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Race, Racism and the Law 
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Reparations

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:

71. Slave-holder nations, colonizers and occupying countries have unjustly enriched themselves at the expense of those people that they enslaved and colonized and whose land they have occupied. As these nations largely owe their political, economic and social domination to the exploitation of Africa, Africans and Africans in the Diaspora they should recognize their obligation to provide these victims just and equitable reparations.

72. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, slavery and colonialism is a crime against humanity because of its abhorrent barbarism, its magnitude, long duration, numbers of people brutalized and murdered and because of their negation of the very essence of humanity of their victims, therefore, reparations programs must be comprehensive enough in addressing all areas of concern including economic, educational, health, land ownership and possession as well as the racially biased systems of administration of justice that brutalize Africans and people of African Descent.

73. The Trans-Saharan and Trans-Indian Ocean Slave Trades and slavery must also be acknowledged and recognised as crimes against humanity, which brutalised communities and stripped people of their dignity, and for which those communities must receive justice and redress.

74. There is an unbroken chain from the slave trade, slavery, colonialism, foreign occupation, apartheid, racial discrimination and the contemporary forms of structural racism that maintain barriers to the full and equal participation of the victims of racism and discrimination in all spheres of public life;

75. The enslavement of Indigenous Peoples, the appropriation of their lands and exploitation of their resources must be acknowledged and repaired and the historic precedents for reparations to the victims of gross violations of human rights should be applied to them;

76. Victims of declared and undeclared wars throughout the world have had their human rights violated because of their race, ethnicity and the intersection of race, ethnicity and gender and disability and are in need of reparation;

Programme of Action

The United Nations and States shall:

237. Ensure that, in accordance with universally recognised human rights norms and standards, all nations, groups and their members who are the victims of crimes against humanity based on race, colour, caste, descent, ethnicity or indigenous or national origin are provided reparations;

238. Ensure that the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery, Colonialism, Foreign Occupation acknowledge that these polices and practices are crimes against humanity;

239. Create programs of reparations for the victims of crimes against humanity and violations of human rights reaching the masses of the victimized and not merely an elite few and designed to address the specific character of the peoples injured that include:

240. Restitution encompassing the unconditional return of land, heritage icons and artifacts; the provision of land to those forced to leave their homelands and forcibly resettled in foreign lands; cancellation of debt of countries victimized by these crimes against humanity including African countries and impoverished countries in the Americas;

241. Monetary compensation that will repair the victims, including Africa, Africans and African descendants, by closing the economic gap created by these crimes and encompassing debt cancellation, programs for creation and enhancement of participation in production enterprises; full accessibility and affirmative inclusion in all levels of employment opportunity; grants of cash payments based on assessment of losses resulting from the violations of human rights and crimes against humanity;

242. Restoration including release of all political prisoners, providing for health care, including mental health care, educational and social services that are specifically designed to correct the injuries caused by the violations of human rights and crimes against humanity;

243. Satisfaction and guarantee of non-repetition includes the public acknowledgment of the crimes against humanity; the correction of the history of Africa, African and African descendants in educational materials and in the media; acknowledgment of the economic base of exploitation of the victims of crimes against humanity and violations of human rights and the unjust enrichment of the perpetrators;

244. Create an independent international and regional monitoring organization with the responsibility to assure that programs of reparations are designed and implemented with timetables and that satisfy the provisions of this programme of action are accomplished;

245. We call on all States to acknowledge the principle of reparations for the cultural, demographic, economic, political, social and moral wrongs of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Trans-Saharan slave trade, Trans-Indian Ocean slave trade, slavery and colonisation and that African and African Descendant victims reserve the right to determine the form and manner of reparations;

246. We call on all concerned African nations to take formal legal action to obtain the return of stolen cultural artifacts, gold, money, mineral wealth and the return of occupied land on the continent and call on the international community to support such actions.

 
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Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!
Copyright @ 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001. Vernellia R. Randall
All Rights Reserved.
Contact: race.mail@notes.udayton.edu

 

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