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COVID-19 pandemic, racism and discrimination (HRC43, 2020, OS)

Date : 2020.06.16

IMADR delivered the oral statement on “COVID-19 pandemic, racism and discrimination” at the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Whole text can be read below or download here.  .


Oral Statement: 43rd session of the Human Rights Council

Item 9: General Debate

16 June 2020

Madam President,

We are deeply concerned by the global rise of the manifestations of racism and discrimination during the current pandemic. Racist hate speech, hate crimes and other forms of discrimination that first targeted Asians and people of Asian descent are now also directed to other groups such as indigenous peoples, people of African descent, Dalits, Roma, Travellers and other minorities, migrants including refugees and asylum seekers.

The pandemic exposed systematic racial inequalities in every country. We endorse the UN independent experts’ joint statement on the systemic racism in the United States[1] that called on international leaders who expressed solidarity to address structural racial discrimination in their own countries. The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) continue to provide relevant and detailed recommendations for States to realise human rights without racial discrimination. It is time for States to sincerely reflect on progress made in implementing the DDPA recommendations and take concrete steps to close the implementation gap.

To do so, we call on all Member States to strengthen their support to the UN human rights mechanisms accompanied with sufficient resources in order to tackle human rights challenges caused by the pandemic. In particular, we urge States to fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to achieve the eradication of racial discrimination.

Thank you Madam President.



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