NGOs and other members of civil society adhering to this declaration express
their full and unequivocal support for to the Durban Declaration and Programme
of Action adopted at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South
Africa in 2001 as well as the NGO Declaration and Programme of Action adopted
at the NGO Forum held at the same time.
express our full support for a strong Durban Review Conference, the NGO/Civil
Society Forum, the Conference on Palestine, and other similar activities being
held before and during the Review Conference that support the Conference and
the goals for which it stands.
call upon all Member States of the United Nations to participate in this
meeting and to reiterate their commitments to combating racism and other
similar forms of discrimination that they made in 2001.
see no reason why any state that is committed to combat racism and other
similar forms of discrimination should not come to the table and we note that
their failure to do so is evidence of their racist intentions and/or their
support for racism, which we strongly condemn.
strongly urge states to reaffirm their unyielding commitment to the Durban
Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference Against
Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001.
f. We strongly urge states to give serious consideration to how the
ideas expressed in the NGO Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in
Durban, South Africa in 2001, and this NGO Declaration can enhance the
commitments made by states.
especially call on states at the Durban Review Conference against racism being
held in Geneva, Switzerland from 20 to 24 April 2009 to take into account the
following views of the NGOs and other members of civil society adopting this
Therefore we, like-minded
NGOs committed to the struggle against racism and other similar forms of
Slave Trade, Slavery,
Foreign Exploitation and Occupation
1. Reaffirm that foreign exploitation, foreign occupation, slavery and slave
trade are the root causes of poor economic and social conditions of large
numbers of people around the world, especially in the developing
2. Reaffirm the exploitation of natural resources of the colonized countries
along with the practices of slavery and slave trade, the disruption of
societies and their ethnic and cultural structures and the damages to their
3. Acknowledge that to this day no adequate reparations or apologies have
been made to restore and redress the damages caused to the people of these
4. Call on United Nations bodies, including the Human Rights Council, to
formulate new resolutions for countries to adopt, obliging the responsible
occupying and exploiting powers of the past to remedy the damages they caused
by their policies of slavery and exploitation; encouraging them to recognize
that their practices of slavery, slave trade, occupation and exploitation have
constituted crimes against humanity; and urging them to apologize and pay due
5. Call upon the Human Rights Council to accept the responsibility to once
and for all remedy the long lasting, sometimes irreversible, destruction and
damage caused by the crime of slavery, slave trade, exploitation and
occupation, through international instruments and mechanisms that ensure
adequate redress and reparations for these crimes against humanity.
6.; Urge the Working Group of Experts on African Descent to examine this
7. Recognize that the occupation and oppression of Palestinians is the
longest standing serious human rights problem on the United Nation’s
8. Recognize that the practices of Israeli against Palestinians constitute
apartheid and reiterate that apartheid is a crime against humanity while
recalling the successful efforts made in the eradication of such discriminatory
practices in South Africa.
9. Recognizing that the denial to self determination and the practices of
deprivation of all fundamental human rights of the people of Palestine is a
grave form of racism in violation of international human rights law.
10. Reiterate that the
forced transfer of Palestinians using settlement and illegal occupation are
part of the schemes of racism, and, that together with the ongoing practices of
aggression, deprivation of basic rights and necessities of life, and massacres,
they amount to ethnic cleansing and are evidence that genocide is being
committed against the Palestinian people.
11. Implore the relevant
special mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, especially the Special Advisor
of the Secretary General on Genocide, Mr. Francis Deng, to initiate an
investigation into the acts of Israel to determine if the crime of genocide has
12. Call on the
international community and the United Nation bodies, especially the Human
Rights Council and its Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine,
Professor Richard Falk and the recently formed international fact-finding
mission headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, to address the dire situation of
Palestine especially that of Gaza in the aftermath of the most recent Israeli
aggression and to determine if actions committed in this context are evidence
that genocide is being committed against the Palestinian people.
