Situation of people of African descent "remains dire"

Navi Pillay

People of African descent, particularly women and girls, continue to face discrimination and live in poverty around the world.

That's what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told a gathering on women of African descent in New York on Wednesday.

She said 2011 is being observed as the International Year for People of African Descent in order to promote their economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.

"Despite progress being made, the situation of people of African descent remains dire and this is particularly the case for women and girls. They are prone to multiple forms of discrimination because of their sex and ethnicity. In many countries women of African descent are often sole bread-winners, working at multiple jobs and struggling to provide a dignified life for their children."

Navi Pillay stressed the need to urgently address the challenges faced by people of African descent so that they don't continue to suffer from poverty and a lack of opportunities.

(Duration: 26")

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