Group Urges UN To Stop Undignified Use Of African Children’s Images

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele

The working group on people of African descent, through its Chairperson Catherine Namakula, has urged the relevant stakeholders to desist from portraying African children in undignified circumstances.

Ms Namakula made the appeal in New York while reacting to a report published and presented to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

“We made an appeal to the United Nations and other stakeholders to desist from using images of African children and children of African descent in undignified circumstances of dire poverty for marketing and fundraising,’’ she said.

In the report, UN human rights experts buttress how discrimination affects black boys and girls worldwide to the extent that they are not considered children, even in the eyes of the law.

They said unresolved legacies of trade and trafficking in enslaved Africans, as well as colonialism, post-colonial apartheid and segregation, continue to harm these children today.

The report by the Working Group on people of African descent highlights discrimination in areas that include the administration of justice, law enforcement, education, and health.

“Due to racial discrimination, racial stereotypes, systemic racial discrimination and xenophobia, children of African descent are not considered as children at all,” Ms Namakula stated.

The report found that throughout the diaspora, children of African descent face heavier policing, including more arrests, police surveillance, racial profiling, strip searches and excessive use of force.

In short, “law enforcement is in conflict with children of African descent,” said the report.

The study detailed how false racial stereotypes of criminality, culpability and dangerousness influence decision-making by police officers, prosecutors, lawyers and judges globally.

“The childhoods of people of African descent are stolen by persistent racial disparities in policing and family interventions, including removal of children and termination of parental rights, and racialised decision-making and outcomes,” they said.

The Working Group stated that it was time to take action to end excessive use of force, extra-judicial killings, disparities, racial profiling, racial stereotypes and stereotyping, systemic racial discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes.

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