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New York: (Agencies: 21/3/2010): “People continue to lose their lives or have their lives blighted by racism in all regions of the world,” according to a group of UN experts.

Their clear message: racism is not only yesterday’s problem – but an immense challenge for today.
In a statement marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to be observed Sunday 21 March, the group of human rights experts warns that “Racism is alive and still plagues every society.”

The UN experts say “Be it the migrant worker who faces daily discrimination due to his or her status as non-citizen, the individual who cannot find suitable employment because of his or her colour, the member of an ethnic minority who is prevented from getting equal access to education due to his or her minority status, all these people remind us about the continuous suffering caused by racism on the daily lives of millions worldwide.”

The experts say “too many States are failing to fulfill their obligations to act against racism, or, in some instances, are perpetrators of it.”

The experts emphasize that “March 21st is also a day to reflect about past commitments, to look forward and to set new and higher expectations for the future – to recognize that despite our successes, individuals, families and communities continue to have their lives ruined by racism and racial discrimination and that we need to continue our struggle for equality and dignity for all people, everywhere.”

March 21st marks 50 years on from the tragic events of Sharpeville, where the police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the South African apartheid ‘pass laws’.

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