The 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Item 9: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group of experts on people of African Descent
Oral statement on behalf of Meezaan Center for Human Rights
Delivered by Alexandra Guy
Thank you President,
We would like to thank the Working Group for their report, demonstrating how people of African Descent face environmental issues disproportionately.
People of African descent in urban areas are more vulnerable to environmental risks due to socioeconomic inequalities tied to historic racism; these risks include air pollution or a greater sense of global warming. In the US, urban areas with a majority of people of color are exposed to a temperature 1,65 degrees higher than in other areas. We urge the government to take action to improve the environmental situation in these urban areas and to ensure equal rights for all people facing this danger.
Meezaan Center and GICJ would also like to draw attention to the consequences of colonialism that People of African Descent still face in South Africa. Black South African have been given the less fertile lands, and now their lands have been used to develop the platinum industry, destroying the inhabitants’ environment, and thus affecting their health. The communities do not benefit from the economic profit of the mining industry which impede their human rights.
We strongly advocate for the full implementation of the Durban Declaration and program of action to ensure the rights of people of African descent in such crises.
Finally, we ask the Working Group how the international community can effectively implement the DDPA to ensure the end of segregation de jure and become a reality de facto.