The UN's Work on Racial Discrimination: Achievements and Challenges

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Abstract

In 1997, the Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations General Assembly
decided to convene the third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa. All the major United
Nations treaties protecting individuals from racial discrimination had been adopted
prior to 1997 and the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance had been created
in 1993. But the Durban Conference, symbolically held in post-apartheid South Africa,
generated new momentum for these political and legal commitments against racial
discrimination. This chapter presents an overview of the United Nations mechanisms
and initiatives tackling racial discrimination and the thematic developments since
1997. In light of contemporary challenges posed by the use of technology and pandemics, and reflecting on the intersectional nature of discrimination, it concludes with reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations response to racial discrimination. The chapter identifies areas for further attention, including racial profiling in law enforcement and border security, racism in sport, and the deepening inequalities caused by global emergencies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216
Number of pages245
JournalMax Planck Yearbook for United Nations Law
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2022

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