UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Source description last updated: 23 August 2018
In brief: The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is a United Nations body of independent experts that considers reports submitted by UN member states on their compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
Coverage on ecoi.net:
State reports, concluding observations as well as NGO reports and reports of national human rights institutions.
Covered monthly on ecoi.net, for countries of priorities A--C.
“The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination by its State parties.” (CERD Website, Monitoring racial equality and non-discrimination, undated)
It “was established in 1970 under the terms of article 8 of the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. CERD was the first treaty body to be established.” (CERD Website, Working Methods, undated)
“States parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and promoting understanding among all races” (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 21 December 1965)
“The treaty bodies perform a number of functions aimed at monitoring how the treaties are being implemented by States parties. All treaty bodies are mandated to receive and consider reports submitted regularly by State parties detailing their implementation of the treaty provisions in the country concerned. They issue guidelines to assist States with the preparation of their reports, elaborate general comments interpreting the treaty provisions and organize discussions on themes related to the treaties.” (OHCHR: Fact Sheet No. 30, The United Nations Human Rights Treaty System - An introduction to the core human rights treaties and the treaty bodies, undated, p. 24)
“In addition to the reporting procedure, the Convention establishes three other mechanisms through which the Committee performs its monitoring functions: the early-warning procedure, the examination of inter-state complaints and the examination of individual complaints. […] The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as general recommendations (or general comments), on thematic issues and organizes thematic discussions.” (CERD Website, Monitoring racial equality and non-discrimination)
UN budget
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: all States parties
Thematic focus: various forms of and state action against racial discrimination (policies, legislation and jurisdiction, incitement of racial hatred and acts of racial discrimination, public education to promote understanding and tolerance)
“[…] B. The Committee's relations with national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations: (a) Accredited national human rights institutions, on the one hand, and non-governmental organizations, on the other hand, may provide information on issues relating to the consideration of reports of States parties […]
D. Early-warning measures and urgent procedures. The Committee may decide to set up a working group to consider the status of implementation of its decisions and recommendations under the early-warning measures and urgent procedures and to make suggestions in this respect.
[…] G. Reports of States parties. In order to facilitate the work of the Committee, States parties are once again requested to ensure that the reports correspond strictly to the provisions of the Convention and that they are drafted in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Committee. States parties are invited to submit reports that are as succinct and concise as possible.
H. Presence of the delegation of the State party. The relevance and effectiveness of the dialogue that the Committee holds with States parties concerning the reports before it are reinforced by the presence of a delegation whose members have competence in the matters covered in the report and, in general, for the implementation of the Convention. […]
I. Introductory presentation by the State party's representative. The representative of the State party, when introducing the report to be considered, is invited to draw the Committee's attention to the most important aspects of the document and also to provide additional information concerning new data or aspects that are not reflected in the report, concentrating on matters relating to the Committee's mandate. This presentation should not exceed 30 minutes.
J. Action of country rapporteurs. The country rapporteurs, in presentations that should also not exceed 30 minutes, must highlight aspects relevant to the fulfilment of the obligations arising under the Convention, and also those where shortcomings or deficiencies are apparent. They will also put questions aimed at supplementing the information received and ensuring greater clarity or precision with respect to the information received. These questions may be conveyed to the State party beforehand. […]
M. The Committee's concluding observations. The members of the Committee are advised to review carefully the draft concluding observations presented by the country rapporteur and to pass on their amendments or suggestions to the rapporteur, who is responsible for revising the text. […]
N. Written comments by the State party. Under article 9 of the Convention, States parties are entitled to make comments on the suggestions or recommendations made by the Committee after the consideration of the report concerned, and such comments must be included in the annual report of the Committee to the General Assembly.
T. Missions by members of the Committee to States parties. The members of the Committee stand ready to undertake missions to States parties, with the consent of the Government of the State party concerned, in order to assist where their presence would be useful in facilitating better implementation of the Convention.”
(CERD Website, Working Methods, undated)
Languages of publications:
English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese
Further reading / links:
OHCHR – Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Fact Sheet No. 30, The United Nations Human Rights Treaty System - An introduction to the core human rights treaties and the treaty bodies, undated
All links accessed 23 August 2018.
All documents available on ecoi.net from this source