Updated: May 31
Author: Aslı Turkmen
Date of Publication: 17/04/2023
The top UN agency for human rights is the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR). Particularly, the UN General Assembly has given it a special responsibility to advance and defend all human rights for everyone.
Moreover, the need to combat racial discrimination, unfortunately, continues 75 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. In fact, it just collapsed societies and destroys humanity. For this reason, we can fight together and in solidarity against all forms of discrimination and intolerance related to racism.
Personally, I believe we can build a better and more livable world for all of us. States adopt responsibilities, including the abolition of discrimination in the public and private realms, when they ratify these accords. So, the fight against racism has come a long way, but there is still much to be done.
OHCHR's Work on Combating Racism
The High Commissioner for Human Rights work is centered on combating racism. OHCHR is directly accountable for:
to evaluate and monitor progress made in addressing racism
the coordination of the 2015–2024 International Decade of African Descent
activities Program, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other associated types of intolerance
to engage in advocacy and thematic research to combat racism and racial prejudice,
assist the UN's anti-racism programs
help national authorities and other stakeholders strengthen their ability to prevent and counter racism and racial discrimination
Solutions for Racial Justice and Equality
The High Commissioner's 2021 report made a four-point recommendation. In particular, it was about the end of systematic racism and human rights violations against Africans. Specifically, the High Commissioner calls on States to:
LEAP UP: Change denial cultures, eliminate structural racism, and quicken the pace
GUARD JUSTICE: Address trust gaps and put an end to law enforcement's impunity
for human rights atrocities.
LISTEN: to make sure that Africans and anti-racists voices are heard and that their
issues are taken into consideration
COMPENSATION: Address the legacies of accountability and payment
What Can We Do Against Racism?
Here is the individual fight against racism in five articles:
1) Being Conscious
The first step against racism is to learn and realize it individually. For example, we can read books about discrimination and watch documentaries. Moreover, we can select one of the racist communities and do research on them.
2) Monitor the Environment
We shouldn't just feel sorry for the victims of racism. First of all, we need to investigate who is the victim in our country and what kind of problems these people face. Every racism has characteristics specific to the region in which it originated. For example, you may notice that while there is police violence in the United States, racism is committed against people of a certain race. Typical examples are not renting a house, not taking them to a restaurant, or verbal lynching.
3) Don't Stay Silent on Social Media
Social media has become a place where we all belong, being a means of communication
with our friends. Focusing on the benefits of this use can lead to unexpected results. So, it is very important to support hashtag studies, especially on days determined by official
institutions. What’s more, it’s crucial to react against racism even with a tweet, in terms of
creating public opinion.
4) To Meet:
When we think with ourselves, we realize that the groups we are prejudiced against are
those that we don’t know from the first level. That’s why it’s so important to know. Therefore, as people get to know each other, they witness what happened and the hatred decreases.
5) To Introduce:
The second step of acquaintance is to introduce yourself. Just imagine how it will benefit
many people to participate in this action, while our individual awareness can lead to so much change! So, you can take the step of change by introducing the people you meet to your close circle and family first. Then, you can share your experiences with larger audiences on social media or different channels.