13. Call on the United
Nations Security Council to employ its authority to use all necessary measures
against Israel in order to implement the United Nations resolutions calling for
the right of return of the Palestinian people, the recognition and full
exercise of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, and end
to the occupation and apartheid regime Israeli exercises over of Palestine, and
an end to Israeli’s illegal practice of settlements.
14. Call upon the United
Nations Human Rights Council in all urgency to set up independent ad hoc
tribunals to investigate the violations of international humanitarian law and
breaches of the four Geneva conventions and their two protocols from
15. Call upon the
international community to end the practice of impunity that has allowed Israel
to violate international law for so long, and to bring the perpetrators of the
violations and war crimes to justice.
16. Call upon the
international community to ensure that just and equitable reparations be made
to Palestine for all the destruction and damage caused by the illegal Israeli
occupation and aggression in Palestinian territories.
17. Also call for the
release of the Palestinians who have been arbitrarily arrested in the past and
those who are being arrested and held imprisoned by Israeli
18. Recognize that
indigenous peoples have suffered centuries of discrimination on numerous
grounds, including race and similar forms of discrimination.
19. Acknowledge that
indigenous people have both individual and collective rights to care for their
territorial environment and natural resources.
20. Acknowledge also that
it is their innate right based on their cultural and historical identity to be
able to transfer their territories as well as their cultural practices to
21. Recall that indigenous
peoples living in different parts of the world face discrimination and
marginalization and they are looked upon as inferior.
22. Recall that indigenous
people’s territories have been dispossessed; their religious, cultural
and political structures have been destroyed.
23. Recognize that this
dispossession and destruction results in multiple forms of discrimination and
24. Reiterate that
indigenous people have the right to self determination and hence also the right
to an own political and social as well as cultural structure. Denial to respect
their traditional and spiritual relationship with their land and territories is
a grave from of racism.
25. Urge all states to
abolish discriminatory laws and policies which exacerbate the difficult plight
of the indigenous peoples.
26. Urge all states to
adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous
27. Call upon all states to
pay reparation and redress for the damage and harm caused to the indigenous
peoples in a just and equitable manner.
28. Acknowledge that
poverty touches a great majority of people world-wide who suffer due to the
unequal distribution of wealth in the world.
29. Reiterate that poverty
is a consequence of the long periods of colonialism, exploitation of resources
and of practices of slavery and slave trade of the past.
30. Urge the prosperous
countries to take on their responsibilities in helping alleviate
31. Implore the Human
Rights Council to formulate new instruments for the right to food, housing,
water, sanitation, health, social security and education.
32. Urge states to adopt
these new resolutions and respect the right to life of all people by respecting
their basic and fundamental human rights to life and an adequate standard of
33. Urge all donor states
to abide by their promises and to cooperate fully to ensure equal distribution
34. Recognize that the
eradication of poverty is an obligation and responsibility of the Human Rights
Council and implore the Human Rights Council to make effective efforts to
combat poverty in the world.
35. Urge Human Rights
Council to call for ensuring that the system of world trade is equitable and
aimed at ensuring equal development through out the world, especially at
developing the most impoverished people in the world.
36. Recognize the strong
link between the right to life, poverty, the environment, and climate change
and call on the Member States of the United Nations to ensure that
sustainability is taken into account in dealing with issues of development,
including combating poverty.
37. Acknowledge that
children and young people are victims of discrimination, in health, education,
the media, and criminal justice systems and that because of the vulnerability
of age they often suffer disproportionate damages as a consequence of
discrimination against them.
38. Recognize that all
communities have a responsibility to nurture their children and youth in a just
and equal manner. This includes ensuring access to health and other social and
economic human rights without discrimination.
39. Reiterate that all
children and young people, regardless of their social, economic and cultural
background, have an equal right to quality education.
40. Call upon all states to
ensure free and equal access to the education from primary school through
41. Recognize that children
and young people must be better protected from exploitation.
42. Call upon all States to
offer legal protection to children and young people to ensure that they are
protected against exploitation for profit.
43. Call upon all States to
regulate judicial systems so as to take in account the age of children and
young people when they are prosecuted and to ensure they benefit from special
protections based on their age.
44. Acknowledge that gender
discrimination still persists in many parts of the world and thus urge States
to promote equal rights for women regarding education, health and work
45. Recognize that women
are particularly vulnerable during situations of armed conflict, often subject
to abuse and rape and support the efforts of the international community and
both international and domestic legal systems to recognize rape as a war
46. Urge all States, to
adopt and implement strict policies to prohibit discrimination based on
47. Call on all States to
address human rights violations of migrant women, both documented and
undocumented; and urge States to monitor its prevention and to prosecute such
48. Call upon all States to
set up mechanisms to better protect women with disabilities.
49. Call upon all States to
provide health care especially maternal and reproductive health care
50. Express concern at the
increasing acts of xenophobia against migrants, migrant workers and members of
their family, especially by the migration policies of many countries that lead
to aggravated forms of racial discrimination.
51. Migrant workers and the
members of their families must be granted permanent residency and equal rights
in the countries in which they contribute through their work.
52. Call upon all states
regularize the conditions of migrant workers to protect them and the members of
their families from work conditions in which they are exploited that undermine
all existing universally respected labour standards.
53. We furthermore urge all
states to review the national policies to protect the migrant workers and the
members of their family from acts of xenophobia and racial
54. Acknowledge that all
human beings have the right and freedom of choice of their sexual orientation
55. Understand that sexual
orientation is often a cause for marginalization and discrimination in many
societies and that such discrimination constitutes a violation of human
56. Condemn the
discrimination of persons based on sexual orientation and urge such violations
to be prosecuted.
57. Urge all States to
review their policies of gender identity and sexual orientation, to prevent
discrimination especially in regard to their civil and political rights, not
excluding their economic, social and cultural rights.
58. Reiterate that freedom
of expression and religious belief must not only be respected but also
discrimination against Muslims as the most serious problem of discrimination
based on religion in the international community today and that this
discrimination is form similar to that of racial discrimination and should be
considered by States meeting at the Durban Review Conference.
60. Condemn the
stereotyping of religious minorities through media or other means and call for
this increasingly prevalent phenomena to be addressed. This includes incitement
to hatred based on religious belief. Recommend that this phenomenon be closely
monitored and that States consider the creation of an international legal
instrument should be considered to ensure that such abuse is
61. Recognize Islamophobia
and Arabophobia are new and grave forms of discrimination. That such
discrimination is closely linked to racial discrimination. And that
stereotyping of people of Muslim or Arab origin constitutes crimes of
62. Call upon all States to
implement in their national legislations legal instruments prohibiting
discriminatory practices of stereotyping stemming from Islamophobia and
63. Call upon all states to
carry out their obligations in prosecuting crimes of discrimination or
64. Urge all states to
implement progressive programs in the educational curricula to combat
stereotyping and the spread of such phobias.
65. Urge all States to
recognize that terrorism is often caused by widespread oppression and
exploitation and that counter-terrorism methods of the past results in
exacerbating the problem of this extreme form of violent expression rather than
66. Urge all States to
address the root cause of terrorism when combating terrorism and to ensure
measures to combat terrorism respecting human rights, including the prohibition
against racism and other similar forms of discrimination.
67. Urge all States to
ensure the non-discriminatory nature of all actions to combat terrorism and to
ensure these actions are not directed only against states in the
68. Recognizing the human
right to freedom of expression enshrined in international human rights law, cal
upon all States to recognize the responsibilities attached to the exercise of
this right, especially by corporate media.
69. Urge all States to
ensure that the media, especially the corporate media, exercise their freedom
of expression to disseminate information without inciting hatred,
war-mongering, or any form of racial or any other similar form of
70. Reaffirm that the right
to freedom of expression is being abused in violation of article 20 of the
International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, whenever journalists
write, broadcast or report in a way that incite racial or other similar types
71. Recognize that
trafficking in persons is a contemporary form of slavery and racism.
72. Acknowledge that of
women and children are in particular touched by trafficking in
73. Recognize that
activities such as sex tourism and sex exploitation are closely linked to the
trafficking in persons.
74. Acknowledge and commend
the good work of the Special Rapporteur under its mandate on trafficking in
75. Acknowledge that sex
tourism and sex exploitation and trafficking are closely linked and hence urge
all states to implement laws to stop sex tourism and sex
76. Call upon all states to
set up mechanisms to coordinate monitoring amongst the states to achieve an
77. Recognize that the
international justice can play an important role in the protection of human
rights and the struggle against racism and other similar forms of
discrimination, when justice is dispensed in an impartial and independent
78. Deplore the abuse of
international justice through its use against person from countries in the
South, while allowing impunity of countries aligned with Northern interests;
such abuse of justice is tantamount to racism or another similar form of
79. Encouraging the
International Criminal Court to play an active role in combating impunity and
persecuting crimes involving discrimination and other serious human rights
abuses based on its Statute and with respect for the principle of impartiality.
To this end, all States are urged to ratify the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court and to accept its jurisdiction.
80. Urges the Human Rights
Council to call upon the United Nations General Assembly, and to advise the
United Nations Security Council, to take action in situations where the
International Criminal Court cannot or will not exercise its authority based on
the principle that ensuring respect for international law by the most powerful
countries and their representatives is the most effective means of establishing
respect for international justice by all States and peoples.
81. Commend the Human
Rights Council for establishing mechanisms and special mechanisms to combat
82. Recognizing that all
the special mechanisms of the Human Rights Council are confronted by situation
involving insidious discrimination or deriving from racial or other similar
forms of discrimination; and encouraging these mechanisms to continue to
contributing to the struggle against racism and other similar forms of
83. Affirm the unique and
positive contribution of the UPR under the HRC mandate to encourage states to
improve their human rights situations, through its impartial approach in
conducting its reviews and sharing the best practices.
84. Express strong support
for the special mechanism of the Human Rights Council and call upon States to
specifically reiterate their support for these mechanisms, including the ICERD
and CERD, and stress the important work of the Working Group on the effective
implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.
85. Urge all States to
support the work of Human Rights Council’s special procedures and
especially to enhance their efforts to combat racism and similar forms of
discrimination. These special procedures include the Working Group on Enforced
Disappearance; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Working Group on
Right to Development, the Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the
Durban Declaration and Programme of Action; the Working Group of Experts on
People of African descent; the Working Group on Situations; the Special
Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons; the Special Rapporteur on the Human
Rights of Migrants; the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief;
the Special Rapporteur of Contemporary Forms of Slavery; and the other Special
procedures with specific country situations and thematic
86. Urge States to ensure
that proper resources are put at the disposal of these mechanisms so that they
are able to do their work as effectively as possible.
87. Urge States, where
necessary, to take steps to enhance these mechanisms and monitor the
implementation of specific legal international and regional instruments in
place in combating racism and discrimination.
High Commissioner for
88. Acknowledge the work
done by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and encourage the full support
of her work against racism and other similar forms of
89. Call upon the High
Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, to take into
account the concerns expressed in this NGO Declaration. In this regards, we
recommend her initiative to establish and Observatory to better implement the
DDPA through dissemination of information about it, information gathering, and
analysis of the Human Rights Council’s special procedures’ efforts
to combat racism and other forms of discrimination.
90. The like-minded NGOs
presenting their concerns to States through this NGO Declaration call upon the
State negotiating the Final Statement of the Durban Review Conference to take
the concerns of civil society in account in their negotiations and to ensure
that the Final Statement of the Durban Review Conference that they adopt builds
on the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action adopted in 2001.