UN Wants Canada To Apologize, Pay Reparations For Black Slavery

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tags: slavery, Canada, UN, Reparation



The United Nations Human Rights Council says Canada should apologize and pay reparations for slavery and other forms of “anti-black racism.” In a report released Monday, the U.N. advisory group stated: “History informs anti-black racism and racial stereotypes that are so deeply entrenched in institutions, policies and practices, that its institutional and systemic forms are either functionally normalized or rendered invisible, especially to the dominant group.”

The British empire had already banned slavery in 1834, and Canada had not become a self-governing dominion until 1867. Prior to its abolition, slavery was never widespread in British North America, although it was extensive in tropical colonies like Jamaica. When support for abolitionism grew in the northern U.S., Canada participated in the Underground Railway that moved escaped slaves out of Canada so that they could not be returned to their masters under the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Act.

Nonetheless, the UN says that contemporary Canadian racism “replicates the historical … conditions and effects of spatial segregation, economic disadvantage and social exclusion.  It is important to underline that the experience of African Canadians is unique because of the particular history of anti-black racism in Canada,” suggesting that the government of Canada should “take concrete steps to preserve the history of enslavement and the political, social and economic contributions of African Canadians by establishing monuments in their honour.”




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