The first significant international human rights instrument developed by the United Nations was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations, with Australia’s support, in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1948. The UDHR recognises that if people are to be treated with dignity, they require economic rights, social rights including education, and the rights to cultural and political participation and civil liberty. Article 2 asserts that everyone is entitled to these rights “without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

 

As a United Nations declaration, the UDHR does not create binding legal obligations on the member states of the United Nations. It is referred to as an aspirational statement because it describes the human condition to which civilised nations should aspire. Since 1948, the UDHR has been the source of the later legally binding international human rights conventions. The UDHR has great moral force and is sometimes referred to as the “blueprint” document for human rights.

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The Universal Declaration can be divided into 5 thematic sections: a preamble; a definition of basis and extent of all human rights (Articles 1-2); an outline of civil and political rights (Articles 3-21); an outline of economic, social, and cultural rights (Article 22-27); and a conclusion that broadly describes the background conditions necessary for the exercise of the specified rights (Article 28-30) to deal with human right issues.

UDHR have grown into customary law, in particular the right to life, prohibition of torture, the protection of personal freedom, and the prohibition of discrimination on racial grounds.1

The World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) is a series of international events organized by UNESCO to promote struggle against racism ideologies and behaviours. Four conferences have been held so far, in 1978, 1983, 2001, and 2009. Founded after World War II and the Holocaust as a dependent body of the United Nations, UNESCO started as soon as it was created to promote scientific studies concerning ethnic groups and their diffusion in public opinion to dispel pseudo-scientific rationalizations of racism. One of its first published works was The Race Question in 1950, signed by various internationally renowned scholars.

The 1978 World Conference Against Racism was held in Geneva, Switzerland. A major focus on the conference was South Africa’s apartheid policies of racial segregation and discrimination.

The 1983 World Conference Against Racism was also held in Geneva, Switzerland

The 1983 World Conference Against Racism was also held in Geneva, Switzerland

The 2009 World Conference Against Racism was held in Geneva, Switzerland. Canada, Israel, the United States of America, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland and, after some initial skepticism, Australia announced they would not participate in the conference.

 

INTERNATIONAL conventions to save the rest:

 

The subsequent numerous conventions were introduced for the sake of saving the people from discrimination during a range of period as follows,

·         Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925

·         Convention against Discrimination in Education, 1960

·         Equality of Treatment (Social Security) Convention, 1962

·         Convention concerning Migrations in Abusive Conditions and the Promotion of Equality of Opportunity and Treatment of Migrant Workers, 1975

·         Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979

·         Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1965

·         Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006

·         Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958

·         Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951

·         Protocol 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights, 2000

·         Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance, 2013

·         Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance, 2013

 

The United Nations has since its very beginning set as one of its goals “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. As this phenomenon is more subtle, more corrosive and more resilient than anyone had thought. For millions of people globally, the struggle to extract themselves from situations of discrimination at almost every turn in their daily lives is an impossible ambition. Tragically, as we have seen in the past twenty years, policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide, policies based on discriminatory ideologies, have led to destruction,

Exile and death. Despite the challenges and setbacks, there has been and continues to be a rejection of discrimination. There have been enough successes to demonstrate that this scourge can be eradicated.

 

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

UNESCO marks March 21 as the yearly International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in memory of the events that occurred on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa, where police killed demonstrators protesting against the apartheid regime.

 

Latest Human Right Conventions

In the year 2013 the OAS adopted three additional human rights conventions especially relevant here: The Inter- American convention against Racism, Racial discrimination and related forms of intolerance. The Inter- American Conventions against all Forms Of Discrimination and Intolerance.

This convention was adopted on 5 June 2013, applies to person and or groups who experience different forms of discrimination and related tolerance, hampering effective

1 Barcelona Traction, Light and power Company (1970) ICJ Reports 3. Para 34. Which , mentions the prohibition of genocide as well as the basic right of the human being, including protection from slavery and racial discrimination