Right to development and measures against poverty

Consistent with the Declaration on the Right to Development, States should adopt measures aimed at guaranteeing active, free and meaningful participation by all individuals, including people of African descent, in development and decision-making related thereto and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom.

Recognizing that poverty is both a cause and a consequence of discrimination, States should, as appropriate, adopt or strengthen national programmes for eradicating poverty and reducing social exclusion that take account of the specific needs and experiences of people of African descent, and should also expand their efforts to foster bilateral, regional and international cooperation in implementing those programmes.

States should implement actions to protect ancestral groups of people of African descent.


Students inside a newly built classroom
Students inside a newly built classroom at a camp for internally displaced persons in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 2011. UN Photo/Logan Abassi

States should take all necessary measures to give effect to the right of people of African descent, particularly children and young people, to free primary education and access to all levels and forms of quality public education without discrimination. States should:

  • Ensure that quality education is accessible and available in areas where communities of African descent live, particularly in rural and marginalized communities, with attention to improving the quality of public education;
  • Take measures to ensure that public and private education systems do not discriminate against or exclude children of African descent, and that they are protected from direct or indirect discrimination, negative stereotyping, stigmatization and violence from peers or teachers; to this end, training and sensitization should be provided to teachers and measures should be taken to increase the number of teachers of African descent working in educational institutions.


States should take concrete measures to eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the workplace against all workers, in particular people of African descent, including migrants, and ensure the full equality of all before the law, including labour law, and eliminate barriers, where appropriate, to participation in vocational training, collective bargaining, employment, contracts and trade union activity; access to judicial and administrative tribunals dealing with grievances; seeking employment in different parts of their country of residence; and working in safe and healthy conditions.


States should take measures to improve access to quality health services to people of African descent.


Recognizing the poor and insecure housing conditions in which many people of African descent live, States should develop and implement policies and projects as appropriate aimed at, inter alia, ensuring that they gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity.

See the full text of the Programme of Activities