Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 19 August 2005
67TH SESSION 2-19 AUGUST 2005
DECISION ON FOLLOW UP PROCEDURE TO THE DECLARATION ON PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE
INDICATORS OF SYSTEMATIC AND MASSIVE PATTERNS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
At its sixty-sixth session the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination adopted the Declaration on Prevention of Genocide for the consideration of the States Parties to the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the UN Secretary General and his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide as well as the Security Council. In this declaration, the Committee committed itself to (1) developing a special set of indicators related to genocide, and (2) strengthening and refining its early warning and urgent action as well as follow-up procedures in all situations where indicators suggest the increased possibility of violent conflict and genocide.
Taking into account that systematic discrimination, disregard or exclusion are often among the root causes of conflict, the present decision intends to strengthen the capacity of the Committee to detect and prevent at the earliest possible stage developments in racial discrimination that may lead to violent conflict and genocide.
The following key indicators may serve as a tool for the Committee when examining the situation in a State party under one of its procedures to assess the existence of factors known to be important components of situations leading to conflict and genocide. If one or more of the following indicators are present, this should be clearly stated in the concluding observations or decision, and the Committee shall recommend that the State party within a fixed deadline report to the Committee under the follow-up procedure as to what it intends to do to ameliorate the situation.
In the following list of indicators, the word “group”shall cover racial, ethnic and religious groups.
1. Lack of a legislative framework and institutions to prevent racial discrimination and provide recourse to victims of discrimination;
2. Systematic official denial of the existence of particular distinct groups;
3. The systematic exclusion – in law or in fact – of groups from positions of power, employment in State institutions and key professions such as teachers, judges and police;
4. Compulsory identification against the will of members of particular groups including the use of identity cards indicating ethnicity;
5. Grossly biased versions of historical events in school text books and other education materials as well as celebration of historical events which exacerbate tensions between groups and peoples;
6. Policies of forced removal of children belonging to ethnic minorities with the purpose of complete assimilation;
7. Policies of segregation, direct and indirect, for example separate schools and housing areas;
8. Systematic and widespread use and acceptance of speech or propaganda promoting hatred and/or inciting violence against minority groups, particularly in the media;
9. Grave statements by political leaders/prominent people that express support for affirmation of superiority of a race or an ethnic, dehumanization and demonisation of minorities, or condone or justify violence against a minority;
10. Violence or severe restrictions targeting minority groups perceived to have traditionally maintained a prominent position, for example as business elites or in political life and State institutions;
11. Serious patterns of individual attacks on members of minorities by private citizens which appear to be principally motivated by the victim’s membership of that group;
12. Development and organization of militia groups and/or extreme political groups based on a racist platform;
13. Significant flows of refugees and internally displaced persons, especially when those concerned belong to specific ethnic or religious groups;
14. Significant disparities in socio-economic indicators evidencing a pattern of serious racial discrimination;
15. Policies aimed at the prevention of delivery of essential services or assistance including obstruction for aid delivery, access to food, water, sanitation or essential medical supplies in certain regions or targeting specific groups.
As these indicators may be present in States not moving towards violence or genocide, the assessment of their significance for the purpose of predicting genocide or violence against identifiable racial, ethnic or religious groups should be supplemented by consideration of the following subset of general indicators:
1. Prior history of genocide or violence against a group;
2. Policy or practice of impunity;
3. Existence of pro-active communities abroad fostering extremism and/orproviding arms;
4. Presence of external mitigating factors such as the UN or other recognised invited third parties.
2. Follow-up and early warning and urgent action procedures.
When receiving information in between sessions of CERD about grave incidents of racial discrimination covered by one or more of the ICERD relevant indicators, the Chairperson of the working group on early warning/urgent action in consultation with its members and with the follow-up coordinator and the Chairperson of the Committee, may take the following action:
• Request further urgent information from the State party;
• Forward the information to the Secretary General and his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide;
• Prepare a decision to be submitted for adoption by the Committee at its next session;
• Adopt a decision in the session in the light of the most recent developments and action taken by other international organizations.
Genocide Watch is the Coordinator of the International Alliance to End Genocide P.O. Box 809, Washington, D.C. 20044 USA. Phone: 1-202-643-1405 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org