International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.

 The 2023 theme of the International Day focuses on the urgency of combatting racism and racial discrimination, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The exigence of addressing racial discrimination is no less applicable in the Canadian context.  In the workplace, Black, Indigenous, and other racialized AJC members continue to experience systemic barriers to achieving their full potential, including unequal access to promotional opportunities, mentorship, language training, and other professional development opportunities.

Most recently, in a grievance filed by the AJC together with two of our sister bargaining agents, the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) was found to have discriminated against its own Black and racialized employees, including AJC members.  This decision not only affirms the lived experiences of our members but is also of national significance as it undermines the public’s confidence in the very body that is meant to protect Canadians against racial and other forms of discrimination.

The AJC believes that together we are stronger.  Today, and moving forward, the AJC commits to doing its part to eliminate racial discrimination in the workplace and Canada, by pushing for fundamental systemic change at the CHRC, and by taking active steps to advocate for the elimination of systemic barriers in every workplace our members are present.