“Politicians must combat and condemn racism” – PACE / News / The Foreigner

“Politicians must combat and condemn racism” – PACE. The Council of Europe makes their call for the International day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Friday. “I call on parliamentarians to lead by example and fully take up, visibly and forcefully, their responsibilities to prevent, combat and condemn manifestations of racism and racial discrimination and intolerance,” says Gisela Wurm, Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination. For many South Africans this day will be remembered as Sharpeville Day, a commemoration to the massacre that took place in Sharpeville on March 21st 1960.

racism, discrimination



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“Politicians must combat and condemn racism” – PACE

Published on Friday, 21st March, 2014 at 09:04 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock.
Last Updated on 21st March 2014 at 09:16.

The Council of Europe makes their call for the International day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Friday.

Gisela Wurm
Chairperson of The Council of Europe's Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination Gisela Wurm.Gisela Wurm
Photo: ©Council of Europe


“I call on parliamentarians to lead by example and fully take up, visibly and forcefully, their responsibilities to prevent, combat and condemn manifestations of racism and racial discrimination and intolerance,” says Gisela Wurm, Chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination.

For many South Africans this day will be remembered as Sharpeville Day, a commemoration to the massacre that took place in Sharpeville on March 21st 1960.

Police fired and killed 69 unarmed people and injured 180 others during a peaceful demonstration. The demonstration was against the apartheid pass laws, refusing to carry the dompas (literally ‘dumb pass’) identity document.

The dompas identity document was to be carried by every indigenous African male above the age of 16 at all times. Failure to produce the document when demanded would result in arrest.

Racist laws and practices have been dismantled in many countries since then, and laws put in place to protect basic individual rights. These include gender equality and equal access to courts in the event of any discrimination. Guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the individual is now defended against racism.

South Africa unveiled the Sharpeville human rights memorial outside the police station on 21st March 2001, where the 69 people of all ages and both genders were shot. All names are displayed on the memorial plaque.

“Recalling the Charter of European Political Parties for a Non-Racist Society, I call on political leaders to take a public stand against racism and intolerance and to mobilize political will in their parliaments and political parties,” declares Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination Chairperson Gisela Wurm.

“Determined to fight against this scourge and to support the movement against hate speech of the Council of Europe, I propose to create a "parliamentary alliance against hatred and intolerance” that would combine the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, national parliaments, the European Parliament and other international meetings,” she concludes.

The Pass Laws

  • Designed to control movement of Africans.
  • These laws had evolved from regulations imposed by the Dutch and British during the 18th and 19th Centuries.
  • New Pass Laws were enabled during the 19th Century to ensure cheap and reliable supplies of African labour for the mines.
  • Protests stemmed from the law, as Africans were often left struggling to find work and support their families with the Pass Laws in place.
  • Many who violated the pass law were deported to poverty-stricken homelands.  



Published on Friday, 21st March, 2014 at 09:04 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock.
Last updated on 21st March 2014 at 09:16.

This post has the following tags: racism, discrimination.





  
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