The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination aims to counter and raise awareness of racist agendas, intolerance and xenophobia whilst raising awareness and educating people in terms of their own dignity and rights and the potential they have to make change in their societies.
The day was first observed on 21 March 1966, exactly 6 years after 69 people were killed by police at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass laws in South Africa. In South Africa, the day is also a commemoration for those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of democracy and equal human rights.
Last year in Scotland, the day was discussed in Parliament, highlighting the need to condemn discrimination in all forms and take action according to the Race Equality Action Plan 2017 – 2021, with regular updates on the actions taken to eradicate racism and racial discrimination in Scotland.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a statement for the day, highlighting the importance of respect, compassion and equality for all. You can find it below:
Nina Munday, Manager of Fife Centre for Equalities, added:
“We need to do more to eliminate racism. Subtle racism is so difficult to tackle. Often victims are made to feel that they are being too sensitive. For example, they know they are being overlooked for a promotion or people making a sly remark because of their ethnicity, however the victims find it hard to persuade people to believe their stories. So please be supportive, listen and challenge racism where possible.”
If you have witnessed or experienced harassment or discrimination, you can report it to FCE – we will support you, offer advice and guidance. To find our community concerns form click here.
Read more at:
- United Nations
- History of the Day
- Council of Europe
- Scottish Parliament Discussion
- High Commissioner for Human Rights – Video