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UN: CERD adopted concluding observations of Albania, Honduras, Iraq, Norway, Qatar and the Republic of Korea

Date : 2018.12.14

On the 14th of December, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) concluded its 97th session. At the session, the CERD adopted concluding observations on Albania, Honduras, Iraq, Norway, Qatar and the Republic of Korea. *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 . During the 97th session, the Committee held the informal meeting with States parties .

The Committee issued letters to the Governments of AustraliaCanada, France, Guyana, India and Papua New Guinea under its Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure.

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Albania

The Committee welcomed the recent adoption of the Law for the Protection of National Minorities, the National Action Plan for the Integration of Roma and Egyptians 2016-2020, criminalisation of hate speech and the prohibition on establishing racist organisations. The Committee regretted the absence of its national human rights institution in the examination in Geneva, despite its A status. The Committee requested statistics such as on prosecution of hate speech including by public and political figures, population of migrants and refugeesminorities in the prison population, and minority representation in politics and media. The Committee asked a number of questions concerning the justice system including the recognition of racial discrimination as an aggravating circumstance to crime and the reversal of burden of proof. The Committee inquired about the human rights training for judiciary and law enforcement including on the prevention of racial profiling. The Committee was concerned by the situation of minorities including enforced disappearances, statelessness, child, early and forced marriage and forced evictions of Roma. The Committee noted with concerns that the State party’s report failed to address multiple forms of discrimination and court cases on racial discrimination. Read more (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistics;
  • Application of the Convention in domestic legislation;
  • Implementation of domestic legislation*;
  • National institutional framework;
  • Hate speech;
  • Criminalising racist organisations;
  • Roma and Egyptians;
  • Independence of the judiciary*;
  • Civil registration;
  • Housing*;
  • Trafficking in persons; and
  • Asylum seekers.

Honduras

While the Committee welcomed the State party’s “Living Better Platform” programmes and recent establishment of the National Council on Protection of human rights defenders, it expressed concerns on the situation of human rights defenders belonging to Afro-Honduran and indigenous community, including the trend of criminalisation of those defending land rights. In addition, the Committee inquired how due process was respected for the case of Berta Cáceres. The Committee raised concerns on the discrimination against Afro-Hondurans and indigenous peoples in their enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, especially the rights to education, health and housing, as well as impacts of violence in the country. The Committee asked the State party whether the draft law on Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) incorporated the recommendations from the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples. The situation of migrants drew the Committee’s attention, in particular Afro-Hondurans and indigenous peoples joining the Migrant Caravan to the U.S.-Mexico boarder. The Committee encouraged the State party to strengthen its national human rights institution to receive A status. The Committee requested for information on training for judiciary, law enforcement and other public officials for the protection of minorities and indigenous peoples. Disaggregated data on population and statistics on outcomes of cases of racist hate speech and human rights violations against Afro-Hondurans and indigenous peoples were requested. The Committee requested for further information on outcomes of national action plans against racial discrimination and human trafficking. The Committee raised a concern on the reports of multiple forms of discrimination against LGBTI persons belonging to indigenous and Afro Honduran communities in employment. Read more (EnglishFrench). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Application of the Convention;
  • Statistics;
  • Legislative measures;
  • National Commissioner for Human Rights;
  • Institutional strengthening;
  • Structural discrimination;
  • Prior consultation*;
  • Lands, territories and natural resources*;
  • Development of economic projects;
  • Human rights defenders*;
  • La Mosquitia;
  • Identity documents;
  • Right to health;
  • Right to education;
  • Political participation;
  • Multiple forms of discrimination;
  • Access to justice; and
  • Fight against racial prejudice.

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Iraq

Although the Committee recognised the State party’s measures to combat racial discrimination including the introduction of quotas in the Parliament for minorities to increase their political participation and ongoing legislative reform for the protection of ethnic and religious minorities including Yazidis, Christians and Turkmens, the Committee encouraged the State party to take further actions including the collection of disaggregated data of population. The Committee asked the State party about the role of its national human rights institution in tackling racial discrimination as well as to strengthen the NHRI to receive A status. The situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) raised the Committee’s concerns including violence against refugee and IDP women. The Committee requested for data on the enforcement of the criminal and labour codes‘ provisions on racial discrimination, and the law against human trafficking. The Committee inquired on protection measures for migrant workers including migrant domestic workers from abuses. The State party was asked to provide concrete information on how black Iraqis can enjoy their human rights without discrimination such as their rights to education, employment and health care. The situation of refugees drew the Committee’s attention including the principle of non-refoulement, the ratification of 1961 Refugee Convention, and measures against racist hate speech. The Committee inquired on the access to education in minority languages in addition to Kurdish as well as human rights education to combat racial discrimination. Read more (EnglishFrench). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistics;
  • Convention in domestic legal order;
  • Anti-discrimination legislation;
  • National human rights institution;
  • Hate crimes and hate speech;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination;
  • The situation of ethnic and ethno-religious groups in the context of the armed conflict;
  • Minorities in the disputed territories*;
  • Protection of minority languages;
  • Minority women*;
  • Minorities in public and political life;
  • People of African descent;
  • Roma;
  • Migrant workers;
  • Citizenship*;
  • Refugees and internally displaced persons; and
  • Training, education and other measures to combat prejudice and intolerance.

