United Nations Human Rights Council
ID with the Special Rapporteur on Racism
Thank you, President.
Action Canada makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.
We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on her vision, her use of intersectionality and commitment to continue examining the links between colonialism, slavery and contemporary forms of racism.
We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s collaboration with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and encourage her to contribute to the Committee’s preparation of its General Recommendation 37 on racial discrimination and the right to health.
The relationship between health, race, caste, class and gender is rooted in colonial, patriarchal and capitalist control over women’s sexuality, reproduction and bodies and produces distinct experiences of oppression that are often fatal. Racialised women are specifically targeted by harmful stereotypes, the essentialisation of women to their reproductive capacities, forced sterilisation, forced pregnancies and chromosomal testing in sporting events through state interventions or purposeful inaction. This has profound impacts on their health and human rights.
Racial, caste and gender discrimination is fundamentally incompatible with States' obligations. States need to fund health publicly through progressive taxation and treat the privatisation of health care and health determinants as incompatible with human rights and racial equality.
An intersectional approach must also be taken into account in all aspects of healthcare provision. Until states eradicate white supremacy, patriarchy, racism, caste discrimination and all other forms of oppression and discrimination, they will be failing in their obligations to ensure the right to the highest attainable standard of health and all its determinants.