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8753: Fwd: Reparations Urged for Slavery, Segregation (fwd)

From: Mark Schuller <marky@umail.ucsb.edu>

I got this information.  Is there anything which the Haitian community - both in Haiti and in the Diaspora could do to help shape this discussion/ movement?

Reparations Urged for Slavery, Segregation

(New York, July 19, 2001) In advance of a major international conference 
on racism, Human Rights Watch today called for reparations to counter 
the most severe continuing effects of slavery, segregation, and other 
extreme forms of racism.

Human Rights Watch said national and international panels should be 
created with maximum transparency and public participation to identify 
and acknowledge past abuses and to guide action to counter their         
                                     present-day effect. 

"Groups that suffer today because of slavery or other severe racist      
                                        practices should be compensated 
by governments responsible for these                                     
         practices," said Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human 
Rights                                              Watch. "Those most 
seriously victimized today by past wrongs should                         
                    be the first priority for compensation to end their 

Roth said reparations for past abuse should focus first on groups that   
                                           continue to suffer the most 
severe hardships. "We're not talking about a handout or a windfall," 
said Roth. "We are calling for long-term commitments to correct the 
damage done to the groups left most seriously disadvantaged." 

Human Rights Watch proposed the establishment of national panels, in 
multiracial countries such as the United States, Brazil and South 
Africa, as well as one or more international panels to look at the 
effect of the slave trade. These panels would focus on tracing these 
effects not for particular individuals but for groups. 

The panels should serve as truth commissions aiming to reveal the extent 
to which a government's past racist practices contribute to contemporary 
deprivation domestically and abroad, Roth said. They should educate the 
public, acknowledge responsibility, and propose methods of redress and 
making amends. 

A primary purpose of reparations would be to address the social and 
economic foundations of today's victims' continuing 
marginalization-through means such as investment in education, housing, 
health care, or job training. 

The question of compensation for slavery will be one of the most 
controversial topics when the U.N. World Conference Against Racism, 
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance meets in 
Durban, South Africa from August 31 to September 7. 

A copy of Human Rights Watch's position paper is available at:           

For more information on race and human rights, please see:

Racism & Human Rights (HRW Campaign Page) at 

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There can only be a "win-win" scenario if the rules 
fundamentally change.