 

Norway

While the Committee welcomed the State party’s efforts to combat racial discrimination such as the adoption of national strategy to combat hate speech, the enactment of the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Act, designing of a national action plan against racism, the Committee remained concerned on the lack of disaggregated data of population. The State party was asked for information on the domestic application of the Convention and court cases on racial discrimination. The Committee raised concerns on racist hate speech and hate crimes in the country including hate speech by politicians, and it asked the State party about measures via awareness-raising, education, and the prohibitions of racist organisations. The representation of indigenous Sami peoples and minorities in the judiciary and law enforcement was inquired. The situation of indigenous Sami peoples drew the Committee’s attention, in particular their rights to ancestral land and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), fishing rights of Sea Sami, and rights of East Sami. In addition, the Committee expressed concerns on higher rate of violence against women in the Sami community compared to non-Sami. Racial discrimination in employment against migrants and minorities including Roma and Tatars was raised by the Committee as a concern. The Committee inquired about the access to justice, education and media for minorities in their own languages including Kvens. The Committee asked the State party’s plan on the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent. Concern was raised on the the limited access to health care for transgender people without permanent resident status including refugees. The Committee expressed concerns on the State party’s practice on returning unaccompanied minors of asylum seekers once they reach 18 years old. Read more (EnglishFrench). NGO meeting (English/ French). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistics;
  • Anti-discrimination legal framework;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination;
  • Hate crimes*;
  • Hate speech*;
  • Prohibition of organizations that promote racial discrimination;
  • Discrimination in accessing the labor market*;
  • Situation of ethnic minorities;
  • Situation of Sami*;
  • Situation of Roma and Taters;
  • Situation of Kven people; and
  • Situation of asylum seeking minors.

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Qatar

Although the Committee acknowledged that the State party had taken a number of measures on human rights such as the National Action Plan for Human Rights and putting its national human rights institution of A-status in place, it encouraged the State party to establish a National Mechanism for Reporting and Follow-up (NMRF), recognise the Committee’s competence to receive individual communications, collect disaggregated data of population, and adopt anti-discrimination law in line with the Convention. The Committee inquired about the domestic application of the Convention as well as the definition of racial discrimination. The State party was asked how it ensures access to justice for migrants with proper interpretation and other services. In addition, information on court cases and the reversal of burden of proof for racial discrimination was requested. The Committee was especially concerned by the situation of migrants/ migrant workers such as labour exploitation, restriction on changing a workplace, segregation and poor housing conditions, detention of migrant children and pregnant women, and physical and sexual abuses of domestic workers. The State party was urged to amend the nationality law to allow Qatari mothers married to foreign fathers to pass the Qatari nationality to their children. The Committee requested the State party for statistics on asylum-seekers and refugees and information on the implementation of the principle of non-refoulement. The State party was encouraged to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The State party was asked to provide further information on stateless people, the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, and the situation of human rights defenders working against racial discrimination. Read more (EnglishFrench). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Statistics;
  • Legal framework for combating racial discrimination;
  • National Human Rights Committee*;
  • Complaints of racial discrimination and access to justice;
  • Racist hate speech and hate crimes;
  • Migrant workers*;
  • Migrant domestic workers;
  • Situation of minority women;
  • Situation of naturalized citizens;
  • Situation of non-citizens;
  • Nationality rights;
  • Statelessness;
  • Refugees and asylum seekers;
  • Civil society organizations; and
  • Human Rights Training.

