New UN Rapporteur lists priorities

New York- US (PANA) -- The news UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Githu Muigai, has listed the areas that will be under the spotlight during his tenure.
Addressing UN Correspondents in New York, Muigai said the relationship between racism and migration, ethnic conflicts and poverty would all be highlighted.
``Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers are among the most vulnerable groups to racial discrimination,'' he said during the interaction on Wednesday.
Muigai predicted that the global financial crisis would aggravate racism aimed at these groups, as economic strains and competition for scarce resources foster more ethnic or racial tensions as migrants are seen as competitors for jobs and welfare.
``The threat of terrorism to security adds to the anxiety caused by the meltdown of global markets and compounds the discrimination felt by migrant groups.
``Legitimate national security considerations have unfortunately generated practices that amount to racial profiling,'' the UN expert said.
Dismissing suggestions that ethnic conflicts have their root causes in racial divisions, Muigai said that in recent conflicts, such as the ongoing fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the causes of the violence were political.
But he said that racial and ethnic differences had been manipulated and used as instruments for political ends, and that the relationship between racism and poverty lies at the centre of his mandate.
``Victims of racism, in particular minorities, tend to form the most economically marginalised groups in any society, both in developed and developing countries.
``It is essential that we identify the appropriate legal tools and policymaking mechanisms to put forward concrete recommendations that can be implemented by member states at the national, regional and international level,'' Muigai said.
Muigai also said that he would closely monitor how member states address the issue of poverty and racism and create a `solid body of knowledge' with the aim of eradicating the obstacles to equality and development.

06 Novembro 2008 11:25:00

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