CIRDI gained momentum on behalf of work done by ethnic organizations and those parliamentarians that were motivated by the CIRDI 2024 campaign “Towards a region free of racial discrimination.”
Race and Equality highlights the ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against Racism and Discrimination - CIRDI in in the Congress of the Republic of Colombia. While legislation in favor of affirmative action and for the benefit of Afro-Colombians and indigenous populations does exist, much remains to be done to address the discrimination and structural racism that has affected these communities for many decades. Beyond providing a new regional-focused tool for the fight against racism and racial discrimination, CIRDI contains valuable contributions which highlight its valuable contributions by setting a common and clear framework of definitions that will allow for the strengthening of Colombian legislation and generate the necessary actions that will prevent and address this problem with a comprehensive approach. In addition, CIRDI introduces innovative aspects in international judicial protection and reparation for victims of racial discrimination.
The presentation of this bill is the result of a process in which various actors of the indigenous and Rrom (Gypsy) people have participated and led by Afro-Colombian activists thanks to the CIRDI 2024 campaign “Towards a region free of racial discrimination”, driven by Race and Equality, with the aim of promoting the universal, effective ratification and implementation of CIRDI in the Americas. The campaign has been integrated into the institutional agenda of the Legal Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Black Communities or Afro-Colombian population, Raizales and Palanqueras of the Congress of the Republic since its launch in Colombia on October 29th, 2021. In this space, Senator Victoria Sandino and House Representative Jhon Murillo committed themselves to bring the political debate concerning the ratification of the Convention to the national government.
In fulfilling that commitment, a first debate was called on November 17 which was postponed to December 9, 2021 to guarantee the participation of the Vice-President and Chancellor Marta Lucia Ramirez, who has committed herself to initiate actions to eradicate racism and discrimination in Colombia through ratifying the bill and plotting the ideal course for the state to reach this commitment. Dayana Blanco, Director of Ilex-Legal Action, an organization for racial equity in Colombia and Latin America, led by Afro-Colombian lawyers, also participated and are additionally part of the Group of Friends of the CIRDI 2024 campaign.
In the context of the debate, Senator Jhon Arley Murillo, a member of the Afro Bank, said that this is an important achievement for the country, as it is hand in hand with civil society organizations, community councils and citizens in general that have been working so that the State proposes solutions that allow the diverse ethnic populations access to employment, education, quality of health, etc.
Race and Equality continues working towards eradicating all forms of racism and racial discrimination and invites civil society organizations and those parliamentarians committed to equity and the fight against racism and racial discrimination to follow the ratification of the Inter-American Convention Against Racism – CIRDI in Colombia.