The International Day for People of African Descent is celebrated on August 31 globally. The day was first celebrated in 2021, halfway through the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), which calls for concrete actions on the part of states and other members of the international community to promote recognition, justice and development.
More than 200 million people in the Americas alone identify as being of African descent. Millions more are located worldwide outside the African continent. Whether as descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, or as more recent migrants, they are among some of the poorest and most marginalized groups. Nonetheless, people of African descent are holders of a great multicultural richness, resilience and provide substantive contributions to every field of human endeavour, including health.
Last year, the United Nations marked the first-ever International Day for People of African Descent on August 31, 2021. This comes at the midpoint of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), which aims to celebrate the important contributions of people of African descent worldwide, advance social justice and inclusion policies, eradicate racism and intolerance, promote human rights, and assist in creating better, more prosperous communities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals spearheaded by the United Nations.