Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office at Geneva, speaks out against instances of racially motivated violence and discrimination, and calls for the protection and promotion of rights of all, including children of African descent.
By Benedict Mayaki, SJ
The Holy See has expressed strong concern about regrettable incidents of racially motivated violence, especially those against children, stressing that “such practices of discrimination seriously harm the dignity of victims and undermine their physical and moral integrity.”
The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, raised this concern on Monday in a statement to the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent during the 51st Session of the Human Rights Council.
Racial profiling, discriminatory treatment
Archbishop Nwachukwu noted with particular worry, the “ongoing practices of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment of African descent.”
He pointed to the war in Ukraine, highlighting that the ongoing conflict has also seen instances of racial discrimination against the refugees of African descent, with some being treated unfairly by border patrol officials, humanitarian aid organizations and host communities.
As a consequence, he noted, “these individuals, already suffering the hardship of war, also face discrimination due to the color of their skin.”
Echoing Pope Francis’ words that the contribution of migrants and refugees has been fundamental to the social and economic growth of societies – even to this day – the Archbishop stressed the need for refugees to be “welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated into their host communities, regardless of their race, sex, country of origin, culture or religion” and that they “should never be treated as a burden.”
Protection of children, family
Archbishop Nwachukwu went on to emphasize the importance of ensuring that children of African descent enjoy access to quality education at all levels.
“Indeed” he added, “education is a universal and inalienable right, and must be protected by fostering educational environments of equal respect, without discrimination of any kind.”
The Permanent Observer also expressed concern about States that continue to undermine parental rights and responsibilities, including those of African descent, thereby disrupting the integrity of the family.
He called for every effort to be made to preserve the family structure and to promote family reunification, especially for children who have been separated from their loved ones, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child that uphold the family as “the foundation of society, and parents have the primary responsibility for ensuring the integral human development of their children.”
Archbishop Nwachukwu concluded by reiterating the Pope’s words that “we are called to nurture and promote respect for the inherent dignity of every human person beginning with the family, sharing brotherhood and solidarity, but also in the various social contexts we engage in.”
Source: Vatican News