Press Release

IACHR Welcomes Advance of Bill to Declare a National Day of Afro-Peruvian Women, Stresses the Importance of Further Bill Against Racism in Peru

July 20, 2020

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomes progress made with the preliminary approval of Bill 4795/2019-CR, declaring July 25 as the National Day of Afro-Peruvian Women. The IACHR further reminds the State of the importance of ensuring the approval of Bill Against Racism and All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Bill 5493/2020-CR, which seeks to prevent, eradicate, and punish acts of racism and all forms of racial discrimination, as well as promoting public policies aimed at preventing discrimination based on ethnic or racial background.

According to inter-American legal standards based on the principle of equality and non-discrimination and on the duty to adopt domestic law provisions—both of which are held in the American Convention on Human Rights—States in the region must adopt at all levels legislation that defines, bans, and punishes racism and direct and indirect racial discrimination, including different forms of intolerance. Commissioner Margarette May Macaulay, IACHR Rapporteur on the Rights of Afro-Descendants and against Racial Discrimination, has noted that “States must revoke and/or amend in their legal systems all standards that promote or legally sustain discrimination, exclusion, and racial intolerance, as well as any laws and policies grounded on racism.” “States in the region must remain committed to action that seeks to expose and eradicate discriminatory practices and racism,” said Commissioner Edgar Stuardo Ralón, IACHR Rapporteur for Peru.

The IACHR calls on Peru to keep implementing its National Plan for the Development of Afro-Peruvians 2016–2020, which has great potential to positively advance the human rights of Afro-Peruvian persons. The Commission also stresses the need to adopt affirmative action measures and to grant comprehensive reparations in favor of ethnic and racial groups who have historically suffered discrimination in a context of structural racism, enabling them to get involved in all projects that might affect them. The Commission calls on the State to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance. The IACHR stresses that universal ratification of all inter-American instruments is an essential step to protect and safeguard the human rights of all people in the Americas.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 169/20