Despite the large presence of NGOs, the structure of the conference has meant that government delegates could easilyarrive, negotiate and leave without ever having considered actual, real-life experiences and effects of racism.
To address this problem, Gay McDougal of the International Human Rights Law Group teamed up with the South AfricaHuman Rights Commission to organize the "Voices Special Forum on Comparative Experiences of Racism." The forum wascarefully planned to attract as many government delegates as possible: the sessions were held during the delegates’lunch break in a room next door to the main hall.
One of the speakers at the forum was Rayhan Yalsindach, a Kurdish lawyer now living in Turkey, where hundreds ofKurdish villages have been destroyed and thousands killed in recent years by the Turkish government in its efforts tocrush an armed resistance movement and Kurdish calls for self-determination.
- Rayhan Yalsindach, a Kurdish lawyer now living in Turkey.