The Institute on Race Equality, and Human Rights works to promote racial and ethnic equality for Afro-descendant and indigenous communities – a unique focus among international human rights organizations. We work with Afro-descendant organizations in Peru, as well as with a wide range of organizations in Latin America fighting racial discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Together with indigenous communities, Afro-Peruvians are among the poorest in the country. The racial discrimination in Peru is a constant and many Afro-Peruvians feel discriminated against, particularly in the labor, education, and health fields. Despite an historic apology issued in 2009 by then-President Allan García for the consequences of centuries of exclusion and discrimination on the part of the State, the socio-economic and political needs of Afro-descendants continue to be ignored by the various governments. In addition, the political parties usually do not take Afro-Peruvians into consideration in their political agendas.
In 2009 Peru was reviewed by the committee that monitors the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and a few members of the committee expressed concern over the lack of official data on the current number of Afro-Peruvians. Afro-Peruvians have not been counted since the 1940 National Census; as such, no official figures exist.
This lack of information is what inspires the Institute on Race Equality, and Human Rights to work with Afro-Peruvian organizations with an eye to heightening the visibility of racial and ethnic discrimination and ensuring the inclusion of Afro-Peruvians in the 2017 Census.
The Institute strengthens the capacity of our counterparts and the leaders of the various countries in which we work, so that they may actively participate in the OAS General Assembly, the Summit of the Americas Process, the Inter-American Human Rights Protection System, as well as the United Nations committee that monitors the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the committee that monitors the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), through the provision of training, technical assistance, and political advocacy.