On Saturday, countries around the world, including Canada, will observe the annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which this year will focus on the midterm review of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or as more recent migrants, people of African descent constitute some of the poorest and most marginalized groups.
And as we are well aware, in many places Black people still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security and their degree of political participation is often low.
In addition, people of African descent still suffer from multiple forms of discrimination based on age, sex, language, religion, political opinion, social origin, property, disability, birth, or other status.
As the United Nations tells us, the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) provides a solid framework to take effective measures to address these issues in the spirit of recognition, justice and development.
And as the Decade approaches its half-way mark in 2020, a review will take stock of the progress made and decide on further necessary actions.
Unfortunately, in 2020, it is still necessary to remind people that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and have the potential to contribute constructively to the development and well-being of their societies.
People in many countries around the world also need to be reminded that any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous and must be rejected, together with theories that attempt to determine the existence of separate human races.
In Canada, our black communities are still struggling with problems of racial discrimination in many areas such as the workplace and the justice system.
A recent study published in the journal, “Insights on Canadian Society,” points out that Canada is failing new generations of Black youth in areas such as employment opportunities and wages.
The study, based on information from the 2006 and 2016 censuses conducted by Statistics Canada, notes a gap in employment rates between Black and non-Black youth.
It states that in 2016, young Black males were twice as likely as other young males not to have a job and while median annual wages increased in the general population from 2000 to 2015, they didn’t for Black men.
The Caribbean Camera has often highlighted cases of racial discrimination in many areas, including interactions between Black people and the police.
Let us not forget that a disproportionate number of Blacks are found in Canadian jails.
We will, of course, continue to raise our voice in condemnation of racial discrimination
And we call on people everywhere to help rid the society of this evil