AFRICAN YOUTH DECLARATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE AGAINST RACISM, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION, XENOPHOBIA

AND RELATED INTOLERANCE

 

Kigali, Rwanda 19th to 23rd August 2001

and Durban, South Africa 26/27th August to 7th September 2001

 

 

 

 

PREAMBLE

 

 

We, Young People of Africa, present at the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance expressing:

 

        Our recognition to the government of South Africa for hosting the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in South Africa;

        Our strong admiration for the successful struggle of the People of South Africa, in particular the youth against apartheid;

        Our deep appreciation to the Government and the Youth of Rwanda for hosting the Pan-African Youth Summit in Kigali, with a view to prepare the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in South Africa;

        Our grave concern, despite the efforts of the international community, the principal objectives of the three decades to combat racism and racial discrimination in Africa have not been attained and that countless human beings continue to suffer of racism Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance;

        Our concern about the role of Young People as perpetrators, victims of intolerance and deplore the effects of various conflicts and other forms of discrimination in Africa;

        Our deep appreciation to the governments and young people of Africa for supporting the Dakar, Senegal Youth Gathering, Nairobi, Kenya Catholic Youth Gathering, Pan-African Youth summit in Rwanda, and the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in South Africa;

        Our admiration for the heroic courage of the people of Rwanda in facing the 1994 genocide and the war that devastated the entire country and its people;

        Recognizing the hardships of young people in, Angola, Burundi, Centrafrican Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Sierra Leone and other African countries;

        We appreciate the recent initiative of the African Heads of States to found and promote the African Union based on Peace, Democracy and Development;

        We appreciate the Celebration of the cultural diversity of the Young People of Africa that continue to promote their identity in Africa and Human Rights;

        We appreciate the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery Program (MAP) which is a vision shared by African Leaders to eradicate poverty and place their countries on the path of sustainable growth and development. MAP rests on the determination of the Africans to extricate their continent from under development and exclusion;

        And welcome the initiative of the UN to convey a World Conference, which seeks not only to address Racism, but other forms of discrimination and related intolerance on the African Continent.

 

 

DECLARATION

 

 

In this spirit of solidarity and the love for Africa and its people, we hereby declare:

 

HUMAN RIGHTS, MINORITY RIGHTS AND CITIZENSHIP

 

        That human rights abuses are a major obstacle to the social, economic, justice, cultural development of young people in Africa;

        That the active participation of young African people as key players in the promotion of human rights in their community, national and global decision making process is vital and necessary to non violent society;

        That international cooperation for the promotion and protection of human rights and for the achievement of the objectives of the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in Africa is vital and necessary;

        That African traditional values are an essential part of the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa, we also acknowledge the fact that some of these values are conducive to human rights abuses, like female circumcision and forced marriage of young girls;

        That political foreign interference without invitation in the Affairs of Africa is an abuse of the right to self-determination of Africans. It is essential that Africa ensure inter-country support and solutions to problems by African nations, prior to foreign intervention;

        That the sexual exploitation of young Africans, in particular women, children and the disabled (mentally disabled) is a crime against humanity as it violates their fundamental rights to childhood and adolescence;

        That the right to sustainable development and resources is an essential part of human rights;

        That the unfair treatment of migrants, refugees and immigrants in their countries of residence is a gross violation of human rights;

        That everyone has the right to citizenship and indigenous peoples rights be constitutionalized and should be treated equally;

        That the present rights of minority groups throughout Africa be ensured in terms of culture and language to recognize the co-existence as a natural element in any society;

        That young disabled people in Africa have active participation in existing and forthcoming youth forums. An enabling environment should be in place to facilitate participation;

 

 

JUSTICE AND LEGAL MEASURES

 

        That young people in Africa are unfairly treated by the Law and recognize that all people are equal before the Law and must be treated fairly. The Court of Law and the Parliament must protect the values of Human rights in Africa;

