Montevideo, October 7 (teleSUR-RHC)-- The Uruguayan government reaffirmed Tuesday their commitment to make progress on the political and social recognition of Afro-Uruguayan people, who represent about 10 percent of the national population, while the greatest concentration of this ethnic group is located in Montevideo. Uruguay is raising awareness with this measure and it is promoting transparent and inclusive mechanisms of justice, while also contributing to reducing inequality and improving development policies. The initiative is part of the International Decade for People of African Descent declared by the United Nations. The program started in January and will run until 2024. The initiative aims to provide the opportunity to recognize the significant contribution made by people of African descent to societies. Countries with African descent population are committed to promoting respect, protection and fulfillment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for people in order to propose concrete measures to push for their full inclusion in society, as well as to combat all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. The presence of African descents in Uruguay dates from the very arrival of European settlers who brought the first black slaves. Official data reveals that The Afro-Uruguayan population has higher levels of poverty than the general white population, with positions of unskilled labor. In 2012, the government of former president Jose Mujica, created the program of "positive discrimination," which reserves eight percent of public scholarships to Afro-Uruguayans and also changed the Investment Law and companies that hire African descents receive higher rebates on social security contributions.
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