The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
March 21, 2023

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually on March 21, was established by the United Nations in 1966 to commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre and promote the universal struggle against racial discrimination.

The Sharpeville Massacre was a tragic event on March 21, 1960, in the township of Sharpeville, South Africa. The African National Congress (ANC) organized a peaceful protest against the apartheid pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry identification documents at all times.

The Sharpeville Massacre was a turning point in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. It sparked international outrage and condemnation and increased calls for sanctions against the South African government. The ANC was banned, and many leaders, including Nelson Mandela, were arrested and imprisoned.

 The Sharpeville Massacre also led to the formation of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), a rival organization to the ANC that advocated for a more radical approach to ending apartheid.

 The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1966, calling on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate racial discrimination. The resolution also declared March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

 Since then, the day has been observed around the world to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and to promote understanding, tolerance, and respect for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Each year, the UN chooses a theme for the day. Governments, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to organize events and activities to promote the theme and highlight the need to eliminate racial discrimination. The 2023 theme focuses on the “urgency of combatting racism and racial discrimination, 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).” (

 The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is a reminder of the ongoing struggle against racism and discrimination and a call to action to work towards a world free from racial prejudice and discrimination.

 HR Anew encourages all entities and individuals to work peacefully and in harmony with each other. We can lean on each other when we need support and encouragement. Let us grow together, collaborate, and work to overcome discrimination, harassment, racism, and retaliation. We are in this life together, so let us support the diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) of all people. For DEIB and other workplace education and training, learn more about HR Anew at

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