September 16, 2019
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 In GLIMUN2019: Combating Racism and Xenophobia

Racism and xenophobia have been prevalent issues throughout international history.  Over time, as “right and wrongs” have formed in regard to society’s views, agreeing with racist and xenophobic views has become tabooer. While they have not necessarily consistently been at the forefront of conversations, they are both topics that heavily affect the human rights conditions in a country. Recently, the international community has seen a surge in racist and xenophobic speech and actions. Racism has been defined by the UN as, “theory of races hierarchy which argues that the superior race should be preserved and should dominate the others. Racism can also be an unfair attitude towards another ethnic group. Finally, racism can also be defined as a violent hostility against a social group.” The UN has also defined xenophobia as, “an attitudinal orientation of hostility against non-natives in a given population”. Racism and xenophobia has been so hard to eradicate because often times they are embedded in societies views. 

 

In recent years, Germany has made consistent and strong-willed efforts in order to combat xenophobia and racism. Between June of 2018 and June of 2019, Germany welcomed a review of the human rights conditions in Germany by the UN Human Rights Council. From this report, we assessed our weaknesses as well as how we can strengthen them.  Brought to the forefront in this review was combating racism; specifically, how to prevent racist police profiling. In the past, racial profiling was legal; this law was quicky withdrawn however its effects continue to linger in Germany. The committee had made 259 recommendations as to how to combat racism. Germany agreed to abide by 209 of these recommendations.  While Germany did not agree to abide by all recommendations, they have been noted and will be considered. The approved recommendations were broad, including ones regarding forced labor and employing the disabled. Recommendations that are prevalent to the conversations about xenophobia and racism include ratifying the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, continuous support for the UNHR committee, Adopt legislative and administrative measures to avoid the detention of migrants and allow the early identification of migrants in situations of vulnerability, and more. Now, the federal government and parliament are tasked with figuring out just how to implement and make successful these recommendations. Other actions Germany has taken to combat racism and xenophobia includes the signing of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA). The DDPA is a, “comprehensive, action-oriented document that proposes concrete measures to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” In 2002, one year after the DDPA was put into place, Germany submitted its first report on “the current and envisaged measures and activities of the Federal Government against right-wing extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and violence” to the UN. The UN then provided Germany with a National Action Plan that’s completion was due by the end of 2008.  

 

While Germany understands that we are making great strides towards a better more just society, it is also understood that there is still much work to be done. Following the UN’s recommendations to Germany in 2002, the “German Forum for Crime Prevention” was established. The forum analyzes situations in regard to crime, specifically racially motivated crime, and takes a preventative approach. This forum has been quite successful in Germany and it is for this reason it would be instrumental in helping other countries combat racist crimes. Germany as well as other racial-crime-preventative countries can help to form this group in other countries. If a country has a problem with budget, members of the UN 5th committee will help look over the government’s budget. In addition to the forum, Germany has supported NGOs such as the German Institute for Human Rights. During the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, many NGOS whose goal is to combat racism were included in the dialogues that occurred. These NGOs include the Al-Kohei Foundation (aids in the fight against islamophobia), European Roma Rights Center (helps with the fundamental freedoms of Romas internationally), and 26 others.  The implementation and utilization will be crucial in helping improve racism and xenophobia events that occur within countries. Racism and Xenophobia are things that will merely haunt our citizens; our jobs as countries is to provide the best living conditions possible for our people. Racism and xenophobia hinders the possibility for a truly inclusive future. 

Works Cited

“ADDRESSING RACISM CONFERENCE, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR URGENT ACTION BY MEMBER STATES TO COMBAT DISCRIMINATION.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/WCAR/pressreleases/rd-d41.htm.

“Durban Review Conference, 20-24 April 2009, Geneva.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/en/durbanreview2009/ddpa.shtml.

Gassa, Marisa Testing Dalla. “Re-Upload Pdf.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2018, doi:10.2139/ssrn.3243647.

“Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Office of the United Nations and to the Other International Organizations Geneva.” Un.org.

“Racism: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Racism | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/racism/.

“Racism: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Racism | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/racism/.

“Xenophobia: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Xenophobia | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/xenophobia/.

“Xenophobia: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.” Xenophobia | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, www.unesco.org/new/en/social-and-human-sciences/themes/international-migration/glossary/xenophobia/.



  • Hannah Wise

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