International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Written by Gianna Chen and Panashe Marie Louise Mlambo

Established by UN General Assembly resolution 2142 (XXI) on 26 October 1966, 21 March marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.1 On this significant occasion, Broken Chalk reaffirms its unwavering commitment to tackling educational challenges and addressing human rights violations in the education sector worldwide.

As a dedicated advocate, Broken Chalk tirelessly engages with international organizations, governments, and stakeholders to drive action on behalf of educational victims. Through extensive advocacy and lobbying efforts, the organization aims to shed light on often-overlooked aspects of human rights violations in education, urging the international community to take decisive action.

According to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, “All human beings are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law against any discrimination and any incitement to discrimination”2. Broken Chalk stands firmly with this statement and further advocates for eliminating racial discrimination in the education sector. Racial discrimination within the education system has largely impacted the fundamental aspects of learning environments, including gender bias, disability exclusion, ethnic minority segregation, and socioeconomic disparities3. One of the critical initiatives undertaken by Broken Chalk involves the diligent work of volunteers and interns stationed remotely across the globe. Their efforts focus on preparing comprehensive reports for international organizations, stakeholders, and governments. These reports serve to highlight instances of human rights violations in education, particularly in areas affected by conflict, where access to education is hindered, and civilian lives are endangered.4

The disparity between constitutional provisions and educational laws within the European Union (EU) is a matter of grave concern. While all EU member states prohibit direct and indirect racial discrimination in their national constitutions, the majority do not sufficiently address these issues in their education laws5. Shockingly, only nine states out of 28 prohibit direct racial discrimination, while only seven prohibit indirect racial discrimination in their educational legislation.6 Furthermore, harassment is explicitly refused in education laws in merely six states.

Broken Chalk recognizes the urgent need for action to bridge this gap and ensure equality and non-discrimination in education across all EU member states. By advocating for stronger legal frameworks and policies, the organization aims to uphold the fundamental right to education for all individuals, regardless of race or ethnicity.

“Our work is driven by a commitment to promoting equality and justice in education. On this International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we urge governments and stakeholders to prioritize the protection of human rights in education and take decisive action to address systemic inequalities.”

As an international organization, Broken Chalk remains steadfast in its mission to achieve a local and global perspective in its advocacy efforts. Through collaborative action and collective engagement, the organization strives to create a world where every individual has access to quality education, free from discrimination and injustice.

Featured image designed by Marie Louise







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