For most racial and ethnic groups living in poverty, said the rights expert, the formal provisions for non-discrimination are not sufficient to address the challenges they confront in the realisation of those rights that would lift them out of their conditions of poverty.
'Their situation is that of multidimensional discrimination - as they are discriminated against for being poor and also on account of their race and ethnicity.
According to the report, a history of discrimination has left a large number of racial and ethnic groups in various parts of the world trapped in conditions of 'chronic deprivation of resources' with limited choices and vulnerable to multiple violations of their rights.
In many parts of the world, race and ethnicity continue to be persistent predictors of poverty.
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'.'For groups that are discriminated against, education is crucial for preparing and equipping them with the skills to achieve economic and social mobility and consequently to break the cycles of multidimensional poverty and discrimination.' Ruteere noted that poverty and discrimination are often reflected in poor health status.Vulnerable and marginalised groups disproportionately face obstacles in accessing health care.'The persistence of discrimination against those groups and individuals remains a challenge to the construction of a tolerant and inclusive society, and only the guarantee of equality and non-discrimination policies can redress that imbalance and prevent those groups that are discriminated against from falling into or being trapped in poverty,' Ruteere emphasised.Poverty and discrimination In his report, the Special Rapporteur discusses the manifestations of poverty and racism in the areas of economic and social rights such as education, adequate housing and health care, and other rights affected in the link between racism and poverty, including the right to work in just conditions, social security, food and water.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.'Owing to their economic and social conditions, groups that are discriminated against are more exposed to health risks and diseases.They are more likely than others to live in polluted and environmentally degraded areas where the risk of exposure to substance abuse, violence and infectious diseases is higher.' The Special Rapporteur also noted that racism and discrimination negatively affect the realisation of the right to adequate housing for the marginalised groups.The multi-generational nature of poverty, with successive generations inheriting the disadvantages of their predecessors, means that over the years poverty and deprivation have become part of the characterisation of particular racial and ethnic groups trapped in poverty.This in turn fuels prejudice against those members of poor racial and ethnic groups, exacerbating the problems of racial discrimination.