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Appendix

PRINCIPLES/COMMITMENTS ON RACE AND POVERTY

NGO Roundtable on Race and Poverty

Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Americas

Santiago de Chile, 3-7 December 2000

  • The World Conference should recognize that racial discrimination has high economic costs for all countries and for the global economy generally and that all individuals and communities have a right to a decent standard of living and to pursue their livelihood without compromising their cultural, religious and other identities;
  • States should affirm that globalization and economic growth has in some cases resulted in the worsening of the economic, social and cultural conditions of the most vulnerable groups, with negative consequences on poverty and social exclusion, thereby heightening inequality among and within States, increasing pressure to migrate, and impeding efforts to fight racism and racial discrimination;
  • States should recognize that the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and other international standards, affirm that affirmative action and the evaluation of the impact of policies on racial equality, for men and women, are required in order to address past and present discrimination, create truly equal opportunity, and promote full participation inclusive of the diverse populations, in the economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life of all nations;
  • The World Conference should recognize that for centuries, wealth (e.g. concentration of land, political power, education, employment) were accumulated or appropriated through coercive political, social and economic means which have disproportionately benefited the descendants of white Europeans and that States should take concerted action to curtail this privilege in order to reach the goal of equality for all;
  • States, international development and financial institutions should recognize and document the intersection between racial discrimination, gender discrimination and poverty and take into account differential impacts in developing appropriate remedies. States should further recognize that as the primary caretakers of families, women are disproportionately subject to the effects of racially discriminatory social and economic policies, including those which directly affect children (e.g. in education) and the elderly;
  • The regional meeting of the Americas should recognize that throughout the Americas racism afflicts people with racial and ethnic origins from around the world, including Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa as well as indigenous peoples;
  • States should collect, compile and publicly disseminate in multiple languages data disaggregated by race, color, nationality, ethnicity, sex, age, language, and other factors as appropriate, in order to review public policies for racially discriminatory effects by monitoring and comparing the social and economic conditions of communities with respect to public service delivery, health, housing, education, employment and other relevant areas;
  • States should agree to fulfill their legal obligations to ensure that all persons in their jurisdiction receive effective remedies for historic, group-based acts of discrimination which may take the form of restitution, compensation, indemnification, rehabilitation or satisfaction;
  • States should implement specific programs to ensure that all individuals, including migrants and regardless of race and language ability, are aware of their social, economic, civil and political rights and have full access to their enforcement and realization;
  • States should guarantee that development and public policies at local, regional and national levels should be created in effective consultation at early stages with marginalized communities, particularly indigenous people and people of African descent, taking into account the impact of unequal access to education, language abilities and so forth, on the capacities of certain communities to participate in dialogue with policy-makers;
  • States should recognize that "the right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized" (Declaration on the Right to Development);
  • The World Conference should call for the cancellation of debt for developing countries, requiring governments to apply released funds to programs which address conditions caused by racial discrimination;
  • The World Conference should recognize that governments should provide effective protections for the intellectual and cultural properties of indigenous peoples and African descendants;
  • States should recognize the nexus between racism and the denial of self-determination and take all necessary steps to uphold the right to self-determination, including the adoption of the Declaration of Indigenous Rights, to ensure that indigenous peoples are afforded all rights due to them as a "peoples" and that development policies are created with respect to cultural integrity;
  • States should enact legislation, including special measures, to recognize, demarcate and protect the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples and further ensure their right to continue their hunting and fishing lifestyle and land-based cultures. Such legislation must recognize indigenous peoplesí inherent right to self-determination, traditional practices and law of land tenure based on common ownership and use, and must be developed only with the participation and free consent of the indigenous peoples concerned;
  • The International Labor Organization and international development and financial institutions should agree

to work with regional bodies such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to develop a code of conduct to be adopted by transnational corporations with respect to work-force and labor migration

issues that generate persistent patterns of racial discrimination;

  • International development and financial institutions should regularly monitor, and report on, funded

programs for their racial impact and equal participation of racial and ethnic groups, suspending programs on evidence of racial discrimination, indirect or direct;

  • States should agree to work with the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other States to

promote investment and create more living-wage jobs in impoverished or under-developed local urban and

rural communities and implement enforceable codes of conduct providing protection from racial

discrimination in private economic enterprise necessary for economic development, such as private lending;

  • States should uphold the fundamental human rights of workers (documented and undocumented) to organize

and to improve their wages, benefits and working conditions, and should provide legal protection to all

migrants (documented or undocumented) against deportation for reporting the abuse of their rights,

implementing the relevant articles of international human rights treaties in relation to the right to work under just and favorable conditions, equal pay for equal work the right to fair wages and a life free from slavery, servitude and enforced labor;

  • States should guarantee equal access to all levels of education, regardless of legal immigration status, and recognize that without education the realization of all other rights is impeded;
  • The World Conference should recognize that globally racism is a major health determinant for African descendants, indigenous peoples and members of other racial groups which results in these communities receiving lower standards of healthcare and higher rates of illness and disease, sometimes with disproportionately fatal consequences.

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Always Under Construction!

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