Canadian groups at United Nations conference express dismay with Canada’s refusal to participate.

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND–(Marketwire – April 22, 2009) – The United Nations Durban Review Conference, taking place in Geneva April 20-24, is a follow-up to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

Canada was a participant and a signatory to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action that came out of the 2001 Conference. However, Canada is one of only three countries not participating in the 2009 Durban Review Conference (DRC).

Racism remains a harsh everyday reality for Aboriginal and racialized communities in Canada who suffer disproportionate levels of poverty, social exclusion, access to decent employment, and social services such as education, housing and health care. Too many aboriginal peoples must struggle for the most basic of human and environmental rights.

The DRC is intended to assess United Nations member nations’ progress to changing this long standing pattern of inequity. Member nations are drafting critical text that will guide them in their national task to eliminate racism and other forms of intolerance and discrimination. Critical issues include the impact of slavery, the rights of indigenous people, the impact of security and anti-terrorism legislation, migrants’ rights, human trafficking and economic and social equality.

A group of Canadians are present and working to influence the text, and work with global allies.

“African-Canadians continue to struggle against colour-coded economic disparity, criminalization and racial profiling” said Margaret Parsons of the African Legal Clinic who is attending the UN Conference.

After 9/11, Arabs and Muslims became the main target for hate crimes, racial and religious profiling by overzealous security legislation.

“Arab Canadians like Mahar Arar and Abousfian Abdelrazik have been marooned in their birth countries by our government. They have been subjected to torture and horrific human rights violations because of flawed anti-terrorism measures and willful political negligence”, added Mohamed Boudjenane from the Canadian Arab Federation.

Karl Flecker the Anti-Racism and Human Rights Director for the Canadian Labour Congress said “The Canadian government should have been a part of this process. We consider the government’s shameful withdrawal nothing less than a failure to conform to its UN obligations. Fortunately civil society groups are here to share with the international community inputs designed to eliminate the pernicious grip of racism.”

(List of organizations)

Canadian Labour Congress

African Canadian Legal Clinic

Canadian Arab Federation

Metro Toronto Chinese and South East Asian Clinic

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

National Anti-Racism Council of Canada

Colour of Poverty

Karuna Community Services

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (Canada)

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site:

Articles by: Global Research

Related Global Research Articles:

  • Mandatory Chickenpox Vaccination Increases Disease Rates, Study ShowsMandatory Chickenpox Vaccination Increases Disease Rates, Study Shows

    Once again, the completely illogical debacle concerning the world of vaccinations has surfaced. By now, you know they've come under fire by those who are adamant that they do more harm than good. Countless people have developed irreversible health problems and even died shortly after […]
  • Former Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out On The Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered FoodFormer Pro-GMO Scientist Speaks Out On The Real Dangers of Genetically Engineered Food

    I retired 10 years ago after a long career as a research scientist for Agriculture Canada. When I was on the payroll, I was the designated scientist of my institute to address public groups and reassure them that genetically engineered crops and foods were safe. There is, […]
  • Monsanto Earnings Fall 34% as Farmers Reject GMO CropsMonsanto Earnings Fall 34% as Farmers Reject GMO Crops

    The biotech giant Monsanto, which is responsible for genetically modifying much of the nation’s and world’s crops, announced that its earnings fell 34% in its first fiscal quarter as South American farmers reject GMO crops. This is even more evidence that the number of individuals and […]

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]