reparations, UN, Epsy Campbell Barr

United Nations Body Calls For Reparations Across Black Diaspora

As the movement for reparations across the United States gains traction, the United Nations has called for a global progression on the matter in a report by the Permanent Forum on People Of African Descent.

On Oct. 30, the United Nations body released the report that urged countries across the world to push for reparations as a way to rectify the injustices plaguing the international Black community for centuries.

The report was detailed in a press conference the following day led by Chairperson of the Forum Epsy Campbell Barr. The rising trend of racialized violence, in addition to the ongoing systemic discrimination, led the group to formally urge countries to enact legislation that promotes the upliftment of this marginalized diaspora, The Root reported.

“Indeed, the legacies of colonialism and slavery and apartheid are still alive today and have a real impact in the life of millions of people of African descent around the world,” Barr told reporters. “It makes them–us–more exposed to violence and death as a result of encounters with law enforcement officials. It also makes them more exposed to wealth disparities, as they also bear the burden of interregional and transgenerational trauma, coped with the profound impact that racism and racial discrimination have on both cyclical and mental health.”

The forum was established in August 2021, as a “consultative mechanism for people of African descent,” according to its website. The advisory body provides recommendations to the Human Rights Council to “improve the safety and quality of life and livelihoods” for all whose racial backgrounds stem from Africa.

In ensuring its recommendations apply to Black people whose diverse identities can be impacted by other forms of prejudice, Barr also detailed that migrants, those with disabilities, and who are part of the LGTBTIQ+ community are especially in need of these same protections and reparations.

For its long-term goals, the forum has also requested the inclusion of reparations in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, as well as an extension to the International Decade of People of African Descent. As the pressure on governments to facilitate and legalize reparations grows across the world, with U.S. cities such as New York City in support, the ideal may finally come to fruition.

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