ENAR advocates for harmonising equality data collection in the United Nations, New York

From May 30th to June 2nd 2023, a small ENAR delegation attended the second session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent in New York. Organised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the overarching theme of the second session was “Realizing the dream: A United Nations Declaration on the promotion, protection and full respect of the human rights of people of African descent”.

The event was attended by:

  • 193 Member States
  • 900 civil society represented
  • 60 side events
  • Five thematic panels

On day two of the event, ENAR Director (policy, advocacy and network development), Ojeaku Nwabuzo, was invited to represent ENAR on the Panel: “Recognising and Addressing Systemic and Structural Racism: A Data Driven and Evidence-Based Approach.”

We called for:

-harmonised racial justice indicators and targets and data collection, monitoring and analysis reproduced over years.

-a committee to develop a strategy around data collection and ensure that there is the collection of timely and reliable disaggregated data on people of African descent conducive to the better execution of public policies. A data collection strategy to include people on the move.

-all areas of life must be covered – looking to international frameworks such as ICERD, which has a broader understanding of discrimination that could be instrumental for developing a racial justice lens to data collection.

-funding and guidance on human rights-based and data-driven approaches to recognising and addressing systemic and structural racism developed in partnership with organisations that understand the impact of racial injustice.

Read the full statement here and watch the full panel discussion.

ENAR Delegation at the UN Permanent Forum on the People of African Descent 2023
ENAR Delegation from left to right: Shaban Sidratu Jah Sesay (ENAR Board – Spain), Ojeaku Nwabuzo (ENAR Director (policy, advocacy and network development)), Nyanchama Okemwa (ENAR Chair – Belgium), Xavier Donker (ENAR Board – Netherlands)

Conclusions and recommendations

The Permanent Forum of People of African Descent made a number of conclusions and recommendations in this video, including:

  • The Permanent Forum plans comprehensive regional consultation across the world on the draft United Nations Declaration on the promotion, protection and full respect of the human rights of people of African descent.
  • The Permanent Forum recognises that despite periodic, disaggregated surveys from European Union agencies, people of African descent still suffer from racial stratification and the people of African descent on average are at a disadvantage across areas of society. People of African descent require statical, diagnostic and monitoring of human rights within a framework and with the purpose of informing targeted, measurable and accountable policy making.
  • The Permanent Forum highlighted that there are many structural inequalities in transnational migration due to racism and recommends the IOM’s data collection and reporting should include recommendations to the UN and its member states on racial disparities in transnational migration and how they can be effectively addressed.
  • The Permanent Forum recognizes that Pan-Africanism was and still is a global movement for the liberation of Africans and people of African Descent from colonialism, enslavement, subjugation and systemic racism. Pan-Africanism in the 21st Century is a movement of dignity, justice and peace, firmly grounded in human equality and non-discrimination and rule of law.
  • The Permanent Forum also expresses concerns about the often-profound negative impact of racism, racial discrimination and Intergenerational trauma on the health and wellbeing of people of African descent. From birth to death people of African descent fair worse in health measures compared to than their white counterparts such as higher rates of infant and maternal mortality. Intergenerational trauma, legacies of colonialism, enslavement and the transatlantic trade, the permanent forum recognizes the intersectionality of health disparities faced by people of African descent are multifaceted factors including socio and economic factors.

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