Let’s Fight Racism Together

21.12.2008

DEFINITION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

Filed under: Uncategorized — legalantiracism @ 20:33

Ideology of racism is an inconsistent system of beliefs presuming that:

  • racial (ethnic) features constitute the scientific classifier of groups,
  • which are of different quality,
  • consequently, it is possible to distinguish superior and inferior groups;
  • and a man having biological link to a group through parents,
  • along with racial origin inherits the feature set of a group,
  • that, subsequently, determines his/her peculiarities, even on acting autonomously,
  • and these peculiarities will always differentiate him/her from representatives of other groups.

Concept of race and ethnic group: Appearance

Concepts of «race», «ethnic group» (people, nation) emerged from non-scientific theories and are being used for typology of human communities. Any doctrine of racial superiority, along with theories which attempt to determine the existence of so-called distinct human races were strongly rejected by the Declaration of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (Durban, 2001).

Nevertheless, concepts of race and ethnic group are still widely used as instruments of purely biological (the race) or mixed with cultural (the ethnic group) division of human kind into species. It is worth to mention that whatever typology we take (racial, ethnic, cultural) — the majority of human beings will not belong to any pure type. This is why we can hold that any typology of this sort does not correspond to its intended purpose of classification.

Given that, why are they being constructed in new versions endlessly and why those which had been rejected long ago are alive to the present day? Particularly, the demand for racial typologies is generated in the demand for validation of modern nation states. Approaches admitting that national borders are far from being conventional and, on the contrary, they reflect fundamental historical regularities — of growth of civilizations, traditions of culture etc. — are popular these days. Moreover, racial typologies may be demanded for revision of actual political system of the world. So racial and ethnic identity is constructed and sustained by politicians although no one is capable of dividing the bulk of world’s population in a self-consistent manner.

European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ensures the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Everyone has a right to preserve, choose, change his racial, ethnic, religious etc. identity and his beliefs.

Personal information concerning your racial, ethnic identity is confidential and is not subject to recording, keeping and publication without your consent.

However, your right can be violated. This happens, for instance, when there is a formation of a subjective notion of your racial, ethnic, national origin/identity based on your appearance, behavior, speech and, subsequently, based on this notion they restrict your rights. The violations of this sort are called racial discrimination.

Definition of racial discrimination in International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Article 1, p. 1):

«In this Convention, the term, ‘racial discrimination’ shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.»

«Direct racial discrimination shall mean any differential treatment based on a ground such as race, colour, language, religion, nationality or national or ethnic origin, which has no objective and reasonable justification. Differential treatment has no objective and reasonable justification if it does not pursue a legitimate aim or if there is not a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be realised.» (ECRI general policy recommendation N°7 on national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination)

«Indirect racial discrimination shall mean cases where an apparently neutral factor such as a provision, criterion or practice cannot be as easily complied with by, or disadvantages, persons belonging to a group designated by a ground such as race, colour, language, religion, nationality or national or ethnic origin, unless this factor has an objective and reasonable justification. This latter would be the case if it pursues a legitimate aim and if there is a reasonable relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim sought to be realised.» (ECRI general policy recommendation N°7 on national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination)

Forms of racial discrimination

As a State Party to the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Ukraine «undertakes to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:

(a) The right to equal treatment before the tribunals and all other organs administering justice;

(b) The right to security of person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual group or institution;

(c) Political rights, in particular the right to participate in elections-to vote and to stand for election-on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, to take part in the Government as well as in the conduct of public affairs at any level and to have equal access to public service;

(d) Other civil rights, in particular:

(i) The right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State;

(ii) The right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s country;

(iii) The right to nationality;

(iv) The right to marriage and choice of spouse;

(v) The right to own property alone as well as in association with others;

(vi) The right to inherit;

(vii) The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;

(viii) The right to freedom of opinion and expression;

(ix) The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;

(e) Economic, social and cultural rights, in particular:

(i) The rights to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work, to protection against unemployment, to equal pay for equal work, to just and favourable remuneration;

(ii) The right to form and join trade unions;

(iii) The right to housing;

(iv) The right to public health, medical care, social security and social services;

(v) The right to education and training;

(vi) The right to equal participation in cultural activities;

(f) The right of access to any place or service intended for use by the general public, such as transport hotels, restaurants, cafes, theatres and parks.» (Article 5)

As a State Party to the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Ukraine «particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction.» (Article 3)

Racial segregation is the practice of restricting people to certain circumscribed areas of residence or to separate institutions (e.g., schools, churches) and facilities (parks, playgrounds, restaurants, restrooms) on the basis of race or alleged race. (The Encyclopedia Britannica)

Distinction between citizens and non-citizens in respect to their rights

According to the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Article 1, p. 2: «This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens.»

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