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UN: CERD adopted concluding observations of Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Jordan, Serbia and Slovakia (December 2017)

Date : 2017.12.11

On the 8th of December, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) concluded its 94th session. At the session, the CERD adopted concluding observations on Algeria, Australia, Belarus, Jordan, Serbia and Slovakia. *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 . You can also watch the video archives of the public meetings with the States parties at UN Web TV .

On the 29th of November, the Committee held the Thematic Discussion on Racial Discrimination in Today’s World: Racial profiling, ethnic cleansing and current global issues and challenges 

The Committee adopted a statement on Libya under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure. The lists of issues for Bahamas  and Mali  were adopted during the 94th session.



While recognizing the State party’s challenges in countering terrorism and addressing migratory flows as a transit and destination country, the Committee raised a number of concerns on discrimination against different groups. The Committee welcomed the recognition of indigenous Amazigh language as a official language, but the State party was encouraged to apply the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to the rights of Amazigh people including their land rights, linguistic rights and cultural rights. The State party was invited to allow its National Human Rights Council to be an independent national human rights institution (NHRI) in accordance with the Paris Principles. The Committee enquired about the treatment of migrants such as mass-arrests, involuntary deportations and restrictions on their freedom of movement. The State party was requested to provide detailed information on anti-human trafficking measures, disaggregated data of population, administrative and criminal complaints on racial discrimination. Widespread racist hate speech against sub-Saharan Africans in the internet and media, including by politicians, was a particular concern of the Committee. The Committee shared concerns on reports that civil society organizations face difficulties in operating in the country, especially indigenous Amazigh human rights defenders. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting . In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Provision of data;
  • Definition of racial discrimination;
  • National Human Rights Council;
  • Racist hate speech and violence;
  • Promotion of the Amazigh language and culture;
  • Regional economic disparities;
  • Violence in the M’Zab region*;
  • Situation of non-citizens*;
  • Situation of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons;
  • Trafficking in persons*;
  • Providing data on complaints of racial discrimination;
  • Obstacles to registration of NGOs and associations; and
  • Human rights defenders.



The Committee welcomed a number of measures which had been adopted by the State party since the previous examination. These included the adoption of the National Anti-Racism Strategy 2012-2018, the appointment of a Race Discrimination Commissioner as well as the series of measures concerning indigenous peoples. Yet, the Committee remained concerned about the situation of indigenous peoples such as their disadvantaged socio-economic situation, incarceration of indigenous children, the lack of implementation of the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), intersecting forms of discrimination against indigenous peoples based on gender, gender identity and sexual orientation or disabilities. The Committee expressed a specific concern on the high suicide rate of indigenous youth/ LGBT persons. The Committee invited the State party to strengthen its legislative framework against racial discrimination through enacting a human rights law and ratifying relevant international conventions including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. The Committee was concerned by the situation of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees, especially the State party’s offshore processing and detention conditions in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The Committee raised concerns on counter-terrorism measures’ disproportionate impacts on minorities and widespread racist hate speech. Read more (English/ French) . NGO meeting (EnglishFrench. In concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Human rights framework;
  • Implementation of the Convention;
  • Reservation;
  • Disaggregated data;
  • Rise of racism in the State party;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination*;
  • Indigenous Peoples- Closing the Gap Strategy;
  • Constitutional recognition of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Indigenous land rights;
  • Socio-economic situation of Indigenous Peoples;
  • Indigenous children*;
  • Indigenous women;
  • Asylum seekers, migrants and refugees*;
  • Migrant workers;
  • Education; and
  • Training.



While commending the State party’s achievement in many MDGs, the Committee pointed out the absence of disaggregated data of population, comprehensive anti-discrimination law and independent national human rights institution (NHRI). The Committee raised concerns on the situation of Roma such as racial profiling, imposition of parasite tax”hate crimes, racist hate speech in media, discrimination in employment and education. The Committee was alerted by the application of the anti-extremism law, the issue of judicial independence and the restricted environment for civil society. The State party was requested to provide disaggregated statistics of prison population. The Committee drew its attention to the low number of human trafficking cases identified by the authorities. The State party was requested to clarify about the implementation of international human rights law in the domestic legal system. The State party was invited to ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Read more (EnglishFrench. NGO meeting (EnglishFrench. In concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistics;
  • Domestic application of the Convention*;
  • Definition and criminalisation of racial discrimination;
  • National human rights institution;
  • Acts of racial discrimination;
  • Racist hate speech and hate crimes;
  • Trafficking in persons;
  • Independence of judges;
  • Situation of Roma*;
  • Counter-terrorism measures;
  • Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers; and
  • Human rights training.



