Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Introduction

Historical Background

Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

The Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance is an independent human rights expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The mandate was created in 1993 by its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights (by resolution 1993/20). In 1994, the mandate was defined more precisely by resolution 1994/64.

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur was most recently renewed for another period of three years by Human Rights Council resolution 34/35, adopted on 24 March 2017.  Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume (Zambia) was appointed by the Council as Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in September 2017.

She took up her functions on 1 November 2017.  

Mandate

The Special Rapporteur has been mandated by Human Rights Council resolution 7/34 of 2008 to focus on the following issues:

  • Incidents of contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination against Africans and people of African descent, Arabs, Asians and people of Asian descent, migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, persons belonging to minorities and indigenous peoples, as well as other victims included in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA);
  • Situations where the persistent denial of individuals belonging to different racial and ethnic groups of their recognized human rights, as a result of racial discrimination, constitutes gross and systematic violations of human rights;
  • The scourges of anti-Semitism, Christianophobia, Islamophobia in various parts of the world, and racist and violent movements based on racism and discriminatory ideas directed at Arab, African, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other communities;
  • Laws and policies glorifying all historic injustices and fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and underpinning the persistent and chronic inequalities faced by racial groups in various societies;
  • The phenomenon of xenophobia;
  • Best practices in the elimination of all forms and manifestations of racism, racial dissemination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
  • Follow-up to the implementation of all relevant paragraphs of the DDPA and the promotion of the establishment of national, regional and international mechanisms to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
  • The role of human rights education in promoting tolerance and the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
  • Respect for cultural diversity as a means to prevent racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
  • Incitement to all forms of hatred, taking into account article 20, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and instances of racially motivated hate speech, including the dissemination of ideas of racial superiority or that incite racial hatred, taking into account article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, article 19 of the ICCPR and general comment No. 15 of the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which states that the prohibition of the dissemination of all ideas based upon racial superiority or hatred is compatible with the freedom of opinion and expression;
  • The sharp increase in the number of political parties and movements, organizations and groups which adopt xenophobic platforms and incite hatred, taking into account the incompatibility of democracy with racism;
  • The impact of some counter-terrorism measures on the rise of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including the practice of racial profiling and profiling on the basis of any grounds of discrimination prohibited by international human rights law;
  • Institutional racism and racial discrimination;
  • The efficiency of the measures taken by Governments to remedy the situation of victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance;
  • Impunity for acts of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and maximizing remedies for the victims of these violations

In the discharge of her mandate the Special Rapporteur:

a) Transmits urgent appeals and communications to States on alleged violations regarding contemporary forms of racism, discrimination based on race, xenophobia and related intolerance to the State concerned, in order to induce the national authority to undertake the necessary investigations of all the incidents or individual cases reported. (See Individual Complaints).

b) Undertakes fact-finding country visits.

c) Submits annual reports on the activities foreseen by the mandate to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

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Highlights

Call for submissions: Report on combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance 

Special Rapporteur

Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume (Zambia)
Since 1 November 2017

Former Special Rapporteurs

Mr. Mutuma Ruteere (Kenya)
November 2011 - October 2017

Mr. Githu Muigai (Kenya)
August 2008 - September 2011

Mr. Doudou Diène (Senegal)
August 2002 - July 2008

Mr. Maurice Glèlè-Ahanhanzo
(Benin) 1993 - July 2002


In this section
Contact the Special Rapporteur

Ms. E. Tendayi Achiume
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9006
Email: racism@ohchr.org

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