        That the law protects the rich and the poor people alike in Africa;

        That the principle of good governance should embrace our African values;

        That the judiciary is independent, seen to be independent and supported by the Youth of Africa, no government interference should occur;

 

 

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT

 

        That governments have a mandate to provide adequate and easily accessible medical treatment due to the nature of high incidences of disease and mortality of young people in Africa;

        That HIV/AIDS threatens the life and future of Africa and its young people and that effective and speedy measures should be taken to eradicate this pandemic;

        That the lack of support and resources to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic is an act of deliberate discrimination and criminal neglect;

        The Global health fund should include African youth representation in its decision-making processes, specific allocation to sub Saharan Africa;

        That there is a discriminatory approach in funding for research and production of medical treatment for pandemic diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS;

        To provide free health care services to the young people of Africa, including condom distribution;

        That environmental racism exploitation should stop in Africa, that appropriate technologies and systems are given to create a conducive environment to develop pollution free zones;

        The lack of proper health care, sanitation and primary health care promotion are major obstacles to the social and economic well being of young people in Africa. That traditional African medicine should be incorporated and promoted when research, development and practice is conducted in resolving health issues.

 

 

COLONIALISM AND FOREIGN OCCUPATION

 

 

        That colonialism and neo-colonialism is a major barrier to the Social, Economic, Political and Intellectual development of Africa and that colonialism has continued to be perpetuate on the continent of Africa;

 

        We express our solidarity with colonized people in their right to and the struggle for self determination pursuant to the International Declaration of Human Rights;

        We pledge our support and solidarity with the people of the Western Sahara, Angola, Sudan, Swaziland, Sierra Leona the Great Lakes Region and Palestine for a peaceful resolution of their conflicts;

 

 

SLAVERY, SLAVE TRADE COMPENSATION,

AND REPARATION

 

        That genocide, slavery and slave trade is a crime against humanity and that reparation and necessary compensatory, measures are an essential component in healing the scars of slavery, which was inflicted on the African continent and its peoples;

        That slavery, which continues to exist in Africa, should be declared a crime against humanity;

        That genocide of any form including its collaborators whether directly or indirectly should be condemned as a crime against humanity;

        That we recognize that hundreds of thousand of people, victims of the Rwandan 1994 genocide, demand that the Arusha Tribunal, also performs its reparatory functions of its mandate;

        The foreign debt of African countries must be cancelled in order to empower the African societies, and especially the African youth in their effort of development.

        That reparation for slavery be made through a World Solidarity Fund that will be dispersed though established, trustworthy non-governmental organisations be used in the fields of education, health and technology transfer;

        That the cultural and material properties that have been taken / (grapped) from Africa since slavery, colonialism and post colonialism must be restituted or refund to Africa and its societies;

        That the African Nations put in place a post Durban commission (WCAR).

 

 

 

 

MULTIPLE FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION

 

        That multiple forms of discrimination against young women is a major deterrent to their active participation in society;

        That young disabled people of Africa are part of our society and should be treated equally;

        That forced marriage, an insidious and gross violation of the rights to young African women, continue to affect them and have been left unmitigated by their courts and society;

        That all forms of violence against women should be eliminated and that the right to leadership and active participation of women in society, including family inheritance should be recognized;

 

 

POVERTY AND ECONOMY

 

        That the subjugation of Africa and its youth in their everyday realities without basic health, education, and access to basic human needs including shelter, food and clothing is a violation of Human Rights;

        That the colonial countries must be declared responsible for the poverty and the continual and permanent weakness of African Economies because of their direct involvement in the management of African resources, and thus must repair all the inconveniences that have generated from the above;

        That international community should devote more funds towards alleviating poverty in Africa, and keep their promises fulfilled;

        That the African Governments must effect aid funds to their real destination, and put more efforts in combating corruption and mismanagement of the national resources in all their forms.

