HUQUQ: Learn, Think, Write, Act
Find abstracts, NGOs, Reports, or documents, enter keywords below:
Find answers to questions on HUQUQ; submit an answer to a question:
Read or add a record of a human rights crime:
Apartheid is a system of segregation and discrimination on grounds of race. In South Africa, Apartheid (“apartness” in the language of Afrikaans) was a system of legislation that upheld segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa. After the National Party gained power in South Africa in 1948, its all-white government immediately began enforcing existing policies of racial segregation.
Hendrik Verwoerd, also called the Architect of the Apartheid, was Prime Minister and leader of the National Party from 1958-66 and was main actor who shaped the implementation of apartheid policy and practices.
The three most important features of the legislation that sustained Apartheid were the Race Classification Act, Every citizen suspected of not being European was classified according to race, the Mixed Marriages Act, which prohibited marriage between people of different races, and the Group Areas Act.
Motive and justification Apartheid:
Strategists in the National Party invented apartheid system as a means to solidify their control over the economic and social systems. Initially, the aim of the apartheid was to maintain white domination while extending racial separation. With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized.
About 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, an area encompassing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the latter made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Throughout most of this area, Israel is the sole governing power; in the remainder, it exercises primary authority alongside limited Palestinian self-rule. Across these areas and in most aspects of life, Israeli authorities methodically privilege Jewish Israelis and discriminate against Palestinians. Laws, policies, and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power, and land has long guided government policy. In pursuit of this goal, authorities have dispossessed, confined, forcibly separated, and subjugated Palestinians by virtue of their identity to varying degrees of intensity. In certain areas, as described in this report, these deprivations are so severe that they amount to the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution.
In 1932, the Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began a study to record the natural history of syphilis in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. It was called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.”
The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance. Although originally projected to last 6 months, the study actually went on for 40 years.
Many consider their plight an “archetypal” genocide. Others posit, however, that every essential characteristic of genocide has already been realized throughout their tragic history. A short summary of activities qualifying for genocide, each directed against disparate Native American tribes, may lend historical clarity. Centuries ago, the British suggested that they should be exterminated.1 Their soldiers proceeded to decimate them with smallpox—a virus to which native populations had no immunity. Additional efforts, literally over centuries, to eradicate their race would follow. There would be a “Trail of Tears,” lethal attacks on Nez Perce men, women, and children to acquire their ancestral homeland, and the infamous massacre at Wounded Knee—to name only a few. The protracted policy directed against the United States of America’s indigenous peoples represented misguided governments, widespread avarice, and enforcement by an at times ruthless, undisciplined military. When naïve efforts with smallpox and crude annihilations with bullets were eclipsed by scientifically sterilized technique, two twentieth century neologisms—genocide and eugenics—would be added to contemporary reflection. When the United Nations approved Resolution 96, five activities would serve as the definition for Genocide under International Law. They were: killing members of a specific group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to other members of that same group; deliberately inflicting conditions aimed directly at those persons’ destruction; imposing measures to prevent births of the group’s progeny; and, last, forcibly transferring children for rearing from the individuals in question to ethnically-dissimilar families.2 In this regard, the second Twentieth Century phenomenon mentioned—eugenics—has imposed measures to prevent births within many groups undergoing similar persecutions. A book by Edwin Black, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, exhaustively studied the evolution of America’s eugenics policy, which, in various guises, was exported to Germany as a template for the Third Reich’s Final Solution. These immoral activities, verified by many since, should have ended after Nuremberg’s deliberations. A recent, albeit weakly publicized, continuation of eugenic policy in the context of genocide has been well-documented. It has again been specifically directed towards Native Americans. The arena in question has been inhabited by the old evils of forced abortions and sterilizations. That two-pronged approach to knowingly limiting births in a targeted population had been emblematic of eugenic policy in the early to mid-Twentieth Century.
Unfortunately, eugenic “birth control” had been resuscitated, or simply continued, as recently as the 1970s with voluntary physician complicity.
From GREGORY W. RUTECKI’s Forced Sterilization of Native Americans: Late Twentieth Century Physician Cooperation with National Eugenic Policies
Starting in April 1992, Serbian forces and militias set out to “ethnically cleanse” Bosnian territory by systematically removing all Bosnian Muslims, known as Bosniaks. Serbia, together with ethnic Bosnian Serbs, attacked Bosniaks with former Yugoslavian military equipment and surrounded Sarajevo, the capital city.
On 11 July 1995, Bosnian Serb units captured the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In less than two weeks, their forces systematically murdered more than 8,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) – the worst act of mass killing on European soil since the end of World War Two.
- Global Directory of non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
- Index of scholarly Works on human rights
- Report Recent of Ongoing Human Rights Events
- HUQUQ Review of Books on Human Rights