Racism a challenge for global community

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pretoria - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says despite the efforts being made in addressing discrimination, racism and violation of human rights, the three scourges remain a serious challenge for the global community.

"Take the challenge to your communities, to your schools, to your workplace," Pillay told reporters at the International Human Rights Day celebrations on Thursday, adding that discrimination made no social sense, no moral sense and no economic sense.

"We all, and here I include myself, have a tendency to hold ingrained prejudices against certain people because of the group they belong to rather than because of who they actually are as individuals," she said.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe, said the South African government was committed to stamping out all forms of discrimination which undermines human rights.

"Our struggle for freedom was a struggle for human rights. As government we commit ourselves in ensuring that we eradicate racial discrimination. We leave no stone unturned in fighting racism, discrimination, xenophobia and implement the principles of Universal Declarations of Human Rights," Radebe said.

Meanwhile, Pillay's office is hoping to establish a four-pronged project aimed at helping the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) strengthen its capacity and legal services programmes.

SAHRC chairman Lawrence Mushwana said the partnership with Pillay's office would be instrumental in the commission's attempts to address racism.

"We still live in a world characterized by human wrongs than human rights," Mushwana said.