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Racial discrimination and civil society participation (HRC36, 2017, OS)

Date : 2017.09.26

IMADR statement on “Racial discrimination and civil society participation” at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council. Whole text can be read below or downloaded here


IMADR Oral Statement: 36th session of the Human Rights Council

Item 9: General Debate – Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, followup and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

26 September 2017

Speaker: Madeleine Cowper

Thank you Mr. President,

We are deeply concerned by the global increase in manifestations of racial discrimination and xenophobia. As we have repeatedly pointed out at this Council, racist hate crimes, incitements to hatred and violence are often caused by the failure to take measures against hate speech in the political discourse. This is evidenced by the recent tragedy in Charlottesville, USA. The number of hate crimes has doubled in the UK since the referendum. Online hate speech against ethnic Koreans in Japan is rampant and it is encouraged by the Government’s discriminatory treatment of Korean schools on the basis of the diplomatic relationship with the DPRK. We regret that these countries continue to maintain a reservation on Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) concerning racist propaganda by public authorities and non-state actors.

We strongly believe that the full implementation of the ICERD is imperative for the realisation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA). However, over 80 State parties are failing to comply with the reporting obligations under the ICERD while we are discussing this agenda item. Although the importance of civil society participation is repeatedly described in the DDPA, many governments fail to meaningfully cooperate with civil society, especially with indigenous and minority communities. Against this backdrop, we call on the members of this Council to bring words into action and take concrete measures against racial discrimination in consultation with civil society.

Thank you Mr. President.

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