Over the previous 12 months, we’ve witnessed the lethal impression of the COVID-19 pandemic. However the scourge of racism has additionally devastated many lives with tragic penalties.
Violent and lethal assaults in opposition to Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous individuals, poisonous language, and each day and sustained racially charged acts have rightly pressured painful – however vital – conversations to re-examine prejudice, privilege, the way in which we view the world, and most significantly how we act.
We should take this chance to work in direction of a world that isn’t simply in opposition to racism, however is actively anti-racist.
Because the UN Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, I’ve seen first hand how racism and racial discrimination are a root explanation for persecution and displacement. Actively combatting racism and racial discrimination can and can assist stop this. It’ll additionally scale back the damaging discrimination and stigmatization that every one too usually confronts refugees of their international locations of asylum.
A failure to get rid of racial discrimination will proceed to pressure harmless individuals to flee and worry for his or her lives.
However at the moment shouldn’t be solely a recognition of the necessity for others to behave. We should all pause and replicate on ourselves, our organizations, and our actions. UNHCR is trying inwards to construct a extra various and inclusive workforce to ship on our mandate and reply to the wants of displaced and stateless individuals around the globe.
We’re working to grow to be higher cognizant of our unconscious bias and to get rid of discrimination to grow to be a extra anti-racist, non-discriminatory group. That is my dedication as Excessive Commissioner: to make sure that UNHCR is a corporation the place range shouldn’t be solely valued, however the place each colleague feels seen, heard, and represented.
This 12 months on Worldwide Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination I name on all of us to resume our dedication to pay attention, rise up, communicate out, and actively fight racism and racial discrimination. Racism and racial discrimination in opposition to anybody of us hurts all of us.
- UNHCR has issued guidance on addressing racism and xenophobia, offering sensible examples and greatest practices for our operations around the globe.
- The Global Compact on Refugees locations ending discrimination of any variety based mostly on the grounds of race, color, intercourse, language, faith, political or different opinion, nationwide or social origin, property, delivery, incapacity, age, or different standing on the centre of motion to forestall displacement and to make sure peaceable coexistence between refugee and host communities.
- In pursuit of changing into an anti-racist, non-discriminatory group, UNHCR has commissioned an impartial inner evaluate to determine a baseline and motion plan for this work and the institution of an Inclusion, Range and Fairness Advisory Group of workforce members drawn from throughout the organisation.
- UNHCR’s efforts to handle and reply to racism and racial discrimination concentrate on the next priorities:
- UNHCR advocates for the human rights of refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced individuals, returnees and stateless individuals should be ensured with out discrimination.
- Sturdy legal guidelines and insurance policies to fight racism, xenophobia, hate crimes and hate speech are important.
- UNHCR requires entry to justice and efficient cures for victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, hate crimes or hate speech and for holding these accountable to account.
- UNHCR encourages the inclusion of individuals below its mandate in all workouts and platforms monitoring and amassing disaggregated knowledge documenting racial discrimination, racism, xenophobia, hate crimes and hate speech.
- UNHCR promotes training on the rights of individuals below its mandate and messages encouraging inclusion, range, empathy and tolerance.
- UNHCR considers that everybody can play a job to forestall and cease racism and xenophobia that have an effect on refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced individuals, returnees and stateless individuals.