53rd session of the Human Rights Council
19 June 2023 – 14 July 2023
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism
11 July 2023
Joint Statement by International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
Delivered by Eunike Mangampa
Thank you, Vice President. We welcome both reports of the Special Rapporteur. We are plagued by our past. Our past is rooted in a history of colonialism and slavery, where subjugation and exploitation became the modus operandi of the most powerful nations and individuals. Failure to recognise this past has enabled the same cycle of racial injustice to permeate our society at large.
The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action has long recognised racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related intolerances as a direct consequence of this past. Today, we reiterate our call on states to abide by their commitments and take account of their complicity in perpetuating patterns of racial discrimination.
Contemporary manifestations of this gruesome past are seen in all facets of our lives. It is in the racial profiling that killed 17-year-old Nahel last month. It has produced racially biased digital technologies that discriminate against people of colour. Recognising these historical roots is the key to fully comprehend the extent of this systemic racism and begin transitional justice processes and historical redress.
The DDPA is an integral instrument in safeguarding people’s rights and eradicating all forms of racism. EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice urge states to ensure that all education, healthcare, employment and ownership systems comply with the DDPA. We ask states to examine their current policies beyond the historical vacuum and acknowledge the effects colonialism and slavery has left upon them. We are plagued by our past, but we can choose to stop it from shaping our future.