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International Year for People of African Descent 2011

A Year Dedicated to People of African Descent

Around 200 million people who identify themselves as being of African descent live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent. In proclaiming this International Year, the international community is recognising that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.

Father and child
Members of the Garifuna community near Tela, Honduras. The Garifuna people are of mixed African, Arawak and Carib ancestry and native to the Caribbean Coast in Central America. UN Photo/Chris Sattlberger
This International Year
offers a unique opportunity to
redouble our efforts to fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia
and related intolerance that
affect people of African
descent everywhere.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

People of African descent are acknowledged in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action as a specific victim group who continue to suffer racial discrimination as the historic legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. Even Afro-descendants who are not directly descended from slaves face the racism and racial discrimination that still persist today, generations after the slave trade ended.

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