The Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) 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 Mexico as well as with a wide range of organizations working to combat racial discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity in Latin America.
For many years, Race and Equality has been providing technical support to Afro-Mexican organizations so that they can advocate at the Organization of American States (OAS) and at various United Nations bodies to expose the cruel reality that this population faces. During this time, we had the pleasure of accompanying Afro-Mexican organizations during the first-ever public hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on the Afro-Mexican population, as well as in the presentation of Alternative Reports to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD.)
According to the Inter-census Survey of 2015 carried out in Mexico by the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI in Spanish), it was determined that the Afro-Mexican population is comprised of 1.4 million people, or 1.2% of the total population in Mexico. Currently, Mexico is preparing for the 2020 Population Census, to be carried out in March of that year. For the first time, the Afro-descendant self-identification question will be included. Race and Equality is working with Afro-Mexican organizations to strengthen their capacity and to generate the necessary action plans in order to obtain data that can more precisely reflect the Afro-Mexican and Afro-descendant populations residing in Mexico, through a tailored strategy of self-identification based on the ethnic terms included in the 2020 Census.
Mexico is undergoing an important phase; thanks to the fight of Afro-Mexican activists and organizations, they have achieved constitutional recognition, being included in Article 2 of the Constitution, which recognizes Afro-descendant communities in Mexico, after an invisibility of almost 500 years. As such, the hope is that the continued work promoted by the same Afro-Mexican/Afro-descendant community organizations can inspire their communities to self-identify as Afro-Mexican, Black, or Afro-descendant, during the upcoming 2020 Census. Race and Equality will continue working alongside organizations and activists to reach the goals devised for the 2020 Census, and will continue promoting the use of resources provided by the OAS and the United Nations.
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