Social Humanitarian & Cultural Committee
Combating Racism and Xenophobia
Federal Republic of Somalia
Forest Hills Eastern High School
Racism and xenophobia are topics that shake the foundations of humanity’s tolerance for one another. The thought of one person prejudiced against another because of their skin color or social caste is an idea that has become almost normalized in the 21st century. Because of race, wars have been fought and people have been killed. Despite “progressing” culture, 62 million human beings in the last hundred years have been murdered because of race. Xenophobia, like racism, is also prejudicial. “Whilst xenophobia has been described as something of a global phenomenon, closely associated with the process of globalization, it has been noted that it is particularly prevalent in countries undergoing transition,” states an article from the South African Peace and Security study. Xenophobia is an ongoing normality that affects many Somali migrants in South Africa. They are met with hostility and violence, which is not something they should need to endure. Somalia believes that there is no room for racism and xenophobia in the world.
Somalia has taken measures to warn against racism in our own country but currently cannot afford to do much more. Article 11, Section 2 of Somalia’s provisional constitution states that “The State must not discriminate against any person on the basis of age, race, color, tribe, ethnicity, culture, dialect, gender, birth, disability, religion, political opinion, occupation, or wealth.” This law is enforced to our best, although limited, ability. Unfortunately, racial and caste prejudice does exist in Somalia, though caste prejudice is more predominant. At the moment, our government cannot do anything to stop it other than what we have already stated. We are deeply concerned with the xenophobic outbreaks that are occurring against Somalian migrants in South Africa, though. In recent months, increasing xenophobic feelings by South African citizens are causing Somalians to protest against racism and foreign prejudice, which is raising awareness of the importance of these issues. Despite these cries for change, there is not much we can do at the current moment except stand by our laws and ask for the help of the UN to develop a sound plan for combating racism.
Somalia believes that the best way to solve xenophobia and racism is to implement strong laws against discrimination. These laws should set a standard for our citizens and oppose racism in our country. We stand by the UN in raising awareness, but cannot currently take any major role in helping due to our unstable government foundations. We also support the UN’s effort to find those responsible for hate crime attacks in South Africa, as well as provide victims with adequate help. These gestures of kindness from the UN are greatly appreciated since they provide awareness of the crimes of xenophobic violence that is currently occurring. Somalia requests that the UN provide assistance in dismantling race and caste prejudice in our country by providing support and funds. With this aid, Somalia can begin to eradicate xenophobia and racism from our country and world.
- Olivia Benedict