Afrodescendants Call for Reparatory Justice and Recognition at the United Nations
In a powerful statement delivered to the Third Session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, All For Reparations and Emancipation (AFRE/CURE), an NGO with Consultative Status, highlighted the unique concerns and struggles faced by Afrodescendants—the descendants of enslaved Africans in the diaspora. AFRE/CURE emphasized the need for recognition, reparatory justice, and support in addressing the historical and ongoing violations of their human rights. This article examines their plea for reparations and the importance of acknowledging the distinct challenges faced by Afrodescendants.
Historical Context and United Nations Engagement:
For several decades, AFRE/CURE has been engaged with the United Nations, advocating for reparations for African Americans in the United States. They have actively participated in various UN bodies, including the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, and the Working Group on Minorities. These engagements sought to address the unique historical injustices endured by Afrodescendants, such as the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, institutional slavery, racism, discrimination, and forced assimilation.
Recognition of Afrodescendants and Collaboration:
The United Nations recognized the need to connect Afrodescendants with other members of the slavery diaspora, who share similar struggles resulting from the loss of identity, language, and culture. The UNCHR Working Group on Minorities played a crucial role in coordinating workshops and seminars to support the self-determination efforts of Afrodescendants. The UN acknowledged the self-chosen identification of Afrodescendants as a means to gain recognition and foster collaboration with Afrodescendant communities throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. This recognition was an essential step toward addressing their collective concerns and pursuing justice.
The Quest for a Forum and Reparatory Justice:
AFRE/CURE has consistently called for a dedicated forum for descendants of slavery in the diaspora to examine the gravity of the current situation and determine the most beneficial means of reparations for their restoration as individuals and as a people. This call was first made at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in South Africa. The organization has highlighted the unique circumstances faced by Afrodescendants due to the historical trauma of slavery, colonialism, racism, and discrimination that continue to impact their lives today.
The Afrodescendant Nation and Reparatory Justice:
Afrodescendants have taken matters into their own hands by exercising their right to self-determination and organizing as the Afrodescendant Nation. Through political will and grassroots efforts, they seek to repair the damages caused by centuries of oppression. AFRE/CURE, alongside the Afrodescendant Nation and People, calls for reparatory justice in the form of comprehensive reparations. They emphasize the urgent need to improve the quality of life, protect human rights, and address the systemic inequalities that persist within Afrodescendant communities.
Continuing the Struggle at the United Nations:
In conclusion, AFRE/CURE's statement at the Third Session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent highlights the ongoing struggle for recognition and reparatory justice for Afrodescendants. The organization urges the UN to support their efforts in organizing and educating Afrodescendants, improving their quality of life, and addressing the historical injustices they have endured. The continuation of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and the organization of regional seminars are essential for providing support and solidarity to Afrodescendants in their respective regions. By recognizing their unique circumstances and supporting their calls for reparatory justice, the United Nations can contribute significantly to the pursuit of equality and human rights for Afrodescendants worldwi