Recognize & Support International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)

Recognize & Support International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)

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African Arts & Cultural Society Victoria
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Dear Friends,

The United Nations has declared 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent. Its theme is “recognition, justice and development”.

According to the federal government, this Decade “is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the important contributions people of African descent have made to Canadian society. It also provides a framework for recognition, justice, and development to fight racism, discrimination, and the ongoing inequalities that Canadians of African descent face."

The UN states “Studies and findings by international and national bodies demonstrate that people of African descent still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security.”

This is true of Canada too. A 2017 UN report says that “anti-Black racism continues to be systemic, leaving African Canadians among the poorest communities in Canada. Reports have indicated a pattern of steady decline in the economic situation and increasing poverty of African Canadians.” As the RCMP commissioner said in June 2020, “Systemic racism is part of every institution including the RCMP, and historically as well as today, the force has “not always treated racialized and Indigenous people fairly.”

The UN calls on governments to mark the UN Decade and to adopt “a national action plan to combat discrimination against persons of African descent in consultation with communities of African descent”. On January 30 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada will officially recognize the Decade. We are concerned that so far the British Columbia government has no specific plans to do so.

We urge the BC Government to give the UN Decade the recognition it deserves and come up with specific plans including a national plan of action to combat discrimination against persons of African descent in consultation with communities of African descent.

Please show your solidarity by signing this petition calling on the BC government to immediately recognize this historic moment.

Background:

https://www.un.org/en/observances/decade-people-african-descent/background

https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2018/01/30/prime-minister-announces-government-canada-will-officially-recognize?fbclid=IwAR24xOrBqAtcZ2SVJH38HENER2y9Q2CrcEii6kXKmT-VbrneqwSJb0og1H0