The United Nations(UN)’s International Day for the elimination of Racial Discrimination is annually observed across the globe on 21st March to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination and to create awareness about the impacts of racial discrimination.
The day aims to support a global culture of tolerance, equality and anti-discrimination.
The theme of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2021 is “Youth standing up against racism”.
The theme engages the general public through #FightRacism and calls out everyone to fight against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes.
i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/2142 (XXI) on 26th October 1966 and proclaimed the 21st March of every year as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
ii.International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination marks the day 21st March 1960 on which the police of Sharpeville, South Africa, gunned down 69 people at the peaceful demonstration against apartheid “pass law”.
Efforts to eliminate racial discrimination:
i.During the 2nd half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, the United Nations General assembly has decided to organise a week of solidarity starting from on 21 March.
ii.Since the declaration the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries.
iii.The World Conference against Racism held in 2001, produced the programme for combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance: the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA).
iv.In 2013, the UNGA proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015 to 2024), starting from 1st January 2015 to 31st December 2024, with the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.”
i.UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) special meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of DDPA – “Reimagining Equality: Eliminating racism, xenophobia and discrimination for all in the decade of action for the SDGs” was held on 18th February 2021.
ii.Annual panel debate with the theme “The role of youth in combatting racism and racial discrimination”, was held in March 2021, as a part of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial discrimination celebration.