MINELRES: On the Occasion of Human Rights Day, ERT Will Urge Nine Governments to Act on Discrimination

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Dec 8 07:54:01 2009

Original sender: Equal Rights Trust <equalrightstrust1@response.pure360.com>

ERT Action on Human Rights Day 2009 Devoted to Non-discrimination  
London, 7 December 2009  
On the occasion of Human Rights Day 2009 – which the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights recently declared would focus on
non-discrimination – the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) will issue a series of
specific appeals to nine governments and parliaments to act on

ERT is the only international human rights organisation focussed
exclusively on the right to equality and regularly makes recommendations
to governments on the need to repeal discriminatory laws and policies
and improve protection against discrimination. ERT will use Human Rights
Day (10 December 2009) to urge certain governments to adopt
recommendations it has addressed to them over the course of 2009. The
Trust will also write to the Presidents of Malaysia and the USA urging
action to address the situation of stateless people in detention, in
advance of the publication of new research.

ERT will be addressing specific appeals to 9 governments from Europe,
Africa, Asia and the Americas:

- Latvia – ERT will urge the Latvian government and its lawmakers to
uphold the equality of all persons under its jurisdiction in respect to
their pension rights and not roll back current levels of social
security, as recommended in ERT’s expert opinion earlier this year. 

- Malaysia – ERT will call on the government of Malaysia to ensure equal
rights for stateless Rohingya migrants under its jurisdiction, following
previous advocacy and ahead of the publication of its special report on
the situation of Rohingya held in detention in that country. 

- Mali – ERT will reiterate its recommendations, the message of which is
that Mali’s MPs and President should not give in to pressure from
opponents of the draft Family Code which seeks to extend rights for
women in respect of marriage, property and inheritance. 

- Moldova – ERT will call on the government to ensure that the Draft Law
on Preventing and Combating Discrimination reflects the highest
international standards on equality as set out in its submission to the
government's consultation and to push for its adoption by the

- Sri Lanka – ERT will reiterate its call to President Rajapaksa to use
the principles of equality enshrined in Sri Lanka’s constitution and in
ERT’s Declaration of Principles on Equality as the basis for a
sustainable solution to the conflict between Sinhalese and Tamil

- Sudan – ERT will address recommendations to the Sudanese parliament
calling for the repeal of section 152 of the Criminal Code, which
prohibits ‘indecent’ acts and conduct as it has been used
discriminatively against women and non-Muslims. 

- Uganda – ERT will call on authroities and parliamentarians to reject
the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill which is currently being debated in
Uganda, one of 80 countries in the world where homosexual conduct is

- UK – ERT will write to the leaders of the UK’s three major political
parties urging them to ensure that adequate parliamentary time is made
for the 2009 Equality Bill to be enacted before parliament rises. 

- USA – ERT will call on President Obama to institute a review of
immigration detention policies, ensure that all remaining stateless
detainees at the Guantanamo Bay facility are resettled in safe countries
and sign the 1954 Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons. 

Speaking about the importance of devoting the Human Rights day to the
fight against discrimination, ERT’s Executive Director, Dimitrina
Petrova said:

“The last year has seen some major successes in tackling discrimination:
Serbia and the Czech Republic have adopted new anti-discrimination laws,
while the High Court of Delhi has decriminalised homosexual conduct.

“But great challenges remain. Over 160 countries have no comprehensive
anti-discrimination legislation and even in those which do,
discrimination remains a fact of life for many marginalised groups.

“From the UK to Uganda, from Sri Lanka to Sudan and from Moldova to
Malaysia, there are steps which governments can take today to improve
the situation of marginalised groups.

“We urge governments to seize this opportunity and take decisive action
against discrimination.” 


1. To read ERT’s submissions to the governments of Latvia, Mali,
Moldova, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda and the UK, click here:
http://www.equalrightstrust.org/news-archive/index.htm . 

2. ERT has written to the governments of Malaysia and the USA in advance
of the publication of its reports on stateless persons in detention in
these countries. These reports will be published as part of ERT’s
project on Stateless persons in Detention. For more information, click