Photo:UNWebTV. Michel-Ange Joseph, CIJYS

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HRC54: Chile must recognise institutional racism against people of African descent

On 6 October, Michel-Ange Joseph, president of the Chilean organisation Fundación Cónclave Investigativo de las Ciencias Jurídicas Y Sociales (CIJYS), delivered a joint statement with ISHR.

ISHR and Fundación Cónclave Investigativo de las Ciencias Jurídicas Y Sociales (CIJYS) delivered a joint statement during the General Debate (Item 9), on the Human Rights Council 54th session.

Highlighting the crucial need to recognise the violation of the human rights of Black people in Chile, Michel-Ange Joseph underlined the xenophobia that Haitians and people of Haitian descent face in the country. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), from January to November 2022, almost 22,000 Haitians were repatriated. When this alarming situation of Haitian migrants worldwide is combined with institutional racism, it creates dangerous and intersectional forms of discrimination.

The joint statement also mentions Haitian citizens victimised by systemic racism in Chile, such as Luis Alix Gentil, Joanne Florvil, Monise Joseph, and Ingrid Jean, and calls on the State to: recognise institutional racism; guarantee sexual and reproductive health care for migrants; recognise Haitian culture; and support human rights defenders in Chile.

Watch the video and the full statement below:

Thank you, President. This is a joint statement.

My name is Michel-Ange Joseph, I am a social worker and president of the Fundación Cónclave Investigativo de las Ciencias Jurídicas Y Sociales (CIJYS), a dark-skinned black woman, mother and Haitian migrant in Chile. For more than 10 years, the level of migration has been a never-ending debate for our community.

Today it’s no secret that the Haitian population is facing a multidimensional crisis and this is forcing us to leave our country in order to survive. There are more than 5,000 Haitian children and adolescents forcibly displaced from their territories, without access to education. The most urgent need for migrant brothers and sisters in Chile is the right to protection and migratory regularisation for people who have entered through unauthorised crossings.

In Chile, our brothers Luis Alix Gentil, Joanne Florvil, Monise Joseph and Ingrid Jean were killed. We want to give visibility to their cases and demand justice for them.

We therefore call on Chile, as a member of the Human Rights Council and in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, to recognise the institutional racism that has been perpetrated against them. In particular, Chile must:

  • Recognise the institutional racism that our brothers and sisters of African descent are suffering.
  • Guarantee access to decent sexual and reproductive health for our migrant and Afro-descendant brothers and sisters.
  • Recognise and respect our cultures and education.
  • Support and protect defenders of Afro-descendants in Chile.

Thank you.

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