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UN: CERD adopted concluding observations of Argentina, Italy, Portugal, Togo, Turkmenistan and Uruguay (November 2016)

Date : 2016.12.12

On 9th December, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) concluded its 91st session. At the session, the CERD adopted concluding observations of Argentina, Italy, Portugal, Togo, Turkmenistan and Uruguay. *Recommendations with asterisks [*] are one-year follow-up recommendations

Concluding observations, reports of the State parties and other stakeholders are available at the OHCHR website default_external link. You can also watch the video archives of the public meetings with the State parties at UN Web TV default_external link.

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Argentina

ArgentinaPoverty among the indigenous and Afro-decent communities drew attention of the Committee. Concerning the situation of indigenous peoples, the issues of land rights, right to water access to justice, free and prior informed consent and the situation of human rights defenders were raised. The Committee expressed concern on the treatment of migrants including the use of detention centres. The Committee asked the State party whether special hotline on violence against women for girls and women from indigenous and Afro-descendant communities exists. The Committee requested for further information on how the State party ensures its justice system sufficiently address racial discrimination. Information on measures against intersectionality of racial discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity was requested. Read more (Day 1/ Day 2)default_external link. NGO meeting (English/ French)default_external link. In concluding observations default_external link, the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Structural discrimination;
  • Public policies;
  • Demographic composition of population and statistical data;
  • Criminalisation of racial discrimination;
  • Defender of the Public of Audiovisual Communication Services*;
  • Institution building;
  • Prior and informed consent;
  • Land rights and land restitution*;
  • Situation of human rights defenders*;
  • Access to education;
  • Access to justice;
  • Labour rights;
  • Migrants; and
  • Multiple forms of discrimination.

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Italy

ItalyThe Committee asked the State party how the definition of racial discrimination under the Convention is applied to the national law. The Committee expressed concern on the situation of Roma people including the limited access to higher education and the existence of segregation camps. The Committee also requested for information regarding multiple forms of discrimination against women and LGBT people who are subject to racial discrimination. While acknowledging the State party’s efforts to address the crisis, the Committee raised a number of concerns on the treatment of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees including the lack of legal counselling and detention of migrants. The Committee encouraged the State party to establish a national human rights institution with A status. The issue of racial discrimination against people of African descent including in sports was raised. The Committee urged the State party to ensure that the criminal justice system does not use racial profiling and sufficiently addresses racist hate crimes. Read more (Day 1/ Day 2default_external link. In concluding observations default_external link, the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Anti-discrimination legislation;
  • Disaggregated statistical data;
  • National human rights institution;
  • National Office against Racial Discrimination;
  • Racist hate speech;
  • Racist hate crimes*;
  • Mixed migratory flows: migrants, asylum seekers and refugees*;
  • Roma, Sinti and Camminanti communities;
  • Situation of migrant workers*;
  • People of African descent; and
  • Criminal justice system.

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Portugal

PortugalReflecting their lack of participation in the consideration of the State party’s report, the Committee asked the State party whether civil society was fully consulted in the preparation of the report. The Committee stressed that the lack of complaints on racial discrimination does not mean the absence of such incidents, and asked to ensure victims’ access to justice through human rights training of law enforcement officers and public awareness raising. The Committee remained concern on the situation of Roma including their level of poverty and literacy. While welcoming the State party’s consideration to host a regional conference, the Committee encouraged the State party to take further measures to combat discrimination against people of African descent. The Committee welcomed the State party’s measures for human rights education, but it emphasised that the colonial history of Portugal including the contribution of minority groups should be taught in school. Read more (Day 1/ Day 2default_external link. In concluding observations default_external link, the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Status of the Convention;
  • Data collection;
  • Implementation of anti-discrimination provisions*;
  • Administrative complaints mechanisms*;
  • Hate speech and behaviour;
  • Use of force by law enforcement officials;
  • Discrimination against the Roma*;
  • Discrimination against people of African descent;
  • Situation of migrants;
  • School curricula; and
  • Civil society.

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Togo

TogoThe Committee pointed out that the State party’s definition of racial discrimination is not compatible with the Convention. The Committee regretted the absence of the national human rights institution at the review and the lack of reports from NGOs. It encouraged the State party to further cooperate with civil society to combat racial discrimination. The State party was requested to provide disaggregated data including prison population. The situation of multiple forms of discrimination against women belonging to different ethnic groups drew the Committee’s attention. The Committee asked the State party to provide information on the situation of persons with Albinism. The Committee welcomed the State party’s ratification of the ILO Convention on domestic workers. Read more (Day 1/ Day 2default_external link. In concluding observations default_external link, the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Provision of data;
  • Definition of discrimination;
  • Policy measures for the elimination of racial discrimination;
  • National human rights institution*;
  • Compatibility of the criminal law with the Article 4 of the Convention;
  • National reconciliation process*;
  • High Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Reinforcement of National Unity;
  • Access to education and training;
  • Access to health;
  • Equitable representation in the civil service and the defense force and security;
  • Situation of non-citizens;
  • Acquisition of Togolese nationality; and
  • Access to remedies and provision of data for the application of Article 6.

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Turkmenistan

TurkmenistanThe Committee raised the issue of the absence of an independent national human rights institution in the State party. The Committee expressed concern on the situation of ethno-religious minorities which is represented in hate speech and Islamophobia. The State party was asked several times to provide disaggregated data including of the prision population. Restriction of civil society including the allegation of arbitrary arrest of a human rights defender from the Baloch minority community drew the Committee’s attention. Vulnerable situation of stateless persons including stateless Uzbek women was concerned. The Committee looked into the issue of linguistic rights, and raised concern on the limited access to employment and public services for minorities. The State party was asked how the access to justice for victims of racial discrimination is guaranteed. The Committee encouraged the State party to incorporate the definition of racial discrimination of the Convention into the domestic law. Read more (Day 1/ Day 2default_external link. In concluding observations default_external link, the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistical Data;
  • Definition of racial discrimination;
  • Hate speech*;
  • Ombudsman for Human Rights*;
  • Freedom of religion of ethnic minorities*;
  • Cultural and linguistic rights of ethnic minorities;
  • Situation of non-citizens;
  • Situation of Stateless persons;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination;
  • Independence of the judiciary; and
  • Training for judges’ lawyers and state officials.

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Uruguay

UruguayWhile welcoming the efforts of the State party, the Committee requested for disaggregated data to assess the situation of racial discrimination such as in employment and education. The Committee was concerned by the reports of exploitation of domestic workers who are often persons of African-descent. The Committee asked the State party how its history education teaches the tragedies of indigenous peoples and people of African-descent. The State party was encouraged to adopt a law against racial discrimination and ratify the ILO Convention 169. The issues of justice system was discussed including the access to remedy for victims of racial discrimination, criminal conviction rate of racist hate speech and prison population of miority and indigenous persons. The Committee asked whether the State party has specific measures to address multiple forms of discrimination against persons belonging to indigenous and minority communities based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more (Day 1/ Day 2default_external link. NGO meeting (English/ French)default_external link. In concluding observations default_external link, the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistical data;
  • Legislative measures;
  • Political struggle against racial discrimination;
  • Institutional measures;
  • Structural discrimination;
  • Political rights*;
  • Discrimination in education*;
  • Indigenous peoples;
  • Multiple discrimination against women of Afro-descent;
  • Other forms of multiple discrimination;
  • Refugees and asylum-seekers;
  • Migrants;
  • Access to justice; and
  • Racial stereotypes.

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