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The High Cost of Discrimination in Latin America. Judith Morrison Inter-American Dialogue Executive Director, Inter-Agency Consultation on Race in Latin America Web: www.iac-race.org Email: [email protected] African descendents. 150 million 39 – 33% of the population

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The High Cost of Discrimination in Latin America

Judith Morrison

Inter-American Dialogue

Executive Director, Inter-Agency Consultation on Race in Latin America

Web: www.iac-race.org

Email: [email protected]


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African descendents

  • 150 million

  • 39 – 33% of the population

  • Over half of the poor


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Indigenous Populations

  • 30 – 40 million people

  • 8% of the population

  • Living in deplorable socio-economic conditions

  • Significant advances over the past two decades: funds, units, policies, and mechanisms in international organizations


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Inter-American Dialogue Race Program and the IAC

  • The Inter-American Dialogue Race Program and the Inter-Agency Consultation on Race in Latin America (IAC) were created in 2000.

  • These programs work with international organizations and governments to bring greater visibility of the situation of racial discrimination, and social exclusion that impacts African descendents in Latin America.

  • Share information and analysis on the situation of African descendents in the region

  • Implement joint activities

  • Establishes programming to strengthen the work of participating institutions

  • Maintain a dialogue with leaders and organizations in the region.


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Cost of Social Exclusion

  • Economies in

    • Bolivia,

    • Brazil,

    • Guatemala

    • Peru

      could expand their GDPs by as much as 36.7 % with the elimination of African descendent and indigenous social exclusion (Zoninsein 2001)

  • IPEA states black women face labor, education, and societal discrimination


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Data: Brazil

  • 2nd largest African descendent nation outside of Africa – 50% of population

  • Lack formal education – 36% blacks & 19% whites

  • Illiteracy – 50% blacks & 20% whites

  • HDI: Country 69th position

    • Only blacks 101st position

    • Only whites 46th position

  • Unemployment – 78% blacks below the poverty line & 40% whites


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Data: Colombia

  • 21% to 30% of the population – 10 million to 17 million; areas with high concentration of blacks 90% Pacific coast, 60% Atlantic coast; Choco 85%

  • Extreme inequality 96% basic needs unmet in black municipalities – 45% unmet in white

  • 98% of black communities lack basic public services -- only 6% of white communities lack these services (water, sewerage, electricity)

  • Health care systems cover 40% of the nation’s white municipalities, but only 10% of black municipalities

  • Blacks overrepresented in the war 50% - 60% of new recruits

  • Movement of the war to black regions makes the war much more difficult to eliminate because of the extreme inequality in these regions


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Recommendations for the Drafting of the Convention

  • Join with international organizations – think tanks, NGOs, civil society organizations – to consider new ways of understanding the links between discrimination and social exclusion

  • Include self-definition as an important framework for defining race – establish terminology that is inclusive of modern terminology, but that is also flexible and representative of the ways individuals self-identify. Such as: “African descendents (which includes blacks, morenos, palenqueros, quilombolos, raizales, pardos, pretos, mulatos, afro-americanos, afro-latinos, etc.)”

  • Analyze possible ways of linking discrimination to labor markets (Summit of the Americas). Consider how discrimination impacts the representation of diverse populations in leadership positions at international organizations and in governments – who is employed and how they are employed.

  • Incorporate the progress made in the region through the Santiago Declaration and Santiago process


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Contact Information

Judith Morrison

Inter-American Dialogue

Executive Director

Inter-Agency Consultation on Race in Latin America (IAC)

[email protected]

www.iac-race.org


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