WORLD: Durban Review Conference must address work and descent-based discrimination that affects 260 million people across the world 

Joint statements at the second substantive session of the PrepCom (6-17 October 2008)

Objective 1, section B: Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Dear Madam Chair, and distinguished delegations,

It is a great pleasure for the International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) and the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR) to be able to take the floor for the first time in the preparatory process leading up to the Durban Review Conference in this joint statement with other associated partners. The organisations are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in this process, and we aim to do so in a constructive manner. We are deeply committed to promoting the objectives of the Durban Review Conference, and to give our inputs on the assessment of contemporary manifestations of racism since the first Durban Conference.

With this statement, the endorsing organisations would like to voice a concern falling under objective 1, section B (“Victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”) about work and descent-based discrimination which affects approximately 260 million people in many parts of the world. This form of discrimination subjects people to a life without de facto equal rights and opportunities.

Due to the nature, severity and magnitude of this form of discrimination, it is something which should be reflected in the outcome of the Durban Review Conference and deserves the attention and recognition of all PrepCom members. The PrepCom members are therefore called upon to acknowledge this issue and we welcome current paragraph 105 referring to this particular form of discrimination [based on work and descent affecting millions of victims worldwide under this objective].

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Objective 3: Promotion of the universal ratification and implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and proper consideration of the recommendations of the CERD

Dear Madam Chair, and distinguished delegations,

The endorsing organisations would like to raise a particular issue under objective 3 concerning the proper consideration of the recommendations of the CERD. Under this objective, CERD has proposed that the Durban Review Conference takes into consideration the work done by CERD to address other forms of double discrimination. Since 2001, CERD has adopted several recommendations which recognize discrimination against the most disadvantages group, inter alia, Roma, indigenous peoples, descent-based communities, and migrant workers.

By including a reference to these general recommendations, the PrepCom recognizes the important role played by CERD in addressing contemporary manifestations of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance as they emerge through a dynamic interpretation of the Convention. For example, CERD General Recommendation 29 reaffirms a development in the interpretation of the term “descent” in article 1(1) of the ICERD. Several treaty bodies have addressed this issue in their concluding observations, and the issue has been taken up by charter-based bodies, both by several Special Rapporteurs and in the comprehensive study on discrimination based on work and descent mandated by the Commission on Human Rights in 2005.

We would therefore like to recommend that the reference to the CERD general recommendation 29 is specifically included in the outcome document. In this way, the PrepCom would properly consider the recommendations of the CERD and recognize these important contributions by CERD since the first Durban Conference and the DDPA.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984. The above statement has only been forwarded by the AHRC.

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Document Type : Forwarded Statement
Document ID : AHRC-FST-066-2008
Countries : Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand,