Max du Plessis

The first international instrument expressly to prohibit apartheid was the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), adopted in 1965.[1]ICERD is a multilateral human rights treaty that seeks to eliminate all forms and manifestations of racial discrimination and, as its chapeau states, ‘build an international community free from all forms of racial segregation and racial discrimination’.

Its preamble affirms that parties to the Convention are ‘[a]larmed by manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas of the world and by governmental policies based on racial superiority or hatred, such as policies of apartheid, segregation or separation’.[2]  Article 3 then specifies the obligation of States parties to the Convention to oppose apartheid: