Washington, D.C., September 13, 2015. The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights and the Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir (ILSB) organized a workshop for Afro-Mexican women on human rights and racial discrimination in Mexico City on August 24. The Institute held the event to coincide with Afro-Mexican women leaders’ attendance at the launch of the Report on Latin American Afro-Descendant Populations’ Organizations of the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) in Mexico City on August 25.

The workshop sought to deepen participants’ understanding of human rights, specifically from an Afro-descendant perspective, as well as to support exchange between Afro-descendant groups from different regions and communities.

During the workshop, the nineteen Afro-Mexican women attending from different communities in Oaxaca and Guerrero reviewed basic human rights principle, including the right to non-discrimination. Other topics covered included the universal human rights system and the legal concept of racial discrimination as used in international law.

Two speakers from the National Council to Prevent Racial Discrimination (CONAPRED) attended, Mireya del Pino, Research and Policy Director, and Nuriney Mendoza, Deputy Director for Complaints, who informed the group about CONAPRED’s work and emphasized the importance of the complaints mechanism. When asked about the racial discrimination cases received so far, the CONAPRED representatives affirmed that very few complaints had been received to date.

Throughout the workshop many women underscored the triple discrimination they confront for being poor, Afro-descendant women. Despite this, many participants admitted that they have little understanding of how international law applies to racial discrimination. Participants also affirmed they had little awareness about the lack of systematization at the national level of rights violations against Afro-Mexican women.

The workshop is part of Race and Equality’s technical support of the Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir and its indigenous women’s leadership program, which seeks to help reduce inequality by strengthening indigenous women’s groups and providing them the tools necessary to become agents of change and uphold the social, economic, political and cultural rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant women.

Race and Equality hopes to continue to partner with the Instituto de Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir to keep working to empower Afro-Mexican women to promote and protect their human rights.

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