Subject: [fem-women2000 494] [apwomen2000] Urgent Appeal to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 13:28:58 +0900
Seq: 494

---------------- Original message follows ----------------
 From: Susanna George <>
 Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2000 12:13:50 +0800
 Subject: [apwomen2000] Urgent Appeal to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights

Distributed by Isis International-Manila - linking women, sharing
knowledge, engendering change
Subject: Urgent Appeal to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights
author:    Asian Human Rights Commission <>
forwarded by: Documentation for Action Groups in Asia [DAGA], Email:
date: 00.08.21
Dear APWomen2000,

Following is an urgent appeal being made by the Asian Human Rights 
Commission protesting the limited agenda of the forthcoming Experts Seminar 
in preparation for the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, 
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to be held from 5-7 September, 2000 in 
Bangkok, Thailand.  AHRC is asking that as many people sign a petition to 
have the agenda of the Experts Seminar expanded to include various forms of 
racial discrimination, and not exclude issues that are equally persistent 
and important to the agenda for this region (such as indigenous peoples' 
and minority peoples' rights and the caste system in parts of the South 
Asian subcontinent)

While it is recognized that "Migrant Workers and Trafficking of Persons, 
with Particular Reference to Women and Children," which is the topic of 
this Expert Seminar is crucial, it is one amongst a number of pressing 
concerns in the region, in relation to the topic of the conference.


Susanna George
Isis International-Manila


An Appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
South Africa, 2001

Fundamental Issues Relating to Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia 
and Related Intolerance in the Asian Region Need to Be Included in All 
Preparatory and Experts' Meetings Leading to the World Conference against 

As the preparation for this conference is under way, it is necessary to 
stress a need for an open process in which all groups and persons suffering 
>from various forms of discrimination will be able to bring their situations 
to the notice of the conference and to the international community.

Asia is the largest continent in the world with a population amounting to 
more than 2.5 billion. In this context, it is only natural that there are 
very acute forms of discrimination that exist in this vast continent. All 
preparatory meetings leading to this conference, particularly those held in 
Asia, must provide sufficient opportunity for Asian communities to bring 
their grievances to the notice of the conference. The two meetings to be in 
held in Asia are the Experts' Seminar, 5 -7 September, 2000, in Bangkok, 
Thailand, and the Asia Regional Preparatory Committee Meeting in January 
2001 in Tehran, Iran.

In these circumstances it is rather disturbing to see that the themes fixed 
for the Experts' Seminar to be held in Bangkok is "Migrant Workers and 
Trafficking of Persons, with Particular Reference to Women and Children." 
This way of fixing the theme will exclude discussion on all other 
fundamental issues. While the topic that has been set is of great 
importance and deserves the support of everyone, it in no way exhausts the 
forms of discrimination in Asia. In fact, the theme fixed in this way will 
exclude the discussion of many vital issues. For this reason, the 
beneficiaries of fixing the theme in this way are the perpetrators who 
cause such discrimination and political systems that protect such 
perpetrators. To shut the door to those groups of persons defeats the 
purposes of the world conference and the preparatory work done for that 

As the fixing of the themes for such meetings are done by the organizing 
group of the conference based in the United Nations High Commissioner's 
Office, it is necessary that they take necessary steps to avoid the 
exclusion of any form of discrimination practiced in the region from being 
discussed. This particularly applies to entrenched forms of discrimination 
affecting millions of people.

In terms of the forthcoming Experts' Seminar in Asia, this means that 
either the theme of the meeting should be changed or, if that is not 
possible for any reason, to make allowance for discussion of all issues 
relevant to the world conference, despite the narrow limits set by the 
theme of the seminar.

Therefore, we urge the United Nations High Commissioner to take all steps 
to avoid exclusion of vital issues of discrimination in Asia from the 
forthcoming Experts' Seminar in Asia. We eagerly await a positive reaction 
on this matter from the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights.


Go Sign Now!

The Racism Conference is still a year away, but the agenda is being set 
now, and government in Asia-Pacific are trying to make sure their own 
discriminatory practiced will not be discussed.  The appeal is available in 
English, Spanish and French, so please inform anyone else who you think 
would like to see the caste system abolished about this petition.

IF YOU CANNOT ACCESS THE INTERNET EASILY, the petition is pasted below this 
message - to sign you can read it and send a reply to this email, ie. to 
<>, with the words....
"Sign WCAR Petition" the subject line.

APWOMEN2000 is a general announcement list created to facilitate
information and  resource sharing for the NGO review process in Asia
and the Pacific for the Beijing Platform for Action. Send postings to
<>. APWOMEN2000 is archived at:

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