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The Declarations and Programmes of Action adopted
by the First (1978) World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination

WORLD CONFERENCE TO COMBAT RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION

The World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination was held at Geneva from 14 to 25 August 1978. The following Declaration and Program of Action were adopted in its final report. (United Nations Publication, Sales No. E.79.XIV.2, chap. II)

Declaration

The World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination,

Having met at Geneva from 14 to 25 August 1978 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 52/129,

Recalling that the Charter of the United Nations is based on the principles of the dignity and equality of all human beings and seeks along its basic objectives to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,

Further recalling the designation by the General Assembly of the period beginning on 10 December 1973 as the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination,

Bearing in mind the goals of the Decade, which are to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin, especially by eradicating racial prejudice, racism and racial discrimination, to arrest any expansion of racist policies, to eliminate the persistence of racist policies and to counteract the emergence of alliances based on mutual espousal of racism and racial discrimination; to resist any policy and practices which lead to the strengthening of the racist régimes and contribute to the sustainment of racism and racial discrimination; to identify, isolate and dispel the fallacious and mythical beliefs, policies and practices that contribute to racism and racial discrimination, and to put an end to racial régimes,

Determined to promote the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenants on Human Rights, the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958) of the International Labour Organisation and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,

Endorsing the Programme of Action against Apartheid adopted by the General Assembly on 9 November 1976, the Lagos Declaration for Action against Apartheid (1977), the Maputo Declaration in Support of the Peoples of Zimbabwe and Namibia and Programme of Action for the Liberation of Zimbabwe and Namibia (1977), and the International Seminar on the Eradication of Apartheid and in Support of the Struggle for Liberation in South Africa, held at Havana, Cuba, in 1976,

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Taking into account the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Organization of African Unity and those adopted by other international conferences, as well as the international instrument adopted by specialized agencies, in particular the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, concerning the struggle against racism, racial discrimination and apartheid,

Noting the vital need for the mass media to inform public opinion objectively about the liberation struggle in southern Africa,

Noting further with the gravest concern that racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, which continue to afflict the world, are crimes against the conscience and dignity of mankind, and constitute serious dangers which will inevitably lead to greater conflict with enormous repercussions on international peace and security,

Considering that racism and racial discrimination are serious violations of fundamental human rights and that for the full enjoyment of these rights, which are indivisible and interdependent, national and international actions are required to improve the living conditions of men and women of all nations, at the political, economic, social and cultural level,

Having reviewed national, regional and international activities undertaken in the first half of the Decade,

Inspired by the spirit of the thirtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the International Anti-Apartheid Year to redouble the efforts of the international community to eliminate all forms of racism and racial discrimination,

Recognizing that the economic and social injustices emanating from racism, racial discrimination and apartheid call for all-out and continuous efforts to eradicate the root causes of these evils,

Stressing the importance of action at the national and local level, including adequate recourse procedures, for the effective elimination of racism and racial discrimination,

Determined that these evils perpetrated against the dignity of the human being shall be eradicated and that the danger which they constitute to harmonious relations and international security shall be thereby removed,

Solemnly declares:

1. Any doctrine of racial superiority is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and has no justification whatsoever;

2. All peoples and all human groups have contributed to the progress of civilization and cultures which constitute the common heritage of humanity;

3. All forms of discrimination and, in particular, governmental policies based on the theory of racial superiority, exclusiveness or hatred are a violation of fundamental human rights and jeopardize friendly relations among peoples, co-operation between nations and international peace and security;

4. Apartheid, the extreme form of institutionalized racism, is a crime against humanity and an affront to the dignity of mankind and is a threat to peace and security in the world;

5. Violation of human rights, denial of the right of peoples under colonial or foreign domination to self-determination, foreign occupation, alien domination, economic and political oppression, social injustice and cultural contempt are root causes of discrimination and tension;

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6. Racist régimes must be further isolated and United Nations sanctions against these régimes must be implemented strictly and faithfully by all States, as assistance and collaboration in economic, military and other fields constitute an impediment to the liberation of southern Africa; it is an obligation of Governments to create the necessary conditions in order that the transnational corporations cease:

