September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian

Combating Racism and Xenophobia


Anish Kokkula

Forest Hills Eastern


Xenophobia and racism have a long-lasting reputation for eliciting mass violence. Historically, from Apartheid in South Africa, Jim Crow laws in the United States, the Holocaust, the Refugee Crisis, to present-day actions, such as President Trumps attempted travel ban on Muslims and the US-Mexico border wall, racism stems from the underlying belief of superiority of one’s own race. Crucial for debate by the Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee is a method by which to combat discrimination throughout the world, eliminate violence between races, and prevent mass genocides that result from the culmination of oppression. The root of the issue of racism and xenophobia in our present-day society stems from the rise in the Internet, which allows, spreads, and oftentimes encourages far-right populist political beliefs. Resulting from increased racism developing in Finland, the delegation of Finland deeply concerns itself with this issue.


According to “Racism in Finland,” a recent poll conducted that 66% of Finnish respondents considered Finland a racist country but only 14% admitted to being racist themselves. Furthermore, the augmentation of Russian discrimination in Finland has generated concern within the Finnish government. A multitude of police and researcher reports exhibit the prevalence of increased racial physical abuse, racial threats, and racist violence targeting children and teenagers. The delegation of Finland is a member and strong supporter of UNESCO and its ideologies. In 1949, UNESCO launched a major global program to combat racism focused on implementing a number of policies in order to combat racism and inequality. Over the years, UNESCO has drawn on the full force of its mandate to combat all forms of racism. As early as 1966, UNESCO recognized Apartheid as a “crime against humanity.”

Although existent at various levels and severities, Finland recognizes the everlasting presence of racism and xenophobia within easily exploitable people — women, children, minorities — in every country. To combat this issue, the delegation of Finland encourages the UN to focus its efforts on a four-component plan. First, it is imperative that the United Nations conduct similar surveys/polls as in Finland primarily to apprise countries of the racism present in their country, and inform governments of the unrest within the minds of the oppressed. Second, the United Nations must encourage all nations and their governments to place regulations and requirements on what examples of racism and xenophobia can be taught in schools. Teaching kids about our past mistakes as humankind, without bias, can lead to future prevention. Third, the UN must confront nations such as the United States, an influential country whose leaders continue to advocate racist ideals against minorities who are existent even in their own country. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, the UN must propose, promote, and urge nations to sign treaties and become part of organizations motivated to combat racism: UNESCO, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

  • Anish Kokkula

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