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UN: CERD adopted concluding observations of Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Nepal, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Sweden (May 2018)

Date : 2018.05.15

On the 11th of May, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) concluded its 95th session. At the session, the CERD adopted concluding observations on Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Nepal, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Sweden. *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 .

The Committee adopted a decision on the Philippines and a statement on Israel under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure. 

The Committee sent a reprisal letter to Russia  concerning the Shor indigenous rights defenders. 

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Kyrgyzstan

While acknowledging the State party’s efforts undertaken to reduce the number of stateless persons, the Committee raised concerns about the limited number of complaints of racial discrimination and the absence of criminal cases of violence against ethnic minorities, including hate speech and ethnic profiling. The State party was urged to intensify its efforts in enhancing the application of the Convention in its domestic legal framework and in establishing a national human rights institution (NHRI). The Committee welcomed the State party’s willingness to adopt anti-discrimination law and expressed readiness to provide technical support. The Committee also enquired about the case of the Uzbek journalist Azimjan Askarov, and expressed concerns about reported harassment and intimidation against civil society organizations (CSOs), human rights defenders and journalists. The Committee also raised concerns regarding the under-representation of ethnic minorities in the national and local government and asked for information on the ethnic composition of prison populations. Concerns were also raised regarding intersecting forms of discrimination faced by LGBT people, women and children who belong to ethnic minority groups. The State party was encouraged to ensure access to education in minority languages. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting (English/ French). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Applicability of the Convention;
  • National human rights institution;
  • Human rights defenders and civil society organizations*;
  • Anti-discrimination legislation;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination;
  • Intersecting forms of discrimination;
  • Hate speech and ethnic profiling;
  • Inter-ethnic tensions;
  • Investigations into the 2010 violence*;
  • Socio-economic situation of ethnic minorities;
  • Public and political participation of ethnic groups;
  • Access to education in minority languages*; and
  • Stateless persons and asylum-seekers.

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Mauritania

While recognizing the State party’s legislation on criminalizing slavery, the Committee remained concerned about the lack of a definition of racial discrimination fully in line with the Convention. The Committee urged the State party to revise its new law on the criminalization of discrimination to bring it into full conformity with the Convention. The State party was encouraged to adopt special measures for vulnerable communities under ICERD including Haratin and ratify ILO Convention 189 on domestic workers. The Committee remained concerned regarding the absence of court cases on racial discrimination and the continued practices of slavery. The State party was requested to provide information on the progress in implementing the roadmap to combat slavery and the measures undertaken to address multiple forms of racial discrimination against women who belong to minority groups. The Committee enquired about the cases of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed and Oumar Ould Beibacar and urged the State party to protect human rights defenders and civil society actors who carry out activities against racial discrimination and slavery. Further questions were asked regarding the role of human rights education in eradicating slavery and the access to education for the descendants of slavery. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting (English/ French). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistical data;
  • New law on the criminalization of discrimination*;
  • Domestic application of the Convention;
  • Discrimination against Haratins and people of African-descent;
  • Fight against slavery and slavery practices;
  • Promotion of the Pular, Soninké and Wolof national languages;
  • Gender dimension of racial discrimination ;
  • Discrimination in the transmission of nationality;
  • Situation of Mauritanian refugees repatriated from Senegal*;
  • Humanitarian liabilities of the events of 1989/1991;
  • Data on cases of racial discrimination; and
  • Non-governmental organizations and human rights associations*.

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Nepal

The Committee welcomed the State party’s ratification to conventions and protocol to protect the vulnerable population, as well as its further measures to ensure the implementation. Yet, the Committee remained concerned primarily with the situation of Dalit and indigenous peoples. The Committee regretted that the State party has not updated its core document since 1994 and urged the State party to ratify the Conventions on migrant workers and enforced disappearances and withdraw reservations under ICERD. The State party was requested to provide more data on Dalits’ socio-economic status, the number of complaints filed under the Caste-based Discrimination and Untouchability Act, special measures and quotas for minority and indigenous women, as well as the indigenous rights defenders in prison. The Committee expressed its concerns with the lack of complaints on caste-based discrimination, reports of violence against inter-caste couples, and high maternity mortality of Dalit women. Concerns were also raised regarding the criminalization of cow slaughter and eviction and displacement of indigenous peoples. The State party was asked to provide further information on its progress in recognizing land ownership of indigenous peoples, especially indigenous women. The State party was further encouraged to enhance the representation of Dalit and indigenous women in the public sector and law enforcement, properly address racist hate speech and hate crimes, and ensure non-discriminatory provision of earthquake relief and equal access of education for Dalit and indigenous groups. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Domestic application of the Convention;
  • Definition and criminalisation of racial discrimination;
  • National human rights institutions*;
  • Acts of racial discrimination;
  • Segregation;
  • Racist hate speech and hate crimes;
  • Reservation and declaration;
  • Access to earthquake relief*;
  • Indigenous peoples;
  • Education;
  • Trafficking in persons and slavery;
  • Landlessness;
  • Caste-based occupational specialisation;
  • Citizenship;
  • Dalit women; and
  • Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

