MADRID, March 17 (IPS) – Three quarters of a century ago, the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasized that all people are born equal in dignity and rights. The 2023 theme for its 75th anniversary focuses on the urgency of combating racism and racial discrimination.
More: almost a quarter of a century ago, the world assumed in South Africa The Durban Declaration to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, mistrust, intolerance and hatred, globally.
Since then, these “contagious killers” have not only continued unabated, but are now more widespread than ever in all societies, especially those dominated by so-called “white supremacy.”
Centuries of colonialism, enslavement
Such “pernicious evil” as rightly described by the head of the United Nations, António Guterres, takes many forms and affects all aspects of life. “Much of today’s racism is ‘deeply rooted in centuries of colonialism and enslavement,'” he said warned already two years ago.
The UN chief then painted a picture of “pervasive discrimination and exclusion” suffered by people of African descent, injustice and oppression suffered by indigenous peoples, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred – and the recent abhorrence of violence against people of Asian descent who comes along. targeted unfairly for COVID 19.
The “disgusting” views of the white supremacists
“We also see it in the prejudices built into the codes of facial recognition and artificial intelligence” as well as the “repugnant views of white supremacists and other extremist groups,” the top UN official added.
In fact, racism not only damages the lives of those who are subjected to it, but also society at large. It deepens mistrust, casts suspicion on all sides and tears the social fabric apart, the UN warns.
The effects can include the ability to find a job, get an education, have equal access to healthcare, housing, food, water or get fair treatment in a court of law, the world body explains.
“We all lose in a society characterized by discrimination, division, mistrust, intolerance and hatred,” as it read in the context of 2023. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21).
“Like COVID 19racism and xenophobia are contagious killers,” the UN underlines.
2001, the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA) was adopted at World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. As the UN’s plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance globally.
Together with International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, the implementation of the Durban Declaration should be a top priority on the world’s agenda. But is it?
Hate spreads everywhere
Apparently it isn’t. Reality shows that the stories of separatism, discrimination, division and fear and hatred of the other continue to be widespread in the streets, in schools, at work, in public transport; in the polling booth, on social media, at home and on the sports field.
In addition, hate speech” scope and impact are now enhanced by new communication technology.
The great sacrifices
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination lists the following groups among the biggest victims of abhorrent racism, discrimination and hatred:
People of African descent
The descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade or more recent migrants often face racial discrimination and prejudice.
Discriminatory structures and institutions, the legacy of the injustices of enslavement and colonialism result in people of African descent being among the poorest and most marginalized groups in society who also face “alarmingly high levels of police violence and racial profiling.”
In addition People of African descent and the descendants of the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, racism directly affects the lives of many other communities and groups, including:
Systematically discriminated against, deprived of their basic rights, lands and cultures, there are currently over 476 million indigenous peoples living in 90 countries worldwide, representing 6.2% of the world’s population.
Of these, there are more than 5,000 different groups. Indigenous peoples speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages.
“Yet they are almost three times as likely to live in extreme poverty compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts.”
Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons
There were 82.4 million people forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2020 as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events that seriously disrupted public order.
There are also millions of stateless people who have been denied citizenship and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
Among the 82.4 million forcibly displaced: 26.4 million are refugees, approximately half of whom are under the age of 18; 20.7 million refugees during UNHCRs mandate, and 5.7 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWAs mandate.
There were also 48 million internally displaced persons, 4.1 million asylum seekers and 3.9 million Venezuelans displaced abroad (UNHCR).
People living in extreme poverty
Poverty means more than a lack of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable livelihoods. Its manifestations include “hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion, and the lack of participation in decision-making.”
Poverty — a cause and a product of human rights violations
Many people living in extreme poverty are often also victims of racial discrimination.
Year 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban emphasized that poverty, underdevelopment, marginalization, social exclusion and economic disparities are closely related to racism and contribute to the persistence of racist attitudes and practices, which in turn create more poverty.
An evil circle
The UN often refers to poverty as a “vicious circle”, consisting of a wide range of factors, which are interconnected and difficult to overcome. Deprivation of resources, capabilities and opportunities makes it impossible for anyone to satisfy the most basic human needs or to enjoy human rights.
Racial discrimination does not affect all members of victim groups in the same way.
The fact is that women and girls, who make up half of the world’s population, are often among the most vulnerable in society and are at greater risk of economic hardship, exclusion and violence. discrimination against them is often exacerbated.
The The Durban Declaration and Program of Action focused attention on the issue of multiple or aggravated forms of discrimination, which are faced above all by female members of discriminated groups, but which are also faced by people with disabilities, people affected by HIV/AIDS, children and the elderly, among others. Other.
These are often among the most vulnerable in society and are at greater risk of economic difficulties, exclusion and violence; discrimination against them is often exacerbated.
Antisemitism and Islamophobia expose members of these religious communities to discrimination and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas.
There are many other groups and many more millions of people who every day, every minute fall victim to racism, discrimination, hatred and the consequence of shocking inequalities that kill one person every four seconds.
Why not take a look at what The Universal Declaration of Human Rights say?
© Inter Press Service (2023) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service