civil Society on 5 April 2017 from 15:00 to 18:00 hrs at the OHCHR office Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of the consultation was to explore new and innovative ways for the Working Group to work with civil society organizations to strengthen its work.
The Working Group recognizes that much remains to be done to realize the human rights of people of African descent and combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance they face. The Working Group seeks to increase its engagement with civil society organizations to further enhance the effectiveness of its work.
The Working Group also continues to advocate for the implementation of the Programme of activities for the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) in partnership with civil society.
This event allowed the Working Group to engage with and learn from civil society and to determine how to strengthen efforts to prevent racial discrimination faced by people of African descent.
For the first time Civil Society that were not able to attend the Consultations with the WGEPAD in Geneva were able to participate remotely. The consultation was web cast live on UN Web TV at http://webtv.un.org/.
Contributions were also sought on social media platforms during and after the event, using the hashtag #WGEPAD #Africandescent #Fightracism , and input received informed the discussions. The afternoon included substantive discussions on three guiding questions exploring Key human rights concerns of people of African descent, ways to strengthen the impact of the WGEPAD recommendations and priority human rights concerns which the Working Group should focus on in the next three years.
Prior to the consultation, civil society organizations were invited to submit written responses to the questions outlined below.
1. What are the key human rights concerns of people of African descent in your country/region today and how do you work to address them?
2. How can the WGEPAD improve and enhance its engagement with civil society for greater impact on the ground?
3. Which human rights concerns should the WGEPAD focus on in the next three years?