Report: Agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality

June 2021
Issued by
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
To the Human Rights Council’s forty-seventh session (21 June-9 July 2021)
Report symbol and Link


The murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 and the ensuing mass protests worldwide marked a watershed in the fight against racism. In some countries, there is now broader acknowledgment of the systemic nature of the racism that affects the lives of Africans and people of African descent. There is also wider acceptance of the need to address the past in order to secure future conditions of life that uphold the dignity and rights of all. It is our collective duty to address these issues – immediately and everywhere.

Prepared pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 43/1 and in recognition of the unprecedented opportunity for change, the present comprehensive report—to be read in conjunction with an accompanying conference room paper—presents an agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality. 

The report is available in the six official languages at the link above, and in Portuguese here (unofficial translation). An unofficial translation of the Four-point Agenda Towards Transformative Change for Racial Justice and Equality, contained in the Annex to A/HRC/47/53, is also available in French and Spanish.

Learn more about the implementation of resolution 43/1.


In the preparation of this report, UN Human Rights adhered strictly to the principles of independence, impartiality and objectivity, in accordance with our established methodology.

UN Human Rights sought the views of member States, regional organizations, non-governmental organizations, UN entities, community members and groups, and other key stakeholders in response to a call for submissions (English). The Office also engaged with relevant Special Procedures mandate holders.

The voices of people of African descent who are victims of human rights violations and their families are central to the work.

Inputs received

1. Member States

  1. Algeria
  2. Andorra
  3. Argentina
  4. Bolivia
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Cyprus
  7. Finland
  8. Guatemala
  9. Mexico
  10. Sweden
  11. Ukraine
  12. United States

2. Additional Responses by Member States

  1. Brazil
  2. France
  3. United Kingdom
  4. United States

3. Intergovernmental Organisations

  1. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
  2. ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe)
  3. European Union
  4. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

4. National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs)

  1. Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos México (CNDH México)
  2. Defensoría del Pueblo Bolivia
  3. Defensoría de los Habitantes Costa Rica
  4. Defensoría del Pueblo Ecuador
  5. Defensoría del Pueblo Panamá
  6. Institución Nacional de Derechos Humanos y Defensoría del Pueblo de Uruguay
  7. Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos de El Salvador
  8. Procurador de los Derechos Humanos Guatemala

5. United Nations bodies and specialized agencies

  1. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  2. Working Group on discrimination against women and girls (WGDAW)
  3. UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK)

6. Non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders

  1. Access to Justice Knowledge Hub for Fair Participation
  2. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
  3. Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT)
  4. Advocates for Human Rights
  5. Africans in America for Restitution and Repatriation/Kha-Nu National Community
  6. African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition (ANSPAD)
  7. Amelia Carter
  8. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  9. American Civil Liberties Union New York
  10. American Civil Liberties Union Oregon
  11. American Muslim Bar Association
  12. Amit Anand and Preethi Lolaksha Nagaveni
  13. Andy and Gwen Stern Community Lawyering Clinic and American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and additional document
  14. Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and annex
  15. Athletes United for Peace
  16. Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities
  17. Black Legal Action Centre
  18. Black Protest Legal Support UK
  19. Black Sex Worker Collective and Best Practices Policy Project and the Outlaw Project and Desiree Alliance and New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance
  20. Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Birth Equity Collaborative
  21. Centre Suisse pour la Défense des Droits des Migrants (CSDM)
  22. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) and Diáspora Africana de la Argentina (DIAFAR)
  23. Cheryl Sterling
  24. Coalición indígena de migrantes de Chiapas and Proyecto Afrodescedencia Mexico and Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración A.C. (IMUMI)
  25. Committee to Protect Journalists
  26. Conectas Direitos Humanos
  27. Conflict Scholars Collective for Healing and Racial Reconciliation
  28. Convention Against Torture Initiative (CTI)
  29. Cristosal
  30. Disability Rights Ohio
  31. Forensic Architecture and Bellingcat
  32. Global Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School
  33. Harm Reduction International and Release
  34. HERE4Justice
  35. HIV Legal Network and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation
  36. Hogan Lovells
  37. Human Rights First
  38. Human Rights Watch (HRW)
  39. Ilex Acción Jurídica
  40. Iniciativa Direito à Memória e Justiça Racial (DMJ)
  42. Intel Corporation
  43. International Commission of Inquiry
  44. International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G)
  45. International Human Rights Clinic at Santa Clara University School of Law
  46. International Human Rights Council
  47. International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO)
  48. International Service for Human Rights, Le Comité Adama, et l’Association A Qui Le Tour ?
  49. Julia Wright for The Campaign To Bring Mumia Home and International Concerned Family and Friends for Mumia Abu-Jamal
  50. Justicia Racial
  51. Kilómetro Cero
  52. LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  53. Maat association for Peace, Development and Human Rights
  54. Marc Brenman
  55. Medical Whistleblower Advocacy Network
  56. Dr. Michael McEachrane, Visiting Researcher at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Co-founder of the European Network of People of African Descent (ENPAD) and Board Member of Black Lives Matter Sweden (BLMSWE)
  57. Mothers Against Police Brutality (MAPB)
  58. Mothers of Still Incarcerated Chicago Police Torture Survivors and Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity (MAMAS) and Campaign to Free Incarcerated Survivors of Police Torture (CFIST) and the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) People of African Descent Working Group
  59. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. (LDF)
  60. National Jericho Movement to Free all Political Prisoners and The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) People of African Descent Working Group
  61. National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Chicago and the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Illinois at Chicago John Marshall Law School
  62. ONG Ascendances Afro Océan Indien
  63. Organización de Mujeres Afrodescendientes de Bluefields, (OMAN), la Alianza de Pueblos Indígenas y Afrodescendientes de Nicaragua (APIAN) y el Gobierno Comunal Creole de Bluefields (GCCB)
  64. Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
  65. Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA)
  66. Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)
  67. Race Equality First
  68. Rainbow Push Coalition
  69. Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas Afrocaribeñas y de la Diaspora Capítulo Mexico and Proyecto Afrodescendencia Mexico
  70. Rede Nacional de Mulheres Negras no Combate á Violência
  71. Rev. Dr. Robert Turner (Historic Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church)
  72. Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC)
  73. The Movement for Black Lives
  74. The Talking Drum Incorporated
  75. Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law and on behalf of the Michael O.D. Brown “We Love Our Sons & Daughters” Foundation
  76. Transitional Justice Institute and Law School Ulster University and Mitchell Institute and The Centre for Documentary Research QUB
  77. Ubuntu Institute for Community Development
  78. United African Organization and USHRN (US Human Rights Network) People of African Descent Working Group
  79. United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA)
  80. US Human Rights Network (USHRN)
  81. University of Minnesota Human Rights Program
  82. University of Southern California Gould School of Law International Human Rights Clinic and Access Now with the support of Foley Hoag LLP
  83. US Human Rights Network (USHRN) People of African Descent Working Group
  85. Women’s All Points Bulletin (WAPB)
  86. Woodhull Freedom Foundation and Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center