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People of African Descent

They are the people who self-identify like this. In the Americas, the African diaspora represents a social process of cultural resistance and claiming the rights of African people who were enslaved during the transatlantic trade.

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The recognition of the Afro-descendant population in the Americas encompasses different forms of self-identification, such as:


“morena o moreno”

“preta o preto”




And terms that refer to collective communities such as:

“quilombolas” in Brazil;
“raizales”, “community councils”, “palenqueras y palenqueros” in Colombia;
“garífunas” in Central America;
“mascogos” in México;
“maroons” in Suriname


It is a differential approach that allows recognizing and integrating the diverse cultures in society with respect to the different worldviews and autonomies of the peoples and/or groups.


Recognizing the interculturality of Afro-descendant communities is essential to guarantee human rights.

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Inter-American Court of Human Rights Cases and Precautionary Measures

Casos ante Corte IDH y Medidas Cautelares

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Good Practices Implemented by OAS Member States

Buenas prácticas implementadas por los Estados miembros de la OEA 


Current challenges faced by persons of African descent

Desafíos actuales enfrentados por personas afrodescendientes 


New standards on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights for the Afro-descendant persons in the Americas

Nuevos estándares sobre derechos económicos, sociales, culturales y ambientales para la población Afrodescendiente en las Américas 


Historical facts in the last 5 years

Hechos históricos en los últimos

5 años

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Did you know that the IACHR has a specific Rapporteurship for the rights of persons of African descent?

Advances and Challenges in the rights of persons of African descent in 2022

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Argentina incorporated in its census the variable of Afro-descendant self-recognition or of black or African ancestors to the entire population.


Brazil surveyed the Quilombola peoples for the first time in 150 years.


Costa Rica criminalized hate crime, imposing a high prison sentence, for anyone who kills a person for reasons of hate due to his belonging to a racial group.


Peru published the Supreme Decree approving the Afro-Peruvian People's National Policy (PNPA) by 2030, which is mandatory for all public administration entities and could benefit more than 800,000 Afro-Peruvians.



Persecutions and attacks against the life and integrity of leaders and practitioners of African-based religions were registered in different States of the region, as well as complaints about the destruction of temples and sacred spaces of Afro-descendant communities.


Acts of police violence with a racist dimension were recorded, exposing institutional violence in which law enforcement officers repress, discriminate, and make excessive use of force based on historical patterns of criminalization and racial prejudice.


In several States of the region, the need to generate statistical data on people of African descent is highlighted to elaborate and implement public policies appropriate to their identity and recognition.


Civil society organizations have denounced cases of discrimination and racial hate speech towards people of African descent in health care.


Due to systemic racism and historical marginalization, Afro-descendant women face more difficulties in accessing health care.

Annual Report 2022

To find out the current situation of their human rights, visit chapter 4A of the annual report of the IACHR, where you can find information about the situation of their rights by country.

Thematic Reports

Below, you will find the reports published in recent years on the human rights of persons of African descent:

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Esta publicación cuenta con la colaboración de la Cooperación Española, a través de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID). El contenido de la misma es responsabilidad exclusiva de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) y no refleja necesariamente, la postura de la AECID.

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