This Declaration Serves as the Final Outcome of the Advancing Justice: Reparations and Racial Healing Summit 2022
On August 1 – August 4, 2022, Black activists, artists and scholars from Africa, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Central and South America convened to discuss a global agenda for reparations and healing. Recognizing the importance of reparations and healing as a global imperative, we are charging the Global African Reparations Movement to build upon the legacies established by social movements that produced outcomes such as the 1993 Abuja Proclamation and the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action. While we are opposed to past colonialism, apartheid and slavery, we are also opposed to all current and contemporary forms of colonialism, apartheid, xenophobia and exploitation. We condemn the outright use of violence and terror designed to extract, exploit and advance the system of plunder. There is an evolution of economic systems that have come to naturalize poverty and inequality and casts it as the result of deficient people rather than resource deprivation and exploitation.
The reparations and healing imperative is a multigenerational, transnational endeavor requiring the active engagement of the grassroots, civil society, private sector, policy makers and leadership at all levels to usher in the transformative change to the systems, structures and institutions that have perpetrated harm against Africans and people of African descent around the world. In keynote remarks at this convening, President of Ghana, H.E. Nana Akuffo-Addo stated the importance of the African Union
making reparations a priority issue, setting an expectation for the engagement of other African Heads of State to join with African people and people of African descent globally, in this endeavor.
We begin by affirming the thrust of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action in declaring that massive harms committed by various European governments, institutions,
corporations and families equated to crimes against African humanity. That the crimes of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, colonialism, apartheid and neocolonialism and the systems, structures and institutions established to perpetuate these harms have left a negative injurious legacy that impacts every aspect of the lives of people of African descent around the world, in the present day and stymies the capacity to be fully self-determining and accorded the rights owed by virtue of being human. We further hold that there is both a moral and legal obligation of the perpetrators of the crimes to engage in full reparations wherever the crimes were committed and the legacies persist.
- We acknowledge President Nana Akufo-Addo’s solidarity message with the Reparations Movement. We believe it is critically important that President Akufo-Addo called for the engagement of governments and heads of state in the global reparations movement. Political will and commitment is critical to the implementation of this declaration. Active involvement of governments and political leaders will go a long way in beginning the process of healing the wounds between civil society and partner governments and providing redress for harms.
- We submit that African nations and political leaders must take a center position, fully in step with, and guided by, African peoples and civil society in enforcing the demands of full repair from the perpetrating nations, institutions, governments and families that have negatively impacted the African world via the crimes to chattlellize Africans, (Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade), enslavement, colonialism, apartheid, and genocide. This direct assault on the bodies, minds and spirits of Black people resulted in profound injuries that went unmeasured and untreated. The generations of terrorism and abuse were followed by more systematic abuse sanctioned and codified by the very institutions that perpetuated the crimes. These institutions continue to materially benefit from their barbarism through the plunder of African wealth, natural, and cultural resources.
- We call for the adoption of a clear, comprehensive definition of reparations, and forming criteria for reparatory justice initiatives based on the Durban Declaration and Program of Action. An important goal is to distinguish reparations from equitable, inclusive and ordinary public policy, and the narrow Black nativist lineage proposition.
- The Summit observed that Africa, through the Assembly of Heads of State of the African Union, has adopted a continental Policy on Transitional Justice, the African Union Transitional Justice Policy (AUTJP), to address different types of injustices in the continent and to repair damages against the victims of human rights violations. Based on the success of the AUTJP framework, it will serve as a blueprint to pursue a policy for reparations for historical crimes.
- We charge that Global Africans work for the development of prosperous economies based on values of African humanism with principles of inclusive economic rights, including Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for an Economic Bill of Rights to create independent, self-reliant African-centered knowledge systems. We recognize that reparations is a necessary, critical step to propel us to create these systems with the intentionality that ensures a guarantee of non-repetition of harms against Black people, or any groups of people.
- We commit to supporting existing efforts for the return of artifacts, monuments, human remains connected to our memory as African people.
- We call for foundational support for and engagement of the Social Movements in the Global African Reparations Movement, for example, the Global Pan African Movement, CARICOM Reparations Commission, NAARC, Africa Transitional Justice Legacy Fund, and others, in consolidating and expanding the global African reparations movement through active outreach, mobilization and building.
- Consistent with the call of CARICOM, we call upon the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent to call for a Global Summit of colonial powers/governments, financial institutions, corporations, and other institutions that propagated and benefited from enslavement in order to advance a process of truth, justice and accountability.
- There must be special focus on religious institutions. In addition to The Vatican (Roman Catholic Church) – because of its specific role in sanctioning through papal bulls, the initiation of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, we also seek to focus on all Western Christian institutions in sanctioning and benefitting from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the division of the Continent of Africa. Crimes against Africans warrant acknowledgement, apology and equivalent redress.
- We call for the United Nations to extend the United Nations Decade for People of African Descent by 10 Years.
- We will engage in dialogue and discussion on the term “Global African” as an inclusive identity of Black people around the world. It is evident that across the globe, there is a direct lineage to Africa. We are all Africans wherever we landed and wherever we reside.
- We will address the urgent need for independent, self-sufficient knowledge systems and Black media/Communications platforms to propagate and spread knowledge to empower Global African movements.
- We as members of the Global Reparations Movement, will establish and facilitate a Global African Symposium on the role of Africans in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism. Examine historical data on circumstances, geo-political contexts and definitive clarity on relative roles of Europeans and Africans. We must recommend a process for acknowledgement and healing.
- We, as part of the Global Reparations Movement, acknowledge that there must be a Summit of Reparations commissions and commissions-in-formation to consolidate and expand the global African reparations movement.
We affirm that justice requires an honest and comprehensive assessment of past harms and current harms experienced by African peoples around the world as a result of the crimes of slavery, colonialism, neocolonialism and its legacies. Reparations and healing are the critical building blocks for a justice-centered world in which the human rights of all people are protected.