 

 

EDUCATION, MEDIA AND NEW TECHNOLOGY

 

        That education is a right and not a privilege;

        That the refusal to educate young people of Africa is a gross violation of their rights to development;

        That all young Africans should be given the right and encouraged to participate in civic activities;

        That the governments of Africa give access to new technologies to young people;

        That African Heads of States and Governments establish and promote institutionally, free education for all African young people till age sixteen;

        That mechanisms be set up by the African governments with the support of the international community to ensure that all African youth have access to free quality education in their native languages to support and develop youth leadership;

        That the African Governments must establish legal and constitutional environments that must lead to free and competent education for all in all the countries in Africa in concrete practical and efficient manners.

 

 

REDRESS MECHANISMS

 

 

We, the Youth of Africa demand:

 

National Level

 

        That States and Governments in Africa support the development of the Youth Forums/councils/commissions that engage in policy making to deal effectively with Human Rights, Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance;

        That the policy making bodies include Young Africans to enable them having their say in the policies that will determine their future;

        That States and Governments in Africa encourage the participation of Youth Organizations at a grassroots level to effectively eradicate Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance.

 

Continental Level[m1] 

 

        The immediate cancellation of foreign debt of African countries to prevent generations of young people from inheriting debt and eradicating poverty;

        That political foreign interference in the Affairs of Africa is an abuse of the right to self-determination of Africans. It is essential that Africa ensure that inter-country support, resolutions and solutions to problems by African nations be sought, prior seeking foreign intervention;

        That everyone has the right to citizenship and indigenous peoples rights be properly enshrined in national constitutions and should be equally protected;

        That Genocide should be condemned as a crime against humanity and should never be allowed to occur again, and that its perpetrators should be prosecuted;

        The Global Health Fund should include a sufficient allocation to sub-Saharan Africa focusing on youth in Africa;

        That malaria and Tuberculosis are detrimental to the health of Africa and should be brought down to the level of developed countries;

        To provide free health care services to the young people of Africa, including access to condom distribution;

        That environmental racism, discriminatory practices against local communities by governments and transnational corporations in developing countries of Africa, should stop. We propose that appropriate technologies and systems are given to create a conducive environment to develop pollution free zones;

        We pledge our support and solidarity with the people of the Western Sahara, Angola, Sudan, Swaziland, Centrafrican Republic, the Great Lakes Region and Palestine, for a peaceful resolution of their conflicts, pursuant to the United Nations Security Council and OAU Resolutions and Recommendations;

        African Governments must include the Youth in all their political, social and economical gatherings and must involve them in the decision making bodies.

        African governments give more support to the youth NGOs in their regular gatherings in order to encourage better understanding among young Africans and foster Pan Africanism;

        We urge the UNHCR to remedy its discriminatory assistance policies and practices towards African refugees;

        We urge the African leaders and their Governments to abstain themselves in supporting conflicts and wars that devastate many countries in Africa, but to promote and support peaceful initiatives that can bring Real and Social Peace in Africa.

        That African inter-governmental regional organizations should integrate youth perspective into development policies as a way of preventing future conflicts;

        That international pharmaceutical companies, in order to remedy their past and current discriminatory practices should ensure access to affordable drugs for Africans.

 

Considering the actual situation in Africa, we recommend the establishment of a Pan-African Community Information Organ for the dissemination of vital information to the whole continent on different actual languages for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and to respond to various vital information for the development of Africa;

 

We Demand the establishment of the African Court on Human Rights and the African Observatory and Consultative body for the monitoring Human Rights abuses;

 

We invite Heads of State and Government in Africa, to ratify the International Conventions on the Rights of the Child (ICRC) and those who have ratified to deposit the instruments of ratification of the two protocols of ICRC, adopted by the General Assembly, 25 May 2000. This shall permit the effective implementation and monitoring to combat against the sale of children, their organs, prostitution, forced labor, pornographic exploitation, and the recruitment to armed conflicts under the age of 18.

 

 

 


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