Regional Meeting for Europe, Central Asia and North America on the International Decade for People of African Descent
23 – 24 November 2017
Room XIX Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Oral Statement - Justice
Delivered by: Mr. Mutua K. Kobia
Thank you Chairperson,
This is a joint statement by Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) and EAFORD.
The current situation of racial discrimination in Europe and the North American region is especially worrying as there is a rise in racism, discrimination and hate speech among people in the government and people of influence. Worse still, these illegal acts are rarely condemned and the perpatrators often enjoy impunity.
In recent years the media has been used as a platform to vilify people of African Descent and further such vilification has garnered more and more support particularly due to misinformation, disinformation, and outright false information. The results of such acts lead to an escalation of the severity and spread of other human rights abuses and further perpetuates stereotypes and negative perceptions of Africans and Africa in general. Age-old ideas that have been confirmed false are resurfacing without any accountability.
In light of this situation we call on states to address and condemn this rise of hate speech especially within the government and people of influence and hold all those accountable.
Additionally, people on the move and people escaping economic hardships and fleeing armed conflict in North Africa in search of refuge in Europe are unfortunately targeted and discriminated against by authorities who are obligated to protect people. As mentioned in several accounts police and security forces commit grave human rights abuses against people of African descent in the streets, in detention centres, and moreover are discriminated against and receive unjust sentences in courts of justice.
Root causes and other indirect factors must be taken into account and adequately addressed and investigated. Additionally, disaggregated data must be collected, researched, and widely spread in an accessible manner.
In order to achieve justice education must be brought to migration and detention officers, police and security forces, as well as lawyers and justice. Such recommendations and best practices can be found in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, which we recommended all states to adopt and implement.
In conclusion we ask what measures are being taken by the European region to address these issues and integrate the work and input from civil society?
Click here for the oral statement on the Panel discussion on "Development".