(a) To grant any assistance and support to the racist régimes of Pretoria and Salisbury;

(b) To exploit the peoples of southern Africa and the natural resources in their countries;

7. All those who profit from racist domination and exploitation in South Africa, or assist the apartheid régime, or facilitate the propaganda in favour of apartheid, are accomplices in the perpetuation of this crime against humanity;

8. Support for and solidarity with all oppressed peoples and their national liberation movements, recognized by regional organizations, front-line countries which are victims of racist régimes and all victims of racism and racial discrimination, colonialism and apartheid, should be a commitment of all Governments and all international and regional organizations;

9. The proscription of racism and racial discrimination by law should be complemented by vigorous efforts to ensure equality in the economic, social and cultural fields;

10. The Conference expresses its deep concern that many neo-Nazi and fascist organizations have stepped up their activities which have encouraged tendencies towards racism and racial discrimination;

11. Education and information can be transmitters of racial prejudices, but can also be efficient means of action to combat racism and racial discrimination; the Conference supports the efforts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for a more efficient utilization of education and information to combat racism and racial prejudice; it is also the responsibility of all Governments to educate their people, especially children and youth, by all available means to promote their awareness of the evils of racism, racial discrimination and apartheid and to ensure respect for the dignity and worth of all human beings;

12. Bearing in mind that racism, racial discrimination and apartheid are gross violations of human rights with, inter alia, negative effects stemming from serious inequalities in the fields of education, health, nutrition, housing, job opportunities and cultural development, national, regional and international action to combat and eradicate the causes of such policies and practices and to ensure the full enjoyment of the above rights should include measures aimed at improving the living conditions of men and women of all nations at the political, economic, social and cultural levels;

13. The elimination of racial discrimination being an imperative norm of the international community, the exercise of competing rights such as freedom of association or expression cannot be used as justifying the propagation of racist ideas; Governments have a duty to ensure that priority is given in their national legislation to prohibiting racial discrimination and to proscribing the dissemination, including dissemination through mass media, of racist ideas and also to actively discouraging any propaganda supporting racism and racial régimes, in accordance with article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

14. In southern Africa, the most extreme form of racism, compounded by settler colonialism, has led to the worst form of exploitation and human degradation;

15. The creation of bantustans is a diabolical manoeuvre designed to dispossess the African people of their land and to consolidate the political and economic white settler domination which the world community should continue to reject and condemn;

16. Co-operation with the apartheid régime in the military and nuclear fields, especially by the provision of training, the supply of equipment and fissionable material, the construction of nuclear facilities and the transfer of any form of nuclear technology to South Africa, is a threat to international peace and security;

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17. The so-called internal settlement in Southern Rhodesia is a blatant attempt to split the national liberation movement to foment civil war and to perpetuate racist minority rule and cannot be an acceptable solution to the problem of Zimbabwe;

18. The Conference condemns the existing and increasing relations between the zionist State of Israel and the racist régime of South Africa, in particular those in the economic and military fields, and deplores and warns against co-operation between them in the nuclear field; it particularly deplores the expansion and intensification of those relations at the time when the international community exerts all its efforts towards the objective of completely isolating the racist régime of South Africa; the Conference views this co-operation as an act of deliberate choice, and a hostile act against the oppressed people of South Africa, as well as a defiance of the resolutions of the United Nations and the efforts of the society of nations to ensure freedom and peace in southern Africa; the Conference also notes with concern the insidious propaganda by the Government of Israel and its zionist and other supporters against the United Nations organs and against Governments which had advocated firm action against apartheid;

