PBI-Guatemala marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On March 21, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted, “Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. That day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass law practiced in Sharpeville, South Africa.”

PBI-Guatemala adds, “By proclaiming the Day in 1966, the United Nations General Assembly urged the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.”

By January 1969, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination entered into force.

Canada is a signatory to this Convention.

The Convention is monitored by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

In this 2-page resolution dated December 2019, the Committee called on Canada to “immediately cease construction” of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, “immediately suspend the construction” of the Site C hydroelectric dam, and “immediately halt the construction and suspend all permits and approvals for the construction” of the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline.

That resolution also urged Canada “to freeze present and future approval of large-scale development projects affecting indigenous peoples that do not enjoy free, prior and informed consent from all indigenous peoples affected.”

Peace Brigades International accompanies at-risk human rights defenders including from Afro-descendant, Indigenous and mestizo communities who have been racialized and experience human rights violations.

Painting by Godfrey Rubens of the Sharpeville massacre.

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