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MRG demands strong action in combatting racial discrimination and ensuring equal access to fundamental human rights

20 July 2023

This message was delivered on 11 July 2023 by Glenn Payot during the interactive dialogue with the special rapporteur on racial discrimination at the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Thank you Mister President,

Madame Special Rapporteur,

At the outset, Minority Rights Group (MRG) warmly welcomes your recent appointment, and we acknowledge the historic significance of your presence on the podium today as Special Rapporteur on racial discrimination.

We welcome your clear commitment to an inclusive and intersectional approach in your work, and your wish to go to the historic roots of systems of oppression, exploitation, and exclusion, whether they affect indigenous peoples, persons of African descent, ethnic minorities or persons affected by discrimination based on work and descent.

In terms of thematic priorities, we welcome your focus on racist hate speech and on the impact of technology. We encourage your mandate to contribute to the discussions on environmental justice. Historically marginalized groups face particular challenges related to climate change and pollution, and they also often have unique experiences that can usefully inform adaptation and mitigation strategies.

We also encourage you to look at the multiple manifestations of racial discrimination in the enjoyment of social and economic rights, including rights to food, to water and sanitation, to housing, to work, to education and to health. In relation to this, we note that your terms as Special Rapporteur will coincide with the last years of the current sustainable development agenda, which has been far too weak in addressing the development needs of the groups that have been left furthest behind. It will also coincide with the talks ahead of the next sustainable development agenda, whose goals, targets, and indicators will need to be far better at capturing and addressing the situation of those groups whose continued exclusion keeps them in situation of poverty and under-development.

Madame Special Rapporteur,

Minority Rights Group looks very much forward to collaborating with you and supporting your mandate in the months and years to come.

Watch the recording