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Race, Racism and the Law 
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Asian and Asian Descendants

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.




80. Asians and Asian Descendants face deep-seated racism and xenophobia, lack access to political, economic and social opportunities, are denied civil rights and liberties, and are victims of especially violent hate crimes, racial profiling, discriminatory employment and unjust immigration policies and practices. In some cases communities such as Sikhs and others with distinct identities composed of a complex interplay of racial, ethnic, religious and cultural factors face institutional discrimination due to the fact that they do not fit into traditional notions of race and ethnicity.

81. We note with concern that despite the contributions they have made to the countries where they live, and regardless of their long history of residence in these countries, Asians and Asian descendants continue to face distortion or omissions of their role in history in school texts and the media, and are viewed as inassimilable foreigners, security risks, spies and terrorists.

82. We are concerned that Diasporic Asian descendants are often criminalized and used as scapegoats for social and economic problems and international conflicts, and are subject to laws and practices that overtly and systematically discriminate against them.

83. We note with concern that Asian and Asian Descendant women in particular suffer many of the negative effects of globalization and of the intersection of sexism, racism and poverty, for example as manifested in the portrayal of Asian women as submissive and exotic sexual objects in the media as well as in traditional and historical negative attitudes that make them vulnerable to trafficking for prostitution as mail order brides, domestic workers, low wage or sweat shop workers, and as bonded labour.

Programme of Action

249. In situations of civil and international conflicts in Asia, including armed struggles between ethnoracial, religious, national, or caste groups, international human rights organizations must be given the right to investigate and document cases of rape, child abuse, ethnic cleansing, detention without trial, custodial deaths, and disappearances. The international community should be encouraged to impose sanctions against nation states that act with impunity and refuse to comply with their obligations under international human rights law, and courts should pursue prosecution of the perpetrators of heinous crimes.

250. We call on the UN Sub-Commission on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights to establish a Working Group on Asian and Asian Descendant populations including ethnic and religious minorities in Asian countries. We further call on all states to create Commissions with sufficient resources and with NGO participation to identify, examine and address issues of discrimination and persecution against Asians and Asian descendants based on race, ethnicity, caste, languages, religion, citizenship or migrant status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and other factors.

251. We call on states to institute programmes and policies to protect Asians and Asian descendants from police misconduct and hate crimes, to ensure the full inclusion and equality of Asians and Asian descendants through access to fair immigration policies, as well as fair access to employment, housing and financial resources, and in particular to acknowledge and value the work of Asians and Asian descendant women by protecting them from exploitation through such policies and programmes.

252. We call upon states, media and academic institutions to address racism, xenophobia and stereotyping of Asians and Asian descendants by promoting their appropriate and diverse representation in text books, courses and both entertainment and news media and by ensuring their fair access to media through relevant licensing and regulatory bodies.

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[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

Always Under Construction!

Always Under Construction!
Copyright @ 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001. Vernellia R. Randall
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Race, Racism and American Law