Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, who last year was named by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to be Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, delivered her first address to the UN General Assembly on March 21, 2018, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
"This day should serve as a reminder that the problem of racism remains larger and deeper than the shocking manifestations that we are witnessing daily in the media and even in mainstream national political discourses," Achiume said in her 10-minute speech. "Now, more than ever, the fight against racial discrimination must be understood and waged at a structural level."
Also in her official capacity for the UN, Achiume recently embarked on a trip to the United Kingdom, where she is assessing the impact of Brexit on racial equality. The visit, which includes stops in London and Belfast, runs from April 30 to May 11. She will focus on hate speech, discrimination and the status of far-right political forces.
"Xenophobic discrimination and intolerance aimed at refugees, migrants and even British racial, religious and ethnic minorities will … be an important focus," she said in a statement. "I hope that my consultations will include substantive input from women, young people, faith leaders, sexually and gender diverse populations, as well as refugees, migrants … people behind bars, those with disabilities, and others whose experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination require urgent attention."