Wednesday 21 March marks the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – an annual event marking the date that police in Sharpeville, South Africa opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid in 1960.
The theme this year focuses on the urgency of combatting racism and racial discrimination, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
In 1948, the international community agreed on a set of common values and acknowledged that rights are inherent to every single human being and not granted by the state.
These rights are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a blueprint for international human rights norms.
The UDHR states that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind. However, racism and racial discrimination continue to affect people all over the world.
The UN’s theme states that commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the UDHR should give states an impetus to take prompt and robust steps, in law and in practice, to advance equality and combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.
Brighton & Hove’s Anti-Racism Strategy
Brighton & Hove’s first Anti-Racism Strategy was agreed by councillors at the Tourism, Equality, Culture & Communities Committee on 9 March.
The development of the strategy builds on the council’s 2020 pledge to become an anti-racist city. Part of that pledge was to set out the council’s long-term commitment to change.
The implementation of the 5-year strategy will be a critical step in cementing anti-racism principles into how the council works, as a service provider and an employer.
The strategy set out three key areas the council will focus on over the next 5 years:
Community Engagement - Increase and improve communication and engagement with Black and Racially Minoritised residents, service users, customers, and tenants.
Data – Improve the collection, analysis, and application of qualitative, quantitative, and intersectional data regarding Black and Racially Minoritised residents.
Policy and procedure – Identify, review and co-produce key policies and plans, fixing anti-racism principles firmly into council practice, and co-creating better outcomes for Black and Racially Minoritised people.