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Race, Racism and the Law 
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Young People - Children and the Girl Child

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.




186. Children and young people, particularly young Indigenous Peoples, African and African Descendants, Roma Peoples, Dalits, minorities and peoples of oppressed nationalities, ethnicities or caste within their States are discriminated against, excluded from and marginalized in the decision making processes, resulting in the limiting of the full and active participation in the political, economic and cultural sectors. In addition, children and young people, particularly girl children and young women and those with disabilities are discriminated against in education, health, civil and criminal justice, media and the environment.

187. We strongly condemn public educational policies that deny the development of children and young people's self-esteem, through monocultural autarchic and inflexible educational systems which ignore or stigmatise any children and young people, such as but not limited to Indigenous peoples, African and African Descendants, Roma Peoples, Dalits, minorities and peoples of oppressed nationalities, ethnicities or castes.

188. Young persons are often portrayed as criminals, based on stereotypes of race, class and sexual orientation, and this criminalization results in further marginalization of this community.

189. The girl child suffers numerous racist and discriminatory acts and behaviours, which compromise the girl child's development with her family, the community and society. This then impacts negatively on her physical, psychological, biological needs and on her sense of belonging.

190. The girl child suffers discrimination and intolerance rooted in wars and killings, which destroy significant members of her family. In addition, the girl child is commercially exploited due to unfavourable economic, sociological and cultural factors, particularly, within families where boys are treated more advantageously.

Programme of Action:

468. We call on all states and governments to introduce compulsory anti-racism content with an intersectional analysis in the school curriculum and orientate teachers to promote anti-racism and self and mutual respect amongst all race and ethnic groups. Furthermore, to consult and allow children, young people, their caretakers and their families to participate in and influence the ongoing racial equality aspects of teacher training so as to promote public awareness, embracing and promoting cultural diversity and respect for human rights.

469. We call on all states and governments to improve reporting at the national level on racial and caste discrimination and its effects on children and young people, by actively collecting detail disaggregated and gendered statistical data on issues that affect children and young people. States should also support the involvement of children and young people in such a process. In addition, states should encourage national and international human rights institutions and NGOs to do the same and make such information available (and place greater emphasis on children and young people) in reports to CERD and other relevant treaty bodies.

We call on all states to ratify the Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which prohibits the enrolment of children under the age of 18 into the armed forces and for all states and the UN to ensure its enforcement.

470. Urge governments to allow children, adolescents and youth to be conscientious objectors as a right to voluntary participation in any category of the military field, without risking loss of citizenship rights or social, penal or military coercion.

471. Utilising existing structures, such as the UN Youth unit, to create effective new and existing networks that encourage, develop and sustain the talents of all children and young people. The States should ensure that young people are greatly supported in participating in the development and implementation of the five year review of the WCAR and will be encouraged, resourced and supported to contribute to the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, both at international and domestic levels, emphasizing the value of children's and young peoples' experience and encouraging exchange programs that allow all children and young people to work with their peers from all over the world, in order to enhance international bonds of solidarity.

472. Urge States, governments and communities to implement the recommendations of the regional seminar of experts on Racial and ethnic conflict prevention in Africa, held in Addis Abbaba in October 2000, with particular attention to the implementation of the rights of the girl child to live within the family, to grow in good health, to access health services, to be provided quality education and play an active role within the community.

473. Urge all states and governments to develop a gendered approach in school curricula, which include references on the specificity of the girl child.

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Persons with Disabilities ] Gender ] Sexual Orientation ] [ Young People - Children and the Girl Child ]
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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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