Manifesto for the Abolition of International Apartheid

By Yves Bonnardel and David Olivier

The ethical and political principle of equality of all individuals of the human species is now acknowledged by nearly all. It is almost universally accepted that any discrimination between human individuals based on an arbitrary criterion is unjust and must be abolished.


Since the end of interracial apartheid in South Africa, no longer any state in the world openly practices discrimination between humans based on the arbitrary criterion of skin colour. Today, however, another equally arbitrary criterion is still accepted and applied by virtually every state in the world. For a human individual to have been born in some a particular place, from parents of some particular nationality, and to thus possess emself some particular nationality, is a matter of chance, and cannot be taken as a non-arbitrary criterion of discrimination.

Following this arbitrary criterion of nationality, states grant or deny to human individuals the right to dwell on their territories, and access to the social benefits granted to the natives. Just like interracial apartheid in South Africa, this arbitrary discrimination would be but a relatively harmless absurdity if its consequences were a mere separation. But the reality of the world we live in is marked by the existence of vast areas in which most inhabitants suffer from severe poverty and high rates of mortality; and of other areas in which inhabitants live in conditions that, though not always good, are for the least considerably better than those that prevail in the poor areas. The refusal to allow certain individuals to live in rich countries on the basis of their nationality is de facto, just like interracial apartheid, an arbitrary denial of often vital benefits granted to others.


We therefore recognise as gravely in contradiction with the ethical and political principle of human equality the laws and regulations, particularly of the rich states, that deny individuals the right to enter and live on their territories on the basis of their nationalities. We demand the abolition of this international apartheid, and demand that all appropriate measures be taken to render this abolition effective as quickly as possible.

As a consequence of the ethical and political principle of human equality, we recognize these laws and regulations as illegitimate. We demand that they be abolished, and that every human being, whatever eir nationality, be permitted to live on the territory of any state, and receive equally all benefits granted to the natives.

We declare to be under no obligation to respect these illegitimate laws, and ready, should the case arise, to transgress them and to help others to transgress them.