AfaLab’s Recommendations to the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, April 19, 2024

The AfaLab team was present at the third session of the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent, which took place in Geneva from April 16-19 and during which the Lab hosted a side event conference entitled, “Biracial Children, African Mothers and Colonization: A Global Case for Reparations.

Building on the discussions at the conference and its contribution to the rich exchanges of the Forum, AfaLab proposed a couple of recommendations to the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent.

Recognition & Reparations

We urge the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent to demand that all European States that implemented this colonial policy of abducting biracial children from African mothers recognize these crimes and provide reparations.

Case of Belgium

Specifically, the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent must call on Belgium to uphold its international obligations by providing reparations to African mothers and their biracial children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda and to those who were displaced to Belgium. This includes facilitating access to Belgian nationality, health care services and financial compensation.

Legal reform

In addition, the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent must call for the recognition of colonial crimes as crimes against humanity through a subsequent reform of the Rome Statute.

Future Forums

Finally, we propose that the next session of the UN Permanent Forum of People of African Descent be held in Africa to better include African voices in these critical conversations, given the challenges African people face in accessing visas.