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Peru

The Committee commends the 2017 National Censuses which for the first time included ethnic-racial variable on the basis of self-identification. Yet, the Committee was concerned with the reliability of statistical data since the variable had not been systematically introduced in data collection by various institutions; the Committee also regrets the insufficiency of data regarding the Roma. The State party was urged to include in its legislation an explicit definition of racial discrimination in line with ICERD; the State party was also invited to ratify ILO Conventions on indigenous peoples and domestic workers, and adopt equal opportunity law as part of special measures. The Committee asked for further information regarding investigations on arbitrary use of force against protesters, especially those belonging to the indigenous community. Concerns were also raised regarding the participation of indigenous peoples, especially indigenous women, in prior consultations for corporate activities concerning their rights. The State party was enquired about its measures addressing illegal mining and mercury pollution and accountability of private companies for human rights violations of the indigenous peoples. The Committee also raised concern about continuous structural discrimination suffered by Afro-Peruvians who are not recognized in law as a distinct group. The State party was encouraged to study CERD General Recommendations No.35 on racist hate speech and address derogatory expressions in media such as “Paisana Jacinta” and “Negro Mama”. The State party was further recommended to take measures to advance the situation of indigenous and Afro-descendant women in education, employment and decision-making process, to strengthen protection of human rights defenders, especially indigenous land rights defenders, and to improve the access to health, employment and education for migrants and asylum-seekers. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistical data;
  • Legislative measures;
  • Institutional measures;
  • Structural discrimination;
  • Afro-Peruvian population;
  • Lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples;
  • Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation or in initial contact;
  • Prior consultation;
  • Human rights defenders and leaders of indigenous and Afro-Peruvian peoples*;
  • Use of force*;
  • Forced sterilization*;
  • Working conditions;
  • Political participation;
  • Education;
  • Multiple forms of discrimination against women;
  • Situation of migrants;
  • Access to justice; and
  • Racial stereotypes.

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Saudi Arabia

While commending the State party’s efforts in combating trafficking in persons, the Committee acquired more detailed data on the ethnic composition of the population, including non-citizens, from the State party. The Committee urged the State party to withdraw reservations to the Convention and to ensure that its domestic law is in compliance with the Convention. The Committee also invited the State party to ratify ICCPR, ICESCR, ILO Convention 189, as well as Conventions on migrant workers and refugees. The Committee welcomed the amendment to grant the National Human Rights Commission more independence but encouraged the State party to further strengthen the NHRI in compliance with the Paris Principles. The Committee also raised concerns regarding the over-representation of migrants in the prison population and urged the State party to strengthen its protective measures to address abuses and ensure freedom of religion of migrant workers. Further concerns were raised regarding the impact of legal provisions to prohibit hate crimes and hate speech; derogatory expressions on ethnic and religious minorities in media and education; and poverty among marginalized groups, notably persons of Asian and African descent. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Reservations to the Convention;
  • Statistical data;
  • National human rights commission;
  • Prohibition of racial discrimination;
  • Racist hate speech and hate crimes;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination;
  • Migrant workers;
  • Domestic workers*;
  • Access to justice of migrant workers;
  • Freedom of religion*;
  • Situation of ethnic minorities;
  • Situation of minority women;
  • Nationality rights;
  • Special measures;
  • Refugees and asylum seekers;
  • Trafficking in persons; and
  • Training courses on racial discrimination.

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Sweden

While recognizing the State party’s renewed measures to combat racial discrimination and racism, the Committee remained concerned with the capacity of the Anti-Discrimination Act, which awaits to be strengthened. Referring to the recommendation from the Human Rights Committee (CCPR), the Committee urged the State party to ensure the enforcement of law against racist hate speech. Referring to the CCPR and ECRI recommendation, the Committee urged the State party to establish an independent national human rights institution (NHRI) and provide channels of communications for the discriminated communities. The State party was requested to provide disaggregated data on representation of ethnic minorities and indigenous people in the public services and judiciary. The Committee expressed concerns about the lack of data on convictions of hate crimes, especially those with intersecting natures of racism, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and other grounds. The State party was also asked to clarify its efforts on countering anti-Black racism and anti-Muslim racism and its plan on implementing the DDPA and the Decade for People of African-Descent. Concern was also raised regarding the counter-terrorism measures disproportionately applied to minority groups, as well as the insufficient condemnations of racist organizations. Also concerned about the land rights of indigenous Saami people impacted by extractive activities, the Committee urged the State party to implement protective measures on indigenous Saami rights including ensuring the principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) for industrial activities, respecting the bilateral agreement and guaranteeing protection from predators. The State party was also enquired about the forced evictions of Roma and remedial actions. Further issues regarding violence against migrant and minority women and education of slavery and colonialism were raised. Read more (English/ French). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistics;
  • Equality Ombudsman;
  • National human rights institution*;
  • Racist hate speech and violence;
  • Racist and extremist organizations;
  • Special measures;
  • Rights of Sami indigenous people*;
  • Anti-Muslim racism*;
  • Counter-terrorism;
  • Anti-Black racism;
  • Roma; and
  • Police profiling.

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Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure

Philippines: The Committee adopted a decision  on the listing of indigenous leaders and defenders in the “terrorist” list. The list includes the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Ms. Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, and other former UN independent experts. It urges the State party to remove indigenous leaders and defenders as well as other human rights defenders from the list, and provide an enabling environment for those human rights defenders. Furthermore, it invites the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to draw the attention of the ASEAN to the dire situation on the human rights of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. It calls on the President of the UN Human Rights Council to  to address and follow up on the situation.

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Israel: The Committee adopted a statement  on the disproportionate use of force displayed by the Israeli Security Forces (ISF) against Palestinian demonstrators. It raises concerns on the denial of the access to urgent medial treatment for the injured, the absence of accountability mechanisms, increasing racist hate speech against Palestinians and the lack of independent investigation. It urges the State party to put an immediate end to the disproportionate use of force against Palestinian demonstrators in the Gaza strip, and ensure  access to medical treatment to injured Palestinian; initiate an impartial and independent investigation; and ensure that all Palestinians under its effective control enjoy full rights under the Convention without discrimination.

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