19. The Conference recalls with deep regret the cruel tragedy which befell the Palestinian people 30 years ago and which the continue to endure today – manifested in their being prevented from exercising their right to self-determination on the soil of their homeland, in the dispersal of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, the prevention of their return to their homes, and the establishment therein of settlers from abroad, and in the practice of diverse forms of racial discrimination against Palestinians affecting all aspects of their daily lives in a manner which prevents their enjoyment of their elementary human rights on a basis of equality; the Conference expresses its grave concern over this continuing situation and deplores Israel’s refusal to comply with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and it calls for the cessation of all practices of racial discrimination to which Palestinians, as well as other inhabitants of the Arab territories occupied by Israel, are being subjected; the Conference voices its hope that the Palestinian people will soon have the opportunity to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations on the question of Palestine, and proclaims its solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation and against racial discrimination;

20. The Conference recognizes that persons belonging to national, ethnic and other minorities can play a significant role in the promotion of international co-operation and understanding and affirms that national protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities in accordance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular its article 27, is essential to enable them to fulfil this role; the Conference stresses that granting persons belonging to majority groups the opportunity to participate fully in the political, economic and social life of their country can contribute to the promotion of understanding, co-operation and harmonious relations between the different groups living in a country; the Conference also recognizes that in certain cases special protection of minority rights may be called for, in particular by the adoption of effective measures in favour of particularly disadvantaged minority groups; the Conference endorses the action taken so far by the competent United Nations bodies to protect persons belonging to minorities and is confident that the future action currently envisaged will appropriately enhance the international protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities; in the promotion and guarantee of the rights of persons belonging to minorities, there should be strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the countries where they live and of non-interference in their internal affairs;

21. The Conference endorses the right of indigenous peoples to maintain their traditional structure of economy and culture, including their own language, and also recognizes the special relationship of indigenous peoples to their land and stresses that their land, land rights and natural resources should not be taken away from them;

22. The Conference is aware that, whenever there is racial discrimination, women are often doubly discriminated against; consequently, special efforts are called for to eliminate the effects of racial discrimination on the status of women, and to secure, for women who are victims of unjust racial patters, their basic human rights and their full participation in the political and economic life of their societies;

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23. The Conference urges national and international bodies concerned to consider specifically the psychological and physical consequences for children who are victims of racial discrimination, and to take care that special measures to counteract these effects are included in the activities of and the follow up to the International Year of the Child, 1979;

24. The Conference stresses the urgent need to protect the rights of immigrants, migrant workers, including all those who are undocumented, and their families all over the world; States should ensure that their legislative, administrative and other practices fully conform to international standards protecting the rights of migrant workers and of their families; the social, economic and other causes of discriminatory measures or attitudes still existing against all migrant workers and their families should be carefully studied;

25. The Conference requests, through the General Assembly, that the Security Council give effect to the goals and objectives of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination by taking urgent action to implement the Declaration and the Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination;

26. States, international organizations, governmental and non-governmental organizations, local and private institutions, religious institutions and trade unions are called upon to ensure that total and effective realization of the goals and objectives of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination;

27. To this end, the World Conference to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination adopts the following Programme of Action;

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Programme of Action

A. Measures at the national level

1. The Conference calls upon all Governments, to the extent that they have not already done so, to ensure that legislative, judicial, administrative and other measures are adopted to prohibit in their respective countries any manifestations of racism and racial discrimination, regardless of whether or not discriminatory practices prevail. Action taken at the national level should include:

(i) Wider and stricter national legislation to implement all United Nations sponsored instruments and conventions;

(ii) The elimination of all discriminatory laws, prejudices and practices based on race, descent, colour, national and ethnic origin and in particular on property qualifications and literacy and language requirements in the exercise of political, economic, social and cultural rights;

(iii) The creation of adequate domestic recourse procedures of a judicial and/or administrative character which could be effectively resorted to by individuals complaining of racism or racial discrimination;

(iv) The encouragement through national legislation of the use, by national courts and institutions, of instruments of the United Nations and specialized agencies related to racism and racial discrimination, especially as the principle of non-discrimination has become an imperative norm of international law;

(v) The adoption of strict legislation to declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred and to prohibit organizations based on racial prejudice and hatred, including private clubs and institutions established on the basis of racial criteria or propagating ideas of racial discrimination and apartheid, as provided for in article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination;

