NHRC differs with Govt. on Durban agenda

NEW DELHI, AUG. 27. Even as the Central Government decided against the inclusion of caste on the agenda of the World Racism conference to be held at Durban in South Africa from August 31 to September 6, the National Human Rights Commission has differed with the Centre and favoured a discussion on all aspects of human discrimination.

Various Dalit organisations, human rights groups and eminent lawyers have criticised the Centre and wanted the Government to reconsider its stand and the NHRC's support has come as a shot in the arm for their cause.

In the NHRC's perception ``the debate whether race and caste are co-terminus or similar forms of discrimination is not the essence of the matter''. The Commission, in a statement, said, ``it is not the nomenclature of the form of discrimination that must engage our attention, but the fact of its persistence that must cause concern.''

The NHRC said that ``it is of the opinion that exchange of views on human rights matters, whether at the national, regional or international level can all contribute constructively to the promotion and protection of such rights''.

``And the racism conference at Durban provides a singular opportunity to the international community to deal openly and courageously with the vexed issues of discrimination and inequality as they exist all over the world, in all their varieties, including the forms of discrimination that persist in India and all other countries.''

``The Commission is convinced that discrimination on any of the grounds, viz., race, caste and descent, constitute an unacceptable assault on the dignity and worth of the human person and egregious violation of human rights.''

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Referred by:Benjamin P Kaila
Published on:28Aug2001
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