“Photo Message” for 21 March

On 15 March the volunteers of FORUM 16 started the activity “Photo Message” to call attention to the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March. The volunteers will stop different people in the community and briefly share information about what happen on this day. They will then ask to take photos of them to accompany a message of respect and support. The collected photos and messages will be uploaded on the FORUM 16 website and Facebook page on 21 March. The follow up activity for sharing the photos messages will continue until 25 March, the end of the European Action Week Against Racism.

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. And based on Article 2, everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction of race or any other kind.

Yet racism, xenophobia and intolerance are problems prevalent in all societies, and discriminatory practices are widespread, particularly targeting migrants and refugees as well as people of African descent.

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On that day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws”. Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

Racial and ethnic discrimination occur on a daily basis, hindering progress for millions of people around the world. Racism and intolerance can take various forms — from denying individuals the basic principles of equality to fuelling ethnic hatred that may lead to genocide — all of which can destroy lives and fracture communities.

Since the early 1990s, UNITED coordinates every year around 21 March the European Action Week Against Racism. Activists, NGOs, universities, schools, municipalities and a wide variety of different organisations carry out hundreds of activities all around Europe in order to bring an end to racism, discrimination and intolerance.

The European Action Week Against Racism 2018 will take place from 17-25 March under the slogan “Diversity – never enough!”

#StandUp4HumanRights #ShareSmilesNotInsults #NoHate