(vi) The adoption, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of legal and other measures against any dissemination of information or ideas of racial or ethnic superiority or national hatred through published material or by mass media and aimed at other racial or ethnic groups, as well as at other nations, especially by taking all the necessary measures against the operation of propaganda organizations of the racist régimes and of private organizations which advocate them;

(vii) The publication and wide distribution of the resolutions and decisions of United Nations organs concerning racism, racial discrimination, apartheid and decolonization and of the results, conclusions and recommendations of conferences and seminars dealing with those policies and practices;

(viii) The taking of all necessary measures by all States, all their national sports organizations and individuals within their jurisdiction to prohibit racial discrimination in sports and to disallow any sports contacts with the racist régimes of southern Africa or with racially selected teams and individuals from the racial régimes of southern Africa and to promote sports activities with no trace of racial distinction whatsoever;

(ix) The prohibition of any kind of racial discrimination in laws, administrative and other measures regulating immigration;

(x) The initiation of and support for campaigns aimed at mobilizing national public opinion against the evils of racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, through adequate programmes in the mass media, publishing activities, research seminars and media coverage and therein seeking the co-operation of students and youth organizations, trade unions, employers’ organizations, farmers, and religious and professional organizations;

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(xi) Ratification of or accession to, as soon as possible, the international instruments adopted under the aegis of the United Nations and specialized agencies, such as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973), the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958) of the International Labour Organisation and the Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization;

(xii) Consideration of the possibility of making the declaration envisaged in article 14, paragraph 1, of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, by which a State party to the Convention racognizes the competence of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals within its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of violations by the State party of any of the rights set forth in the Convention;

(xiii) Compliance with the reporting requirements called for by the United Nations or by the relevant conventions and, whenever applicable, the inclusion in their reports of the problem encountered by States in ratifying these conventions, with a view to soliciting appropriate legal and/or technical assistance from the advisory services programme in the field of human rights to counter and resolve such problems.

2. The Conference recognizes that action against racism would be more effective if it were combined with determined efforts in the field of education at all levels. The Conference therefore urges Governments to design school curricula and other educational programmes exposing the myths and fallacies of all theories, philosophies, ideas, attitudes and practices based on differences of race, colour, descent, ethnic or national origin. The Conference also urges States to provide adequate opportunities in schools and institutions of higher learning for the study of United Nations measures to combat racism.

3. The Conference urges States also to disseminate educational material against racism through institutions other than formal educational institutions; for example, youth movements, women’s organizations, trade unions, art and drama societies, etc. To this end, the Conference urges States to choose procedures of instruction that are appropriate to their respective countries. Consideration should also be given to way and means through which communication media and non-governmental organizations may be encouraged to propagate the goals and objectives of the Programme for the Decade.

4. The Conference calls on all States which have not yet done so:

(a) To take effective legislative and other measures, including those in the field of penal law, to prevent the recruitment, training and other activities of mercenaries for assistance to the racist régimes in southern Africa and to punish such mercenaries as common criminals;

(b) To refrain from any relations with the authorities in the bantustans established by the apartheid régime and to prevent any collaboration by corporations within their jurisdiction with those authorities;

(c) To prevent transnational corporations and other vested interests from collaborating with the racist régimes in southern Africa.

5. The Conference, considering that the inhuman policies of apartheid and similar policies of forced racial segregation and systematic discrimination are practised by an oppressive majority group against the overwhelming majority in southern Africa, once again calls upon all States to take immediate and effective measures to put an end to such policies and practices.

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6. The Conference urges all States to abolish and prohibit any discrimination among their citizens on the ground of their ethnic or national origin and to protect and promote the human rights of persons belonging to national and ethnic minorities, in accordance with the International Covenants on Human Rights and in particular article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as relevant articles of the International Covention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other international instruments.

7. The Conference also recommends that States adopt specific measures in the economic, social, educational and cultural fields and in the matter of civil and political rights, in order that all persons may enjoy legal and factual equality and that discrimination between majorities and minorities may be eliminated. Such specific measures should include appropriate assistance to persons belonging to minority groups, to enable them to develop their own culture and to facilitate their full development, in particular in the fields of education, culture and employment.

