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UN expert group on people of African descent launches fact-finding visit to Guyana

GENEVA (28 September 2017) – The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will undertake its first official visit to Guyana from 2 to 6 October 2017 to study the human rights situation of people of African descent in the country. 

“We will gather information on any forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and related intolerance, in order to assess the overall human rights situation of people of African descent in Guyana,” said Sabelo Gumedze, who currently heads the expert group.

The Group’s delegation will travel to Georgetown and Linden, and meet representatives of the Government, relevant communities, civil society and individuals working on issues of racism and racial discrimination.

The delegation, which also includes human rights experts Michal Balcerzak and Ahmed Reid, will look into good practices and gaps in protecting the human rights of people of African descent within the particular multi-ethnic context of Guyana.

The experts will also promote the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), which aims both to highlight the contribution of people of African descent to societies and to strengthen national, regional and international cooperation to ensure the human rights of people of African descent around the world are respected, protected and fulfilled.

A press conference to share the delegation’s preliminary findings will be held on Friday 6 October, at 1430 hrs in the United Nations Offices in Guyana (42 Brickdam & United Nations Place, Stabroek, Georgetown).  Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.


For more information on the Working Group including its mandate and activities please visit its page

The Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page: Guyana 

For further information and media requests, please contact africandescent@ohchr.org or Ms.Christina Saunders (+41 79 444 5172 / csaunders@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Bryan Wilson – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / mediaconsultant2@ohchr.org)    

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