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Vernellia R. Randall
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 UNITED NATIONS A, General Assembly Distr., GENERAL, A/ CONF. 189/ 24 September 2001, Original: ENGLISH, WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA AND RELATED INTOLERANCE Durban, 31 August-8 September 2001, Adopted on 8 September 2001 in Durban, South Africa (Final Version Released on December 31, 2001)

Declaration

            31.            We also express our deep concern whenever indicators in the fields of, inter alia, education, employment, health, housing, infant mortality and life expectancy for many peoples show a situation of disadvantage, particularly where the contributing factors include racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related  intolerance;

            33.            We consider it essential for all countries in the region of the Americas and all other areas of the African Diaspora to recognize the existence of their population of African descent and the cultural, economic, political and scientific contributions made by that population, and recognize the persistence of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that specifically affect them, and recognize that, in many countries, their longstanding inequality in terms of access to, inter alia, education, health care and housing has been a profound cause of the socio-economic disparities that affect them;

            51.            We reaffirm the necessity of eliminating racial discrimination against migrants, including migrant workers, in relation to issues such as employment, social services, including education and health, as well as access to justice, and that their treatment must be in accordance with international human rights instruments, free from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

            75.            We note with deep concern the fact that, in many countries, people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as those who are presumed to be infected, belong to groups vulnerable to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, which has a negative impact and impedes their access to health care and medication;

Programme of Action

            3.            Urges States to work nationally and in cooperation with other States and relevant regional and international organizations and programmes to strengthen national mechanisms to promote and protect the human rights of victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance who are infected, or presumably infected, with pandemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS and to take concrete measures, including preventive action, appropriate access to medication and treatment, programmes of education, training and mass media dissemination, to eliminate violence, stigmatization, discrimination, unemployment and other negative consequences arising from these pandemics;

            5.            Requests States, supported by international cooperation as appropriate, to consider positively concentrating additional investments in healthcare systems, education, public health, electricity, drinking water and environmental control, as well as other affirmative or positive action initiatives, in communities of primarily African descent;

            8.            Urges financial and development institutions and the operational programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations, in accordance with their regular budgets and the procedures of their governing bodies:

            (c)            To develop programmes intended for people of African descent allocating additional investments to health systems, education, housing, electricity, drinking water and environmental control measures and promoting equal opportunities in employment, as well as other affirmative or positive action initiatives;

            18.            Requests States to adopt public policies and give impetus to programmes on behalf of and in concert with indigenous women and girls, with a view to promoting their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights; to putting an end to their situation of disadvantage for reasons of gender and ethnicity; to dealing with urgent problems affecting them in regard to education, their physical and mental health, economic life and in the matter of violence against them, including domestic violence; and to eliminating the situation of aggravated discrimination suffered by indigenous women and girls on multiple grounds of racism and gender discrimination;

            29.            Urges States to take concrete measures that would eliminate racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the workplace against all workers, including migrants, and ensure the full equality of all before the law, including labour law, and further urges States to eliminate barriers, where appropriate, to:  participating in vocational training, collective bargaining, employment, contracts and trade union activity; accessing judicial and administrative tribunals dealing with grievances; seeking employment in different parts of their country of residence; and working in safe and healthy conditions;

            30.            Urges States:

            (g)            To take all possible measures to promote the full enjoyment by all migrants of all human rights, including those related to fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, and to the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond their control, social security, including social insurance, access to education, health care, social services and respect for their cultural identity;

            33.            Recommends that host countries of migrants consider the provision of adequate social services, in particular in the areas of health, education and adequate housing, as a matter of priority, in cooperation with the United Nations agencies, the regional organizations and international financial bodies; also requests that these agencies provide an adequate response to requests for such services;

            49.            Urges States to take, where applicable, appropriate measures to prevent racial discrimination against persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in respect of employment, health care, housing, social services and education, and in this context forms of multiple discrimination should be taken into account;

            81.            Urges all States to prohibit discriminatory treatment based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin against foreigners and migrant workers, inter alia, where appropriate, concerning the granting of work visas and work permits, housing, health care and access to justice;

            92.            Urges States to collect, compile, analyse, disseminate and publish reliable statistical data at the national and local levels and undertake all other related measures which are necessary to assess regularly the situation of individuals and groups of individuals who are victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

            (a)            Such statistical data should be disaggregated in accordance with national legislation.  Any such information shall, as appropriate, be collected with the explicit consent of the victims, based on their self-identification and in accordance with provisions on human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as data protection regulations and privacy guarantees.  This information must not be misused;

