THE RAPPORTEURSHIP ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS OF AFRICAN DESCENT
AND AGAINST RACIAL DISCRIMINATION CALLS TO RENEW COMMITMENTS TO OVERCOME THE TRAGIC LEGACIES OF SLAVERY IN THE AMERICAS
The Rapporteurship on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and on Racial Discrimination of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21st) and in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Slave Trade Act by the Parliament of the United Kingdom (March 25th), calls upon the OAS Member States to renew their commitment to overcome the tragic legacies of slavery in the Americas and to strengthen their efforts to combat racial discrimination.
The Rapporteurship recalls the Final Declaration of the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance that acknowledged “that slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organized nature and especially their negation of the essence of the victims, and further acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity and should always have been so, especially the transatlantic slave trade and are among the major sources and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and that Africans and people of African descent, Asians and people of Asian descent and indigenous peoples were victims of these acts and continue to be victims of their consequences”
In this anniversary, the Rappourtership recalls the commitment made by the OAS Member States in Santiago de Chile at the Regional Conference of the Americas in preparation for the Third World Conference, that “justice now requires that substantial national and international efforts be made to repair such damage. Such reparation should be in the form of policies, programmes and measures to be adopted by the States which benefited materially from these practices, and designed to rectify the economic, cultural and political damage which has been inflicted on the affected communities and peoples”.
On this day, the Commission through its Rapporteur expresses its profound commitment to the struggle against all modern forms of slavery and particularly to protect its victims and the victims of racial discrimination as well as to eradicate the consequences of past slavery and slave trade practices.
Washington, D.C., March 26, 2007