21 March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination was observed globally on 21 March 2017 with the theme 'Racial profiling and incitement to hatred, including in the context of migration'.
Racial and ethnic profiling is defined as a reliance by security and border control personnel on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin as a basis for subjecting persons to detailed searches, identity checks and investigations.
Refugees and migrants are in particular the targets of racial profiling and incitement to hatred. In September 2016, the United Nations launched an initiative titled 'Together' to promote respect, safety and dignity for refugees and migrants.
For the same purpose, UN launched other initiatives as well including Let's Fight Racism! and the International Decade for People of African Descent.
Moreover, the UN Human Rights Office also launched a campaign 'Stand up for Someone's Rights Today' to encourage and support actions in our daily lives to defend the human rights of others.
The Day was proclaimed based on the events of 21 March 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass laws in Sharpeville, South Africa.
Following this, the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination and proclaimed the day in 1966.
What: Observed globally
When: 21 March 2017