The Committee welcomed the State party’s efforts to host a significant number of refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing from the humanitarian crises in the region. The Committee asked the State party to clarify the role of the Coordinator for Human Rights and provide disaggregated data of population. The Committee was concerned by the treatment of victims of human trafficking such as the detention of child victims and inadequate prosecution of perpetrators. The State party was encouraged to strengthen the protection of human rights of migrant workers and migrant domestic workers including the issue of the Kafala sponsorship system. The Committee expressed concerns on discrimination in access to citizenship  experienced by Palestinian refugees and children of Jordanian mothers married to foreigners. Poor living conditions in the Jerash refugees camp drew the Committee’s attention. The Committee enquired about the application of international human rights law in domestic courts including the Constitutional Court. The State party was also asked about online racist hate speech, cooperation with civil societycomplaints on racial discrimination. and minority population in prison. Read more . In concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistical Data;
  • National Human Rights Institution;
  • Prohibition of racial discrimination*;
  • Hate speech;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination;
  • Situation of persons of Palestinian origin*;
  • Situation of Syrian refugees and asylum seekers;
  • Sponsorship system;
  • Situation of foreign domestic workers;
  • Nationality law;
  • Situation of Nawar/Dom/Roma; and
  • Training courses on racial discrimination.



While acknowledging the complexity of issues the State party is facing, the Committee shared concerns on the situation of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants such as their difficulties in accessing educationlegal aid, and reports on automatic safe third country rejections. The State party was asked about special measures to remedy the disadvantaged situation of Roma including in educationhousing, health, access to justice and citizenship. The Committee enquired the State party about effectiveness and accessibility of the justice system in addressing the incidents of racial discrimination, in particular racist hate speech and hate crimes. The State party was asked how it tackles racist hate speech in politics, media, the internet and sports. The Committee requested the State party to provide information on disaggregated data of population including in prison and complaints on racial discrimination. The situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs)  and stateless persons drew the Committee’s attention. Read more . NGO meeting . In concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Complaints to the national human rights institution;
  • Judiciary;
  • Racist hate speech and incitement to racial hatred;
  • Racist hate crimes*;
  • Trafficking in persons;
  • Roma and education;
  • Housing;
  • Legal aid; and
  • Asylum seekers, migrants and refugees.



The Committee welcomed the legislative developments in State party such as the adoption of the laws on asylum, foreigners and strengthening of the Anti-Discrimination Law. The Committee encouraged the State party to provide adequate resources to its national human rights institution (NHRI) in order to obtain A status. Information on court cases on racial discrimination was requested by the Committee. The State party was invited to promote human rights training to law enforcement officials, doctors and other professions in order to prevent racial discrimination. The Committee remained concerned about discrimination faced by Roma in education, housinghealth careadministration of justice. The Committee asked the State party’s efforts to address the issue of forced sterilization of Roma women, combat school segregation of Roma children, and human trafficking of Roma women and girls. The State party was requested to provide disaggregated data of population including in prison and of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees. The Committee raised concerns on alleged human rights violations against non-citizens including people of African descent such as racist hate speech, hate crimes and difficulties in enjoying freedom of religion. Read more (English/ French) . In concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistical data;
  • National Human Rights Institution;
  • Implementation of the Anti-Discrimination Act;
  • Racially motivated crimes;
  • Hate speech*;
  • Ill-treatment and excessive use of force;
  • Special measures;
  • Political participation of ethnic minorities;
  • Right to adequate housing*;
  • Right to health;
  • Right to education; and
  • Refugees and asylum seekers.


Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure

Libya: The Committee adopted a statement  on Racial discrimination and enslavement of migrants in Libya”.  It urged the State party to protect migrants and asylum-seekers, especially Sub-Saharan Africans, from slavery. It called on the UN Secretary General to request the Security Council to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate all human rights violations against migrants and asylum seekers taking place in Libya, including crimes against humanity.  .

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