Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Costa Rica First State to Ratify Inter-American Convention Against Racism

This past week, Costa Rica became the first country to ratify the Inter-American Convention Against Racism, which was approved by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in June 2013. 

According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance "reaffirms the States’ commitment to the elimination of racial discrimination and the effective realization of the principle of equality in the region. This instrument reinforces international standards established in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and takes a step forward in the legal definition of contemporary forms of racism. In addition, the text recognizes as discriminatory actions that take place in both the public and private sphere, and specifies that common discriminatory practices should be prohibited, such as the restriction of access to public places and the limitation of access to or sustainable use of natural resources, ecosystems, and ecological services."

“The racial disparities that persist in the region are not anywhere near the threshold of equality. Discrimination and discriminatory practices often degenerate into patterns in which human rights are violated, especially the rights to equality and dignity. The Convention represents an opportunity to combat the manifestations of discrimination and promote egalitarian societies,” said Margarette Macaulay, the IACHR Rapporteur for the Rights of Persons of African Descent and against Racial Discrimination, during the  ratification ceremony.

Eleven states have signed the Inter-American Convention Against Racism.  The Inter-American Commission urges the other States in the region to take the necessary measures to ratify the Convention, to demonstrate their commitment to combat racial discrimination and other forms of intolerance and to ensure its the Convention's entry into force in the near future. Only two ratifications are necessary for the Convention to take effect.




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