            (b)            The statistical data and information should be collected with the objective of monitoring the situation of marginalized groups, and the development and evaluation of legislation, policies, practices and other measures aimed at preventing and combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, as well as for the purpose of determining whether any measures have an unintentional disparate impact on victims.  To that end, it recommends the development of voluntary, consensual and participatory strategies in the process of collecting, designing and using information;

            (c)            The information should take into account economic and social indicators, including, where appropriate, health and health status, infant and maternal mortality, life expectancy, literacy, education, employment, housing, land ownership, mental and physical health care, water, sanitation, energy and communications services, poverty and average disposable income, in order to elaborate social and economic development policies with a view to closing the existing gaps in social and economic conditions;

            100.            Urges States to establish, on the basis of statistical information, national programmes, including affirmative or positive measures, to promote the access of individuals and groups of individuals who are or may be victims of racial discrimination to basic social services, including primary education, basic health care and adequate housing;

            101.            Urges States to establish programmes to promote the access without discrimination of individuals or groups of individuals who are victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to health care, and to promote strong efforts to eliminate disparities, inter alia in the infant and maternal mortality rates, childhood immunizations, HIV/AIDS, heart diseases, cancer and contagious diseases;

Health, environment

            109.            Urges States, individually and through international cooperation, to enhance measures to fulfil the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, with a view to eliminating disparities in health status, as indicated in standard health indexes, which might result from racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

            110.            Urges States and encourages non-governmental organizations and the private sector:

            (a)            To provide effective mechanisms for monitoring and eliminating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in the health-care system, such as the development and enforcement of effective anti-discrimination laws;

            (b)            To take steps to ensure equal access to comprehensive, quality health care affordable for all, including primary health care for medically underserved people, facilitate the training of a health workforce that is both diverse and motivated to work in underserved communities, and work to increase diversity in the health-care profession by recruiting on merit and potential women and men from all groups, representing the diversity of their societies, for health-care careers and by retaining them in the health professions;

            (c)            To work with health-care professionals, community-based health providers, nongovernmental organizations, scientific researchers and private industry as a means of improving the health status of marginalized communities, in particular victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;

            (d)            To work with health professionals, scientific researchers and international and regional health organizations to study the differential impact of medical treatments and health strategies on various communities;

            (e)            To adopt and implement policies and programmes to improve HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in high-risk communities and work to expand availability of HIV/AIDS care, treatment and other support services;

            111.            Invites States to consider non-discriminatory measures to provide a safe and healthy environment for individuals and groups of individuals victims of or subject to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and in particular:

            (a)            To improve access to public information on health and environment issues;

            (b)            To ensure that relevant concerns are taken into account in the public process of decision-making on the environment;

            (c)            To share technology and successful practices to improve human health and environment in all areas;

            (d)            To take appropriate remedial measures, as possible, to clean, re-use and redevelop contaminated sites and, where appropriate, relocate those affected on a voluntary basis after consultations;

            133.            Urges States to develop and strengthen anti-racist and gender-sensitive human rights training for public officials, including personnel in the administration of justice, particularly in law enforcement, correctional and security services, as well as among health-care, schools and migration authorities;

            154.            Encourages the World Health Organization and other relevant international organizations to promote and develop activities for the recognition of the impact of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance as significant social determinants of physical and mental health status, including the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and access to health care, and to prepare specific projects, including research, to ensure equitable health systems for the victims;

            158.            Recognizes that these historical injustices have undeniably contributed to the poverty, underdevelopment, marginalization, social exclusion, economic disparities, instability and insecurity that affect many people in different parts of the world, in particular in developing countries. The Conference recognizes the need to develop programmes for the social and economic development of these societies and the Diaspora, within the framework of a new partnership based on the spirit of solidarity and mutual respect, in the following areas:. . .

Investment in health infrastructure tackling HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, including through the Global AIDS and Health Fund; . . .

            176.            Urges States to adopt and implement social development policies based on reliable statistical data and centred on the attainment, by the year 2015, of the commitments to meet the basic needs of all set forth in paragraph 36 of the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, held at Copenhagen in 1995, with a view to closing significantly the existing gaps in living conditions faced by victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, especially regarding the illiteracy rate, universal primary education, infant mortality, underfive child mortality, health, reproductive health care for all and access to safe drinking water.  Promotion of gender equality will also be taken into account in the adoption and implementation of these policies;

 
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Professor Vernellia R. Randall
Institute on Race, Health Care and the Law
The University of Dayton School of Law
300 College Park 
Dayton, OH 45469-2772
Email: randall@udayton.edu

 

Last Updated:
 03/10/2010

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