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Vatican aide says eugenics 'among new forms of racism'

New forms of racism include eugenics and the intolerance of immigrants, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican's permanent observer at the UN headquarters in Geneva, told a meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission.

Presenting his claim last Friday while addressing the annual session of the commission, Archbishop Martin said: "The scientific community should be especially vigilant to ensure that progress in medicine and biotechnology is used for the benefit of the entire human family and never to the disadvantage of the vulnerable or with latent racist intent."

"The temptation of eugenics is still latent, especially if powerful commercial interests dominate it," he added.

In the struggle against racism, immigrants are a "particularly vulnerable group", he stressed. "The increased mobility of peoples demands more than ever an openness to others."

"It is paradoxical that migrants and their families should today be exposed to racial intolerance, even in situations in which it is recognised that they bring an irreplaceable contribution to the economic progress of the countries to which they have moved," added the archbishop, whose address was published by the Vatican Press Office.

UN Commissioner for Human Rights


27 Mar 2002