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'Discrimination against groups and persons based on their ethnicity, race, religion or other characteristics or factors has been known to encourage exclusion and impoverish certain groups of the population who suffer from unequal access to basic needs and services.' Groups that are discriminated against, such as Afro-descendants, minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and refugees, are disproportionately affected by poverty in all regions of the world.
The nature of this challenge requires much more than formal protections and calls for special measures.' Discrimination based on racial, religious, ethnic, linguistic and also socioeconomic factors exacerbates the vulnerability of those persons and groups.
This situation and furthermore the lack of participation of groups that are discriminated against in decision-making processes is often the result of historical legacies rooted in traditions.
The right to education He noted that one of the reasons why groups that are discriminated against remain trapped in poverty is 'the perpetual marginalisation they suffer in terms of access to education', despite the obligation of states to realise this right for all without discrimination.
'Realising the right to education for all children should be the cornerstone of strategies directed at reducing poverty and discouraging discrimination,' he underlined.
The report said: 'Their situation is primarily the consequence of historical systems of inherited status, and of the formalised exclusion of certain traditional populations in modern societies, sometimes encouraged by authorities.
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Thus, even in countries where resources are sufficient to ensure to the whole population adequate standards of living, those groups and individuals do not fully benefit from those resources.' The Special Rapporteur believes that it is the obligation of governments to prevent marginalisation and to ensure protection as well as to guarantee the enjoyment of human rights for all, including the right to education, the right to adequate housing, the right to health or the right to food and safe water.As has been emphasised in the Durban Declaration, he said, 'poverty... and contribute[s] to the persistence of racist attitudes and practices which in turn generate more poverty' (paragraph 18).Ruteere said that as the previous Special Rapporteur on racism underlined in his report to the General Assembly in 2009, 'racial or ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by poverty, and the lack of education, adequate housing and health care transmits poverty from generation to generation and perpetuates racial prejudices and stereotypes in their regard'.This can lead to decreased life expectancy and poor health conditions for minorities living in marginalised areas.There is also a risk of mistrust in the official health services, due to stereotyping, but also due to the health service providers' lack of cultural knowledge of a particular cultural minority.'Legal insecurity of tenure for poor and marginalised ethnic and racial minorities in some cases forces some of the members of those communities to move to urban areas, where the only affordable housing is in informal and slum settlements with substandard housing conditions and the daily risks of eviction.' Adequate housing is also linked to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, he said, adding that poor sanitation and unhygienic practices are the indirect results of discrimination and the marginalisation suffered by racial minorities.'Groups that are discriminated against, especially those living in rural or remote areas, experience disparities in terms of access to sanitation and drinking water.Poverty is one of the causes of the low enrolment rates in schools of children from groups that are discriminated against.The Special Rapporteur is convinced that the full enjoyment of the right to education is the prerequisite for the full enjoyment of other rights, such as the right to work, freedom of expression, or even the right to health.He cited Minority Rights Group International as noting in 2009 that, of the 101 million children out of school and the 776 million illiterate adults, the majority are part of racial, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities.In many countries, the low enrolment rate of minority children is the result of official policies that fail to recognise the existence of minorities as part of the whole population and to take measures to ensure that they enjoy the rights guaranteed to every citizen.