8. The Conference urges States to recognize the following rights of indigenous peoples:

(a) To call themselves by their proper name and to express freely their ethnic, cultural and other characteristics;

(b) To have an official status and to form their own representative organizations;

(c) To carry on within their areas of settlement their traditional structure of economy and way of life; this should in no way affect their right to participate freely on an equal basis in the economic, social and political development of the country;

(d) To maintain and use their own language, wherever possible, for administration and education;

(e) To receive education and information in their own language, with due regard to their needs as expressed by themselves, and to disseminate information regarding their needs and problems.

9. Funds should be made available by the authorities for investments, the uses of which are to be determined with the participation of the indigenous peoples themselves, in the economic life of the areas concerned, as well as in all spheres of cultural activity.

10. The Conference urges States to allow indigenous peoples within their territories to develop cultural and social links with their own kith and kin everywhere, with strict respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and non-interference in the internal affairs of those countries in which the indigenous peoples live.

11. The Conference further urges States to facilitate and support the establishment of representative international organizations for indigenous peoples, through which they can share experiences and promote common interests.

12. States receiving migrant workers should eliminate all discriminatory practices against such workers and their families by giving them treatment no less favourable than that accorded to their own nationals. This should include, inter alia, such fields as vocational training, the types of posts which migrants may occupy, the type of contracts accorded to migrant workers, the right to reside in any part of the country, regulations governing working conditions, trade union activity and access to judicial and administrative tribunals to air grievances concerning discrimination.

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13. The Conference also recommends that States:

(i) Ensure that migrant workers are given the opportunity to assemble and to establish organizations, as well as be given assistance to facilitate communication in their own languages, so as to enable them to articulate their views and promote their specific interests:

(ii) Consider the extension of the franchise in local elections, or any other forms of participation in public life, to migrants already resident in the country for a reasonable period;

(iii) Recognize that the right of family reunion is a fundamental right;

(iv) Encourage the solution of housing problems in order to ensure that family reunion may proceed in a harmonious manner;

(v) Undertake the full assessment of the condition of the children of migrant workers, including those of the second generation, with the aim of ensuring for them real equality of treatment in all fields, including professional life, by taking into consideration the adoption of special measures in the field of education;

(vi) Ensure for migrant workers equality of treatment in the field of social security, including the right to a retirement pension and similar social rights;

(vii) Take effective measures in the field of health care, and in particular, remedy the under-utilization by migrant workers of social and health services by making them fully aware of their rights and helping them to overcome linguistic barriers;

(viii) Take all necessary measures, in particular by using the information media to the fullest possible extent, in order to bring about increased awareness of public opinion in host countries of the contribution of migrant workers to the economic growth and the socio-cultural development of these countries and also to stimulate an atmosphere of mutual understanding;

(ix) Promote the creation of administrative structures making possible a greater awareness and better understanding of the problem of migrant workers, which is likely to facilitate solutions to these problems;

(x) Ratify or accede to the international instruments, in particular the relevant conventions of the International Labour Organisation, aimed at protecting migrants from discrimination, and consider the possibility of adopting an international convention on the rights of migrant workers;

(xi) Pay special attention the the gross inhumanity of the migrant labour system as practised in South Africa, which is a further manifestation of apartheid, and in this regard bear in mind the conclusions of the Conference on Migratory Labour in southern Africa, held at Lusaka in April 1978;

(xii) Adopt in the field of education special measures in favour of the children of migrant workers;

(xiii) Permit children of migrant workers, as well as their parents, to benefit from all the opportunities which are needed in the field of education in order to ensure their full participation in the life of society in the host country and give them also all the opportunities to preserve their cultural identity.

