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You are here: Home » Law » Draft for public consultation: National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Draft for public consultation: National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

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National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2016 – 2021) – Draft for public consultation

South Africa was invited by the United Nations to host the Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (the Durban Conference), held in 2001. The invitation was extended in recognition of the struggle waged by the people of South Africa against the system of apartheid and the country’s transition to democracy, founded on constitutional values. The Durban Conference was attended by representatives of 160 countries. The conference adopted the historic Durban Declaration and Programme of Action which urges “states to establish and implement without delay national policies and action plans to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including their gender-based manifestations.”

The Durban Declaration recognises that –
– racial discrimination exists in all societies;
– no country is free of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and
– all countries face challenges to eliminate racial discrimination.

The Durban Declaration makes the point that addressing these issues successfully requires Governments and all people to work together to change attitudes, to intensify awareness about the scourge of racism and racial discrimination, and to establish and strengthen specialised bodies to combat it.

A National Action Plan (NAP) provides the basis for the development of a comprehensive public policy against racial discrimination and assists States in giving effect to their international human rights obligations related to the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It provides for specific outcomes and is also a process bringing stakeholders together to discuss the challenge of combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. A NAP also provides a technical guiding framework for the State’s policies, programmes and strategies to combat racial discrimination and is a step towards complying with the State’s obligation to give effect to the constitutional value of equality and non-discrimination.

South Africa is mandated in terms of the Durban Declaration to produce a National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. The purpose of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance of the Republic of South Africa is to provide South Africa

with a comprehensive policy framework to address racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at both a private and public level. The NAP is not intended to replace existing laws and policies but rather to be complementary to existing legislation, policies and programmes which address equality, equity and discrimination.

The NAP envisions uniting South Africans in building a non-racial, tolerant society that recognises its plurality and diversity based on the values of equality and human dignity through the promotion of anti-racism education, the promotion of constitutional values and the advancement of human rights, through dialogue and action.

The NAP will provide for monitoring on-going incidents of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance through establishing a rapid response team, reporting directly to government serving as a barometer measuring the extent of the incidents, the circumstances which allow for their continuation and the provision of tools to address them.

Furthermore, the NAP is intended to assist South Africa to meet its international treaty and regional obligations i.e. the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), as well as its commitments arising from the Third UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

The overall goal of the NAP is to build a non-racial, non-sexist society based on the values of human dignity, equality and the advancement of human rights and freedom. The NAP is also intended to combat xenophobia and related intolerance and to address the following:

  • Promote human dignity through the promotion and protection of human rights;
  • Raise awareness of anti-racism, equality and anti-discrimination issues among public officials, civil society and the general public, mobilizing support from a wide range of people;
  • Encourage the collection of data regarding racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and allow for a more comprehensive assessment of their needs to effectively combat it;
  • Ensure that the concerns of individuals and groups encountering racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance are more effectively addressed;
  • Increase the effectiveness and coherence of measures against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance including financial and human resources;
  • Engender a commitment to eliminating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance through appropriate programmes aimed at reaching achievable targets;
  • Strengthen programmes for individuals and groups encountering racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in education, health, employment, housing, food security, social services and access to justice including where necessary through appropriate remedies;
  • Facilitate the identification of legislation that needs to be amended and or adopted with a view to improving the protection of victims, and
  • Generate a more equal society and strengthen the rule of law and democracy.

Experiences with the development of national action plans for human rights and national actions plans for human rights education, as well as experiences from states that have already developed national action plans against racial discrimination, suggest that the following factors, amongst others, can have a bearing on a particular plan’s effectiveness:

  • Transparent and participatory planning;
  • Comprehensiveness of the baseline study underlying the plan;
  • Realistic prioritization and action-oriented planning;
  • Strong participatory mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, and
  • Adequate commitment of resources.

Read the full document PDFNational Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (2016 – 2021) [1.03mb].

The closing date for comments/submissions is 30 June 2016.

Comments and inputs can be submitted via email: nap@justice.gov.za .
Enquiries can be directed to: Ms Danaline Franzman, Chief Director: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, tel: +27 (0) 12 315 1500/1487, email: DFranzman@justice.gov.za


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