The United Nations is the inter-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. It is also where most of the international human rights standards to combat racism have been shaped and, because of it nature, it is an important space where civil society organizations working on combating racial discrimination can have their voices heard. The Human Rights Council is one of the most important political bodies within the UN system; it is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
The Special Procedures is the name given to the mechanisms established by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in the world. Two of the mandates that deal with racial discrimination are the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance is one of the Special Procedures of the UN that examines incidents of contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination in the world. The Rapporteur conducts country visits and makes recommendations to Member States to help end discrimination.
The mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues is another Special Procedure that promotes the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. An important part of its mandate is the inclusion of the views of non-governmental organizations.
The UN has also created other institutions under the international human rights treaties. These bodies are made up of independent experts mandated to monitor States Parties’ compliance with their treaty obligations. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body that monitors the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The States that have ratified the Convention must submit reports on the rights situtation in their country, including how rights are being secured and strengthened. After such reports are submitted, the Committee addresses its concerns and recommendations to the member state in its “concluding observations.” The reports made by member states and the concluding observations of the Committee can be important advocacy tools for civil society organizations.
What We Do
The Institute promotes the participation of Afro-descendant organizations in the UN CERD Committee and the Special Procedures mandates that are related to racial discrimination. In order to increase the participation of our partners, the Institute provides technical assistance to Afro-Latino organizations on how to access the UN bodies, including the preparation of alternative, or “shadow” reports before UN CERD and how to submit reports and complaints to the Special Procedures mandates.
The Institute conducts activities based on the mandates of various bodies to contact Afro-descendant organizations before conducting country visits, and promotes public events with our partners to publicize the conclusions and recommendations of relevant bodies so that these can become advocacy tools for civil society organizations in Latin America.
- November 20 – International Day of Transsexual Memory
- #VenezuelaMigrates: Civil Society Organizations launch Plan of Action to protect migrants and refugees from Venezuela
- Interview with Beatriz Amaro, Afro-Mexican Leader: “If today we must speak up and raise our voices, we ask that we be allowed to raise them as Afro-Mexican communities”
- Race & Equality Holds a Training Workshop on International Human Rights Mechanisms with the First Organization Comprised of LGBTI Afro-Descendants in Colombia
- With the Support of Race & Equality, Civil Society Organizations Prepare to Submit Reports on the State of Colombian Women’s Human Rights to CEDAW
- October 26: International Intersex Awareness Day
- Race & Equality Rejects the Arbitrary Ban by Nicaraguan Authorities Denying Entry into the Country to Representatives of the Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)
- Cuban Officials Disrupt Launch of the Campaign “Jailed for What?” in the ECOSOC Chamber of the United Nations
- Vice-President of Costa Rica and Vice-Chairpersons of the UN CERD Committee highlight the need for states to develop Action Plans during the Decade for People of African Descent
- Cuba denies existence of racial discrimination to the UN CERD Commitee
- International Bisexuality Day: A Day to Remember the Sexual Diversity that Comprises and Complements Our Society
- ORTEGA OPENLY PROMOTES IMPUNITY IN NICARAGUA BY ORDERING THE DEPARTURE OF THE OHCHR
- Race and Equality supports a Nicaraguan delegation to the United Nation in Geneva, Switzerland
- DID CUBA TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DURING THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW – UPR?
- CERD Committee evaluates discrimination in Peru
- Message from Carlos Quesada – Executive Director of the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) – on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Race and Equality Joins Congressional Leaders, Policy Advisors, and Activists at a Briefing on the “International Decade for People of African Descent”
- Human Rights Council Appoints First Female Rapporteur on Racism
- “Darker and more dangerous”: High Commissioner updates the Council at the start of its 36th session.
- Race & Equality Presents CERD Report to Committee in Geneva
- Race & Equality Releases New Report on Impact of CERD in Region
- The Human Rights Council Concludes its 35th Session with Unprecedented Highlights.
- First Expert on the Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity calls for “Diversity in Humanity and Humanity in Diversity” in recent report.
- UN High Commissioner highlights states’ “lack of cooperation” in opening statement to Human Rights Council
- The Institute collaborates on project to improve the CERD election process
- The Institute Participates in the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent
- On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, States must strengthen their normative and Institutional frameworks
- The United Nations Reviews the Situation of Forced Disappearances in Cuba
- Key Challenges Identified and Recommendations Made to CERD by Civil Society Actors
- The Institute Advocates for a Stronger UN CERD Committee
- Institute supports NGO participation at UN CERD Review of Argentina and Uruguay in Geneva
- Vice-President of AFRODES Colombia Participates as Expert Panelist at 2016 UN Forum on Minority Issues
- Conclusion of the 33rd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
- Vitit Muntarbhorn appointed as first UN Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Uruguay: The Institute Holds Advocacy Workshop on the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
- Conclusion of the 32nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
- Human Rights Council Discusses Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance
- The United Nations Human Rights Council establishes Special Expert to protect the LGBTI community
- Mandate Holders Present Thematic Reports at the Human Rights Council
- Opening Statement by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
- The UN Human Rights Council 32nd Session and 10th Anniversary
- 89th Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) Begins in Geneva.