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14. The Conference calls on States to eliminate, through legislation and administrative measures, all discriminatory practices against members of immigrant communities. They should ensure that immigrants and their families are given treatment which is no less favourable than that accorded to nationals of the host country in matters such as education, employment, the acquisition of property, health and housing facilities, travel within and outside the country, etc. To this end, the Conference urges all States to review the totality of their legal and administrative provisions relating to immigration and to members of immigrant communities, in order to make sure that all measures and practices that are discriminatory or have a discriminatory effect are totally eliminated. In particular, the Conference urges States:

(i) To ensure that immigrants enjoy the right to assemble and to form their own organizations for the promotion of their specific interests;

(ii) To recognize the right to family reunion as a fundamental right;

(iii) To ensure that immigrants enjoy the right to social security, retirement pensions and similar social rights;

(iv) To take appropriate measures to bring about greater awareness among the people of the host country of the contribution of immigrant communities to the social, economic and cultural development of the country concerned;

(v) To consider the possibility of an international convention on the rights of immigrants.

B. Measures at the international level

15. The Conference proclaims that racism, racial discrimination and apartheid in all their manifestations are crimes against the conscience and dignity of mankind, and must be eradicated by effective international action. It reaffirms the special responsibility of the United Nations and the international community to the oppressed peoples of South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Palestine and their liberation movements. The Conference requests the Security Council to consider urgently the imposition of comprehensive and mandatory sanctions, under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, against the apartheid régime of South Africa and the racist régimes of southern Africa, and in particular:

(i) The cessation of all collaboration with South Africa in the nuclear field;

(ii) The prohibition of all technological assistance or collaboration in the manufacture of arms and military supplies in South Africa;

(iii) The prohibition of all loans to and investments in South Africa and the termination of all promotion of trade with South Africa;

(iv) An embargo on the supply of petroleum, petroleum products and other strategic commodities to South Africa.

16. The Conference calls on all States, intergovernmental organizations, private institutions and non-governmental organizations to render increased political and material assistance to the oppressed peoples of southern Africa and their liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity, to continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the termination of all economic collaboration with racist régimes, to seek all possible means of preventing the supply of funds, loans, credits, foreign exchange, trade and all financial support to the economics of South Afrca, Rhodesia and Namibia from private banks, Governments and international agencies such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation and the International Monetary Fund and similar institutions and to refrain from taking any action which might imply recognition, or support for, the illegal domination of the territories by those régimes. In this connexion, the Conference cautions against unilateral attempts to relax the application of the sanctions already imposed by the Security Council.

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17. The Conference calls for international assistance to front-line States in Africa subjected to threats and acts of aggression by the racist and apartheid régimes in southern Africa.

18. The Conference urges the United Nations system to consider:

(i) Proclaiming that racism and apartheid constitute a matter of the highest priority to the international community and asking all specialized agencies to contribute to the maximum in their respective areas towards the eradication of these evils;

(ii) Establishing training institutes for South Africa and Zimbabwe similar in nature and purpose to the Institute for Namibia;

(iii) Instituting a 24-hour radio programme directed to southern Africa, in order to grant radio facilities to the national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of Africa Unity to enable them to broadcast to their respective countries information on their struggle against the racist régimes of southern Africa;

(iv) Adopting measures to guarantee, through special conventions or other provisions, asylum and transit facilities to those who desert from the armed forces of the racist régimes in southern Africa on ground of conscience or who are forced to leave because of their opposition to apartheid.

19. The Conference calls upon the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions to take all necessary action to terminate credits to South Africa.

20. The Conference declares that captured freedom fighters who are members of the national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity should be entitled to prisoner-of-war status in accordance with the relevant Geneva Conventions.

21. The Conference calls upon the United Nations, all States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to step up campaigns that ensure the release of all political prisoners imprisoned by racist régimes for their valiant fight against apartheid, racism and racial discrimination and for the rights of their peoples to self-determination and independence.