 

Republic of Korea

The Committee welcomed the State party’s efforts in the field of human rights such as the 2nd National Action Plan for Human Rights and hosting the national human rights institution with A status. The Committee was encouraged by the State party’s intention to enact a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, as the current legal framework falls short in addressing racist organisations and racist hate speech both offline and online. The Committee requested the State party for information on sanctions against political and public figures for inciting racial hatred. In addition, the Committee inquired about domestic application of the Convention and the definition of racial discrimination. The Committee was particularly concerned by the human rights situation of migrants/ migrant workers such as labour exploitation, their enjoyment of the access to social protection, access to justice, right to form and join trade union, the absence of universal birth registration and stateless children, and immigration detention especially of women and children. The Committee inquired about the protection of migrant women from multiple forms of discrimination including their access to employee benefits and vulnerable status in marriage. The situation of migrant children also drew the Committee’s attention such as crackdowns before and after primary and secondary schools. The State party was asked to provide disaggragated data of population including prison population. The Committee raised concerns on the negative impacts of the State party’s “Multicultural Family Support” programme in the portrayal of migrants in media, and in the society as a whole. The Committee expressed concerns on the situation of asylum seekers and refugees – asylum seekers with humanitarian status are made vulnerable due to unstable visa status. The Committee expressed concerns on reports that the quality of refugee status determination process is not consistent including interpretation services. The Committee requested the State party to provide detailed information of settlement of refugees from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Concerning human trafficking, the Committee asked the State party to provide data on prosecution of perpetrators and access to justice for victims. Read more (EnglishFrench). NGO meeting (EnglishFrench). In its concluding observations , the Committee issued recommendations concerning following areas:

  • Legislation and definition of racial discrimination;
  • Racist hate speech;
  • Migrant workers;
  • Refugees and asylum-seekers;
  • Undocumented migrants*;
  • Protection of foreign women;
  • “Marriage migrants” and “multicultural families”;
  • Trafficking in persons;
  • Birth registration*;
  • Access to education; and
  • Access to social security.

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Early Warning and Urgent Action Procedure

 Australia: The Committee issued a letter  to the State party to alert that the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) for the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project might not have been conducted in a good faith. Australia is asked to consider suspending the Project until free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is obtained from all indigenous peoples, including the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council. The Committee also encourages the State party to engage with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP).

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Canada: Concerning the all cases below, the Committee encourages the State party to engage with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP), in addition to measures specific to each case.

  • The Committee sent a letter  to the State party to share its concerns on the allegations that the announcement and development of the “Recognition and Implementation of Indigenous Rights Framework” have been carried out without consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from indigenous peoples. The State party is asked to provide information on the steps taken to: ensure the respect of the right to consultation and FPIC regarding the adoption of the Framework, or any new policy, legal and institutional framework on indigenous peoples’ right; and adopt a national action plan to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • The Committee issued a letter  to the State party to express its concerns on the Site C dam and its impact on affected indigenous peoples in the Province of British Columbia. The Committee is concerned by the alleged lack of measures taken to ensure the indigenous peoples’ right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) with regard to the Site C dam. The State party is requested to provide information on the steps taken to suspend the Site C dam until FPIC is obtained, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult.
  • The Committee sent a letter  to the State party concerning the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project and its impact on the indigenous people Secwepemc. The State party is requested to provide information on the steps taken to ensure the respect of the Secwepemc people’s right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent, in relation to the Project.

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_France: The Committee sent a letter  to the State party concerning the mining project “Montagne d’Or” and its impact on the indigenous peoples of French Guiana. The State party is asked to: ensure the right to consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) to all indigenous peoples affected by the project, including the realization of a social and environmental impact assessment with them; and consider the suspension of the Montagne d’Or project until FPIC is obtained from all the affected indigenous peoples, following the full and adequate discharge of the duty to consult. The Committee also encourages the State party to engage with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP).

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_Guyana: The Committee issued a follow-up letter  to the State party to express its concerns on the allegations that the draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment on the mining project at Marudi Mountain was completed without the full participation of Wapichan indigenous people. Guyana is requested to consider revoking the Assessment and suspend the mining project until free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is granted by the Wapichan indigenous people. The Committee also encourages the State party to engage with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP).

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_India: The Committee sent a letter  concerning the situation of the Rohingya in the State party who have reportedly been the target of hate speech and violence in India, including calls for deportation to Myanmar. The Committee is also concerned about the conditions of detention camps for migrants as well as the decision of the Supreme Court which indicates Rohingya may have to return to Myanmar. India is requested to respect the principle of non-refoulement and ensure sufficient capacity to replace detention camps by reception facilities, providing adequate shelter, basic services, and humanitarian assistance including effective access to health-care services.

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Papua New Guinea: The Committee sent a follow-up letter  to the State party to reiterate concerns on the use of Special Agricultural Business Leases (SABLs) for logging and large-scale plantation on indigenous peoples land. The State party is requested to provide information on the measures taken to implement the recommendations contained in the Committee’s previous and present letters on the use of SABLs.

 

 

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