Subject: [fem-women2000 663] Press Release: Outcomes of the AP NGO Kathmandu Meeting
From: lalamaziwa <>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 15:25:43 +0900
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 From: kathy clarin <>
 Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 13:58:13 +0800
 Subject: [APGR-list] Press Release: Outcomes of the AP NGO Kathmandu Meeting 

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Subject: Press Release: Outcomes of the AP NGO Kathmandu Meeting
source: Allison Gita <>
forwarded by: Susanna George, <>
date: 05.11.01

Outcomes of the Asia Pacific NGO Networking Meeting
Kathmandu 27-29 April 2001

Racism as the root cause of the insidiousness of caste, the horror faced by 
women and men in situations of armed conflict, the suffering from poverty 
and human rights abuses throughout the region were among some of the major 
issues discussed by over 200 representatives at the Asia Pacific NGO 
Networking Meeting .

Delegates heard the personal testimonies of people who had been humiliated, 
raped; whose family and friends had been murdered because of their caste, 
race, and ethnicity.  A young woman gave her account of being trafficked 
and forced into prostitution.  Another woman spoke of her suffering as a 
migrant domestic worker.

These stories brought home the reality of the life and death situations 
caused by racism, casteism, xenophobia and related intolerances.

The stories also brought home the significant negative impacts of 
globalisation that is working to further exploit already marginalised 
groups, such as indigenous peoples, Dalits, and other minorities.  The 
process of globalisation as implemented by the WTO regime is further 
marginalising Dalits, Indigenous peoples and Minorities who are already a 
deprived section of society. In the name of privatisation, globalisation 
has destroyed whatever opportunities were created by affirmative actions 
initiated by governments. The knowledge systems of indigenous peoples and 
Dalits have been expropriated by the multinational corporations (MNCs). The 
State is consciously withdrawing from its obligation to provide key social 
service sectors like education, health and employment with a devastating 
impact on racially discriminated groups. The policies of the World Bank and 
IMF such as devaluation and downsizing of the labor force adversely affect 
the already marginalised living standards of Dalits, Indigenous peoples and 

Indigenous peoples, women of caste, ethnic and other marginalised women 
experience multiple forms of discrimination due to the nexus of class, 
gender and them being members of marginalise communities. They are denied 
their right to self-determination, their right to own and inherit property 
and control the resources; they are treated as having a lower status than 
men; and are exploited because they are members of the most exploited 
groups of society, the poor and marginalised groups. They are often 
excluded from political leadership and participation. Their equal status is 
not recognised by the State and dominant culture, or by the people within 
their communities and family.

An urgent problem created by the growth of conflict is the increase of all 
forms of violence, including sexual violence against women. Intolerance in 
the context of conflict places many restrictions on women's freedom and 

The apartheid nature of caste discrimination manifests itself in the 
segregated housing settlements and cemeteries, access to common drinking 
water, restaurants, temples, tea stalls ('two-cup' system, meaning one cup 
for everybody, and a separate cup for the "untouchables"), restrictions on 
marriage and other insidious measures designed to prevent social 
interaction and mobility.

Any attempt to assert or struggle against casteism is met with extreme 
violence and heinous crimes such as burning of homes, stripping and 
parading, rape, murder and social and economic boycott.  The perpetrators 
of these crimes frequently enjoy police impunity, while the victims, who 
are mostly women, are often falsely accused and imprisoned.

In the Asia Pacific region numerous minorities and marginalised communities 
have been subject to various forms of racism and institutionalised 
discrimination including denial of citizenship, state colonisation, forced 
population transfer, ethnic cleansing and political repression. The 
nation-state structures that are majoritarian deny the right of minority 
communities to full enjoyment of their democratic rights, including the 
right to self-determination and to an equal share of power.

The Asia-Pacific region has seen the systematic outbreak of religion-based 
intolerances, often in the garb of religion based nationalism, that has 
resulted in the denial of basic human rights, including the right to life, 
liberty, equality, opportunity, freedom of residence, conscience and belief.

People living under foreign occupation face one of the worst forms of 
racism, racial discrimination, cultural genocide and related intolerance as 
a direct result of state policies of assimilation and integration. add 
religious based intolerance.

The intersectionality of race, gender, and refugee status should be 
recognised. Refugee women are discriminated against on the grounds of their 
ethnicity and their gender. Rape and forms of sexual torture are used in 
situation of conflict and should be recognised as a war crime and the basis 
for granting refugee status.

Race-based discrimination against documented and undocumented migrants, 
migrant workers and trafficked persons is structural in nature and 
contravene international standards. These persons suffer gross violations 
of their human rights due to the lack of legal protection and redress 
mechanisms and are vulnerable to a range of abuse and violence. Legal and 
policy frameworks that enable states to make a distinction between citizens 
and non-citizens in terms of enjoyment of rights lay the foundation for 
these forms of discrimination.

(The deliberations and outcomes of this meeting will be included in the 
WCAR Asia Pacific Declaration which will be taken by the delegates to the 
World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and 
Related Forms of Intolerance, in Durban, South Africa, 28 August  7 
September 2001. )

APGR-list is a general announcement list created to facilitate
information and resource sharing in Asia and the Pacific in line
with the coming United Nations World Conference Against Racism.
APGR-list is hosted by Isis International-Manila. It is archived

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