THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT
The United Nations’ (UN) General Assembly declared the year 2011 to be the International Year for People of African Descent on December 18, 2009. The year aims to strengthen international, national and regional cooperation to benefit the people of African descent, and to recognize and promote their political, economic, social and cultural contributions from their diverse heritage and culture.
The International Year for People of African Descent coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Durban Conference, which will give focus on certain issues of structural discrimination against people of African descent that is contained in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA).
The people of African descent have been victims of racism, structural discrimination and enslavement for centuries. Their inability to access opportunities in education, health, employment and justice has been a great battle with little effective action and progress. People of African descent are dispersed all over the world largely due to the large amount of African descendents that were transported from Africa by the trans- Atlantic slave trade. This situation provides the most striking example of structural discrimination.