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Intro: Institutional Racism
01 Race and Racism                                        x
02 Citizenship Rights                                       x
03 Justice                                       x
04 Basic Needs                                       x
05 Intersectionality                                        x
06 Worldwide                                        x

  Web Editor:
  Vernellia R. Randall
Professor of Law
The University of Dayton
Web Editor
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NGOs, social justice groups, and civil society organizations in the region, whose activities are linked to the issues to be addressed by the UN World Conference against Racism, resolved to convene a Conference of Citizens against Racism, Xenophobia, Intolerance and Discrimination, complementary to and parallel with the Regional PrepCom for the Americas.

For this purpose, a Convening Council of the Conference of Citizens was established and was open to all organizations that wished to participate in the process. The convening of the Conference was appropriately representative, as the organizations that participated on the Convening Council reflected the thematic, ethnic, racial and gender diversity of the regionís civil society. The Ideas Foundation of Chile was the Secretary General of the Citizenís Conference, which took place in Santiago, Chile on December 3-4, 2000.

The Citizenís Conference had, among others, the following objectives:

  1. To encourage the active commitment of citizens, peoples and civil society organizations to the elimination of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and all forms of related intolerance in our societies
  1. To highlight the different situations that affect victims of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and related intolerance in the Americas, in particular those which affect Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples.
  2. To propose strategies to achieve full and effective equality, as well as measures of prevention, reparation and compensation for racism, xenophobia, intolerance and discriminatory behavior.
  3. To strengthen alliances and coalitions in the region among NGOs and other civil society organizations that fight for the construction of fair and equitable societies based on a culture of diversity and respect.
  4. To influence the decisions that may be adopted by the World Conference against Racism and its preparatory events, in particular the Regional PrepCom for the Americas.
  5. The original proposal of the Citizenís Conference was to divide the first day into caucuses (by social groups), with the goal of debating the content of the Conferenceís Final Declaration. The caucuses originally proposed were the following:

    1. Afro-descendants

    2. Indigenous peoples

    3. Migrants and refugees

    4. Displaced persons

    5. Other ethnic groups

  6. Related intolerance (other social groups)

The Afro-descendant caucus was subdivided into three regions (North America, Central America and the Caribbean, and South America). A similar proposal existed for the caucus of indigenous peoples, but the indigenous representatives decided that it was necessary in this forum to consolidate the work of indigenous groups. Therefore, they established one caucus for the whole hemisphere and worked together during the meetings of the Conference.

For the second day, it was proposed that the deliberations take place in the form of thematic commissions, with the goal of debating the content of the Conferenceís Plan of Action. The proposed thematic commissions were the following:

1. Gender, racism and discrimination

2. Access to justice and enforceability of rights

3. Democracy, globalization and social, economic and cultural rights.

4. Communication, education and the Internet

5. Land, environment and territory

6. Civil freedoms and civil and political rights

7. Civil society networks and international cooperation

8. Children, young people, older adults, racism and discrimination

On the first day, however, following a proposal by the International Human Rights Law Group, it was decided that in order to allow for deeper discussion, the caucuses would work during both days of the Conference and there would only be one document, the Final Declaration. On the second day, the thematic commissions that wished to convene meetings parallel to the caucuses could also discuss the Final Declaration.

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Always Under Construction!

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