22. The Conference recommends that existing United Nations studies on questions of discrimination, notably the Study on Discrimination in Education, should be updated periodically and new studies should be initiated. In this respect the Conference recommends that:

(i) The Secretary-General of the United Nations should prepare a study analysing the link between the struggle for the elimination of racism and the struggle for decolonization and self-determination;

(ii) The Secretary-General should also prepare a study on the link between racial discrimination and inequalities in the levels of education, nutrition, health, housing and cultural development;

(iii) The study of the problem of migrant workers should be continued by the various organs within the United Nations system, as well as by Governments, especially as regards racial discrimination encountered by migrants and their families; in particular, an in-depth study should be made by the Secretary-General of the types and causes of discrimination against migrant workers and of specific measures which could be taken to combat them;

(iv) The Secretary-General should study the nature and types of recourse procedures available to migrant workers for the aiming of grievances stemming from racial discrimination; particular attention should be given to migrant workers who are either stateless or who have no home Government, embassy or consulate to represent them.

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23. The Ad Hoc Working Group of Experts on southern Africa should be requested to study ways and means for the application of international instruments, such as the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, which declares that the policies of apartheid and racism constitute a crime against humanity.

24. Taking into account the recommendation of the United Nations Symposium on the Exploitation of the Blacks in South Africa and Namibia and on Prison Conditions in the South African Jails, held in Lesotho in July 1978, concerning the special impact of the system of apartheid on children and young people, competent United Nations organs should inquire into the imprisonment, torture, abandonment, malnutrition and lack of educational facilities which contribute to infant mortality and retard the proper development of black children and young people.

25. Taking into account the United Nations Decade for Women, the Conference recommends that the United Nations, the specialized agencies and in particular the Commission on the Status of Women produce research studies and educational material on the situation of women living under racist régimes in southern Africa, especially under apartheid, and on that of women in the occupied Arab and other territories.

26. Taking into account the International Year of the Child, 1979, the Conference recommends that the General Assembly produce a special study on the situation of children living under racist régimes in southern Africa, especially under égimes in southern Africa, especially under apartheid, and on that of children in the occupied Arab and other territories.

27. The Conference reiterates that apartheid, racism and all forms of racial discrimination are among the most serious obstacles to the attainment of equality and economic justice for many economically developing countries. It therefore calls upon the United Nations and urges the developing and developed countries to undertake seriously the task to be accomplished and to take positive steps towards the establishment of a new international economic order as envisaged in the programmes and resolutions of the United Nations, particularly those adopted by the General Assembly at its sixth and seventh special sessions.

28. The Conference requests the International Labour Organisation to set up an ad hoc group of experts to follow closely the implementation of the provisions of international instruments protecting the rights of migrant workers, and to consider the possibility of holding further regional and international seminars on the subject of racial discrimination encountered by migrant workers.

29. The Conference recommends that the United Nations Institute for Training and Research should organize an international colloquium on the prohibition of apartheid, racism and racial discrimination and the achievement of self-determination in international law, paying special attention to the principles of non-discrimination and self-determination as imperative norms of international law.

30. The Conference expresses its appreciation of the valuable work done by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and of its great contribution to the elemination of racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, takes note of its decisions and general recommendations, and invites the General Assembly to continue to support the work of the Committee and to consider the ways and means for the implementation of those decisions and recommendations.

31. The Conference recommends the Commission on Human Rights to continue its attempts to prepare an international instrument for the protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities.

32. Bearing in mind the recommendations of the Lesotho Symposium referred to in paragraph 24 above and recognizing that apartheid systematically deprives the blacks of of all contact with other cultures, the competent United Nations organs should be urged to undertake projects geared to the preservation of the cultural heritage of the blacks, to ensure their contacts with other cultures and to stimulate their creativity.

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33. The Conference recommends that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization continue its efforts and give more assistance to Member States to take measures for:

(i) Ensuring the access of ethnic minorities to education and information; in particular, news broadcasts should not only be designed for the ethnic minorities and racial groups but should also be devised and produced by membes of such minorities and groups;

(ii) Developing intercultural education and the dialogue between culturally and internationally oriented education; furthermore, schools should present the cultures of the different countries and the different communities of the same country, with a view to a mutually profitable cultural dialogue; in this context, members of ethnic minorities and racial groups should themselves have the opportunity to initiative the pupils in the practices and values of their own culture;

(iii) Organizing multi-media campaigns to combat racism and racial discrimination, using the press, radio, television, posters, booklets, etc.

