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UN Working Group of Experts on Persons of African Descent (WGEPAD) visiting Australia 12-20 December 2022

Announcement posted by African Australian Advocacy Centre 13 Dec 2022

The UN Working Group of Experts on Persons of African Descent (WGEPAD) is visiting Australia from 12-20 December.

The main purpose of their visit is to receive as much information as possible regarding human rights issues facing persons of African descent in Australia, across a range of issues including: Administration of and access to justice, law enforcement, racial discrimination, any disparity between provision of support services in areas of health, employment, housing, history and the legacy of past violations, Blackbirding, refugee policy and racism in the media.

The WGEPAD would like to hear from civil society on the above issues.

To facilitate this, the African Australian Advocacy Centre (AAAC) is assisting the WGEPAD and invites all interested organisations who would like to participate in meetings (Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney) with the WGEPAD to contact AAAC at: info@africanaustralianadvocacy.org.au

The WGEPAD has also expressed interest in receiving submissions relating to the above. These can be sent to: OHCHR-africandescent@un.org

"On behalf of the African Australian Advocacy Centre, I’m pleased to welcome the UN Working Group of experts on people of African descent," said Noël Zihabamwe, Founder/Chair of the AAAC.

"This is a historical and significant visit and I hope that their presence in Australia would provide a platform for African Australians to provide them with information that would benefit government, policy makers and service providers to enhance the visibility of people of African descent. 

Their visit will raise the profile of African Australians and identify barriers to their integration to their wider society”.

A news conference to share the delegation's preliminary findings and recommendations will be held at 12:00pm on Tuesday, 20 December at Hyatt Hotel Canberra, 120 Commonwealth Avenue, Canberra, Australia.

The experts will also promote the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).


For media inquiries contact Karen Collier 0422 929 028 
or email bravemedia.karen@gmail.com



About Australian Advocacy Centre (AAAC)

The AAAC is the new peak body representing the African Australian Communities in the area of advocacy, research, and policy outcomes in collaboration with different stakeholders including but not limited to non-profit organisations, state and federal government, business, industry, the civil sector, academia and the philanthropic sector. African Australian Advocacy Centre AAAC has been formed as a result of ongoing consultation with African Australian communities in Australia. This plan is developed by and for African communities to address issues and concerns to improve the wellbeing of African Australians, both young and old

About the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent

The Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was established on 25 April 2002 by the then Commission on Human Rights, following the World Conference against Racism held in Durban in 2001. It is composed of five independent experts: Ms. Catherine S. Namakula (Uganda) current Chair-Rapporteur; Ms. Barbara G. Reynolds (Guyana) current Vice-Chair; Ms. Dominique Day (United States of America); Ms. Miriam Ekiudoko (Hungary and Mr. Sushil Raj (India). The Working Group is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the United Nations Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.