Allegations of apartheid

Allegations of apartheid have been made, informally, against societies beyond South Africa in the years since the international condemnation of the now dismantled South African apartheid system. Activists and political theorists have used the term "apartheid" to describe other perceived social or political discrimination. Apartheid has been used in compound phrases coined to compare actual or alleged forms of segregation, discrimination or disparity to South African apartheid.


The term apartheid (meaning separateness in Afrikaans) referred to a system of segregation used in South Africa between 1948 and 1994 and "Separate Development", the political program of the now defunct National Party of South Africa.

As a result of international attention and widespread opposition to the apartheid system in South Africa the concept of the crime of apartheid was developed internationally and recognized in 1973 by the United Nations General Assembly in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. "As such, apartheid was declared to be a crime against humanity, with a scope that went far beyond South Africa. While the crime of apartheid is most often associated with the racist policies of South Africa after 1947, the term more generally refers to racially based policies in any state." In light of South African apartheid being dismantled by the end of 1993, legal scholars discussed whether the convention could be invoked by other victimized indigenous peoples. The U.N. again defined the crime in the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the treaty establishing the International Criminal Court.

Countries whose practices have been alleged to be apartheid

The term apartheid has been used in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to allege systematic discrimination against Palestinians by Israel; see allegations of Israeli apartheid. In France the word apartheid has been used to describe the social situation in the French suburbs where Arab immigrants are not integrated with the general French population and live with inferior social services and housing. Social apartheid in Brazil has been used to describe the social segregation of the poor (who are mostly dark-skinned) from wealthier classes.

Other countries whose practices have been compared to apartheid include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada for its treatment of native peoples,The Globe and Mail - Canada's Apartheid: Introduction Welcome to... / Bienvenue the People's Republic of China in regards to the Hukou pass system for peasant population, as well as Tibet. Cuba has been accused of practicing tourist apartheid, Greece for its treatment of Macedonians, India for its caste system which has been described as a "hidden apartheid,"India's "hidden apartheid" Jordan for its nationality law which excludes Jews from citizenship and its two-tiered citizenship system in general, New Zealand for its treatment of Maoris, Czech Republic for its educational discrimination against the Roma, Pakistan,BBC NEWS | South Asia | Hindus feel the heat in Pakistan Puerto Rico,

Who is Black? the Baltic states of the former Soviet Union, the Crimea, Sri Lanka, as well as the proposed state of Tamil Eelam. Muslim countries accused of gender apartheid include Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia,BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Malaysia women 'suffer apartheid' and Saudi Arabia.

Other countries whose practices have been compared to apartheid include:

Other uses

Terms such as "Islamic apartheid", "Muslim apartheid" or "religious apartheid" have been used to describe discrimination against non-Muslims in Muslim countries, or Muslims' own resistance to integration. Muslim apartheid: Getting behind the veil Muslim apartheid burns bright in France | Minette Marrin - Times Online World Politics Review | Muslim Apartheid in Britain: A Veiled Threat?"Annual Report on International Religious Freedom 2004" and Designations of Countries of Particular Concern "Gender apartheid" (or "sexual apartheid") has been used to describe sexual segregation and discrimination against womenWomen clergy accuse Church of sexual apartheid | The Guardian | Guardian UnlimitedTheology Today - Vol 34, No. 4 - January 1978 - ARTICLE - Women Clergy And The Cultural Order, particularly sexual segregation in Islamic countries. The term "sexual apartheid" has also been used to describe discrimination against gays and lesbians.Sexual ApartheidScottish Green Party :: Civil Partnerships: Bill Does Not End Sexual Apartheid

"Global apartheid" has been used by advocates for the developing world, including President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki, to describe what they believe is an "international system of minority rule" - Mbeki: End 'global apartheid' - August 28, 2002 and the disparity between a minority of the world's population in developed countries and the rest of the world.

Disparities between rich and poor in various countries has been described as social apartheid, urban apartheid or economic apartheid, particularly in countries where the poor are more likely to have darker skin than the rich or in European countries to describe the disparity and perceived ghettoization of Muslim immigrants.

The lack of access of many of the world's poor to clean water has been called "water apartheid" while the government of Iran has used the term "nuclear apartheid" to denounce international attempts to stop the country's nuclear program.

The term "legal apartheid" has been used as a pejorative way of describing multiculturalism.

See also

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