C. Measures at the regional level

34. The Conference recommends all States to co-operate in making concerted and determined efforts, on a regional as well as an international basis, to combat racism, racial discrimination and apartheid.

35. The Conference recommends to the General Assembly that it invite the Secretary-General to organize in each of the United Nations regions, during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, regional seminars on recourse procedures available at the national or local level to persons who are victims of racism or racial discrimination and to study the feasibility of regional programmes of action to combat racism and racial discrimination.

36. The Conference recommends that the States in different regions extend invitations to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to hold sessions in these different regions, in order to increase awareness of and interest in its activities.

D. Support to victims of racism, racial discrimination and apartheid

37. The Conference calls upon all Governments, specialized agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to:

(1) Continue and increase assistance on a bilateral and multilateral basis to peoples who are victims of racial discrimination, colonialism, occupation and foreign domination, and in particular assistance to:

(a) Persons persecuted for their opposition to apartheid;

(b) Refugees from southern Africa;

(c) National liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity in the cause of their legitimate struggle for freedom;

(2) Support programmes (national, regional and international) designed to eradicate all forms of racial discrimination, and to provide financial and technical assistance to such programmes;

(3) Contribute, in their own spheres of activities and in co-operation with the liberation movements, to redressing the social imbalance between the sexes caused by colonialism or racist régimes, so as to ensure an active role for women in the development process and in the important task of reconstructing their societies;

(4) Grant scholarships to young people of both sexes in the territories where racial discrimination, colonialism, occupation and foreign domination prevail, in particular through increased contributions to the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa;

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(5) Deny all military, economic, political, diplomatic or other assistance to the racist régimes, because such assistance enables and encourages these régimes to enforce and perpetuate their racist policies;

(6) Ensure that all United Nations resolutions relevant to the isolation of the racist régimes in southern Africa are fully implemented;

(7) Take all necessary action to put a stop to the activities of multinational corporations, transactions and other investments, in territories subject to any form of racism, racial discrimination, colonialism and foreign domination;

(8) Make generous contributions to the Trust Fund for Publicity against Apartheid and increase contributions to funds for assistance to the oppressed peoples of southern Africa.

38. The Conference requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to continue to intensify his efforts for assisting the refugees in southern Africa.

39. The Conference recommends that the General Assembly study the possibility of the establishment of an international fund on a voluntary basis to help the peoples and national liberation movements recognized by the Organization of African Unity struggling against racial discrimination and apartheid, bearing in mind the following guidelines:

(i) The objectives of the fund would be to provide world-wide assistance to victims of racial discrimination and to those who wish to take effective action to combat racism and racial discrimination; the fund should work in close co-ordination and co-operation with existing funds, such as the United Nations Trust Fund for South Africa, the United Nations Educational and Training Programme for Southern Africa and the Trust Fund for Publicity against Apartheid, and should complement the objectives of the Programme for the Decade, especially through concrete projects designed for the attainment of the goals of the Decade;

(ii) Past experience of the United Nations in establishing similar funds could be used in finalizing the scope of the activities of the fund, its management and co-ordination with existing funds, the United Nations system and the appropriate regional organizations.

Generous contributions to the fund by Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and by individuals would be a major support in the attainment of the goals of the Programme for the Decade.

E. Role of the Economic and Social Council

40. The Conference recommends that, in order to evaluate the activities of the Decade as required by paragraph 18 of the Programme for the Decade, the Economic and Social Council may consider the possibility of setting up a working group of experts to assist in this task.

41. The Conference further recommends that the Economic and Social Council confer consultative status on the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples, in accordance with the procedures laid down by Council resolution 1296 (XLIV) of 23 May 1968.

F. Further review of the progress of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination

42. The Conference recommends to the General Assembly that at the end of the Decade another World Conference should be held to review and evaluate the work undertaken during the Decade and to chart new measures where necessary.

15th plenary meeting
25 August 1978

 

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Updated on 08 August 2001 08:10:10 +0200