The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed this fact sheet about the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) to demonstrate how 'harmony' hides structural and systemic racism.
The fact sheet is designed to support individual and organisational conversations about the importance of keeping the focus of IDERD on mobilising against all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination and injustice. The fact sheet describes how ‘Harmony Week’ is an example of the way language can be used to reframe anti-racism, and operates to reinforce inequality and maintain the status quo.
In contrast, having proactive, open discussions about racism demonstrates a commitment to tackling racism when it occurs and preventing it in the future. A nuanced approach to discussing racism in the context of IDERD enables the development of more advanced racial awareness, and provides the space to strategise for change.
We hope this fact sheet assists you in taking the opportunity IDERD presents to meaningfully acknowledge Australia’s deep-seated issues with race and racism, question the various ways racism shapes our society, and redouble our commitment to anti-racism.
While information on the Australian Human Rights Commission's website is mainly presented in English, the IDERD Fact Sheet resource has been translated into a range of different languages:
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese