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Colonialism and Foreign Occupation

NGO Forum, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, August 27-Sept 1, 2001

This page is part of much larger document. Please be sure to read the Overview, the Declaration-Guiding Principles, Programme of Action-Guiding Principles, and Programme of Action - Legal Measures which provide the context for understanding this page. Click here to Download Word Document.

 

 

Declaration:

95. Colonialism represents one of the most serious violations of national sovereignty of states and breach of international law, and in almost all colonial territories serious crimes against humanity were committed by colonial powers.

96. Foreign occupation creates an environment in which the occupied people are exposed to a wide range of systemic and gross violations of human rights and freedoms, including dispossession, displacement and denial of their right to self determination and women of occupied territories are subjected to rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy and other forms of violence against women.

97. Acknowledging that a foreign occupation which imposes an alien domination and subjugation with the denial of territorial integrity amounts to colonialism (according to the principles of the 'Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples' of the UN General Assembly 1960) and denies the fundamental rights of self determination, independence and freedom of the people under occupation. It also creates an environment in which the occupied people are exposed to a wide range of systematic and gross violations of human rights and freedom. We extend our solidarity to the struggles for self - determination for people of Palestine, West Sumatra, Aceh-Sumatra, Bougainville, Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, North Cyprus, and other states and indigenous communities including the Kurdish people, the indigenous people in the north east of India and in the north east of Sri Lanka, in Tibet, Kashmir, Bhutan, Mindanao and the non independent countries of the Caribbean, like Puerto Rico and recognize the situation of other people living under foreign occupation in different parts of the world.

98. Recognizing further that the Palestinian people are one such people currently enduring a colonialist, discriminatory military occupation that violates their fundamental human right of self-determination including the illegal transfer of Israeli citizens into the occupied territories and establishment of a permanent illegal Israeli infrastructure; and other racist methods amounting to Israel's brand of apartheid and other racist crimes against humanity. Recognizing therefore that the Palestinian people have the clear right under international law to resist such occupation by any means provided under international law until they achieve their fundamental human right to self-determination and end the Israeli racist system including its own brand of apartheid.

99. Recognizing further that a basic "root cause" of Israel's on going and systematic human rights violations, including its grave breaches of the fourth Geneva convention 1949 (i.e. war crimes), acts of genocide and practices of ethnic cleansing is a racist system, which is Israel's brand of apartheid. One aspect of this Israeli racist system has been a continued refusal to allow the Palestinian refugees to exercise their right as guaranteed by international law to return to their homes of origin. Related to the right of return, the Palestinian refugees also have a clear right under international law to receive restitution of their properties and full compensation. Furthermore, international law provides that those Palestinian refugees choosing not to return are entitled to receive full compensation for all their losses. Israel's refusal to grant Palestinian refugees their right of return and other gross human rights and humanitarian law violations has destabilized the entire region and has impacted on world peace and security.

100. We are appalled at the situation of thirty million Kurdish people scattered in several countries including Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, who are oppressively prevented from exercising their national legitimate rights of self determination. We deplore the policies of genocide and practices of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds. We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination against the Kurds, such as confiscation of their lands, deportation and displacement of population, destruction of their culture, denial of their civil rights as well as their cultural and political rights.

101. We recognise the situation of 6 million Tibetan people suffering under 50 years of the occupation of their country who continue to suffer institutionalized forms of racial discrimination under the Chinese occupation, and condemn actions of the Chinese government that continues to exploit, explore and extract the rich minerals resources of Tibet, causing irreversible damage to the fragile eco-system on the Tibetan plateau.

102. We note with great concern the implementation of government policies of population transfer of millions of Chinese settlers into Tibet and the carrying out of coercive birth control practices against Tibetan women, which contributes to heighten discrimination against Tibetan people.

103. The monocultural and hegemonic practices of the Chinese government, through the school system and through other state institutions has caused forced integration and assimilation and deprived the Tibetan people of their human rights.

Programme of Action

TIBET

We call on all states to exert pressure on the Chinese government to open negotiations with the Tibetan government in exile, headed by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, in order to find a mutually acceptable and lasting solution to the situation in Tibet.

We also call for the implementation of the UN General Assembly resolutions on Tibet passed in 1959, 1961 and 1965, affirming the right to self-determination of the Tibetan peoples and for the creation of mechanisms to resolve the foreign occupation of Tibet.

We call upon all States and governments to urge the Chinese government to begin the process of compensating the Tibetan peoples, for the destruction of their religious sites, religion, culture and environment over the past five decades. This process should include compensation for the loss of Tibetan natural resources, taking the form of timber, wildlife products, mineral resources and Tibetan artifacts.

The curtailment of religious freedom through severe restrictions and systematic attack on their religious institutions has resulted in the 'religious cleansing' of the Tibetan peoples.

 
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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993).