Ife was selected as the 2020 Fellow to represent the UK on an international level. Since the inception of the fellowship in 2011 only 83 persons have been selected to take part globally.
Ife Thompson is a committed Writer, Barrister and Community activist that set up BLAM UK in 2017 and Black Protest Legal Support in 2020. Through these organisations, she has been able to support Black people in the UK by providing projects that support around three themes: access to justice, mental wellbeing and education (Black history). Ife was nominated by Aspire Education Group )and Blaksox.
The Fellowship programme provides the participants with the opportunity to:
Learn about and deepen their understanding of the international human rights law and the UN human rights system, the international framework to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and intersecting issues with a focus on people of African descent;
Strengthen skills in developing project proposals, delivering presentations and submitting information to human rights mechanisms;
Gain first-hand exposure to human rights mechanisms;
Meet with a wide-range of actors.
The Fellowship Programme was initiated by the Anti-Racial Discrimination Section in 2011.
What is the Decade About ?
In December 2014, the UN General Assembly, in its Resolution 68/237, proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
This Decade aims to cultivate actions and measures to ensure the full realisation of the economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights of people of African descent, and their full and equal participation in society.
Under the decade themes of “Recognition, Justice and Development”, the Decade provides an operational framework to encourage States to eradicate social and racial injustices inherited from Slavery, Colonisation and white supremacy, these practices produce the racism ( Both structural and interpersonal ), prejudice and racial discrimination to which people of African descent are still subjected to globally.
The International Decade for People of African Descent provides a solid framework for the United Nations, Member States, civil society and all other relevant actors to join together with people of African descent and take effective measures for the implementation of the programme of activities in the spirit of recognition, justice and development.
As the UN notes ‘ studies and findings by international and national bodies demonstrate that people of African descent still have limited access to quality education, health services, housing and social security. They all too often experience discrimination in their access to justice, and face alarmingly high rates of police violence, together with racial profiling.
What Is the Fellowship About?
The Fellowship programme for people of African descent is a three-week intensive learning opportunity for people of African descent from the diaspora, who are engaged in promoting the rights of people of African descent.
It takes place once a year at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. It will be virtual this year due to COVID-19.
What is the aim of the Fellowship?
The aim is to strengthen participants’ skills to contribute to the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of people of African descent in their respective countries. The participants are equipped with the tools necessary to enhance the development of legislation, policies and programmes; to strengthen collaboration of civil society with governments; and to undertake local awareness-raising activities.
Ife says ‘ I am thrilled to be able to support my community on this international level, the human rights violations that we continually suffer has yet again come to the attention of the world due the recent BLM uprising globally. We continue as a global people to fly the flag for Black liberation and justice. I hope that during my time as a Fellow I will be able to explore and hone in on ways we can use UN provided Mechanisms to hold the UK government to account, for repeated human rights violations for people of African descent. I am equally keen to work with community groups and bodies across the UK to see how we can further implement the activities of the decade on a localised level. The three themes of the decade are Justice, Development and Recognition and they should be honoured in the UK as well as internationally. Two of my key aims for the decade are to first, create a nationwide project that will ensure Black history support resources can be provided to all teachers and to secondly, create and support community spaces that can hold state bodies to account’
To find out more information about the decade or to plan an event with Ife in 2021, please email firstname.lastname@example.org