Economic and SocialDistr.
15 February 1996

Fifty-second session
Provisional agenda item 12


Report by Mr. Maurice Glélé-Ahanhanzo, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1993/20 and 1995/12


1. This report is submitted in compliance with resolution 1995/12 of 24 February 1995 in which the Commission on Human Rights requested the Special Rapporteur to continue to examine in accordance with his mandate incidents of contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, any form of discrimination against Blacks, Arabs and Muslims, xenophobia, negrophobia, anti­Semitism and related intolerance, as well as governmental measures to overcome them, and to report on those matters to the Commission at its fifty­second session.

2. The Commission also requested the Special Rapporteur to continue his exchange of views with the relevant mechanisms and treaty bodies within the United Nations system in order further to enhance their effectiveness and mutual cooperation. It also called on all Governments, intergovernmental organizations and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system, as well as non-governmental organizations, to supply information to the Special Rapporteur.


A. Participation in the work of the fiftieth session of the General Assembly

3. At the request of the Commission, the Special Rapporteur participated in the work of the fiftieth session of the General Assembly during which he submitted a substantial report (A/50/476). It will be sufficient to mention that, for the first time since the end of apartheid, following the statement by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of racism and racial discrimination, the General Assembly opened a substantive debate on those matters and numerous representatives of Member States of the United Nations voiced their concern over racism and racial discrimination and over the resurgence of xenophobia, under cover of law and legislation.

4. The General Assembly expressed its full support for the mandate of the Special Rapporteur in the resolution that it adopted at the close of the debate (resolution 50/135).

B. Meeting with the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance

5. One of the tasks of the Special Rapporteur is to consult with intergovernmental bodies to prevent actions giving rise to racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (resolution 1995/12, para. 12). In that context the Special Rapporteur went to Strasbourg on 29 September 1995, to Human Rights House, where he had a working meeting with the Bureau of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

6. The Commission explained to the Special Rapporteur the mission assigned to it by the Vienna Summit of Heads of State and Governments of Member States of the Council of Europe in October 1993. Its main thrust concerns the strengthening of safeguards against all forms of discrimination.

7. The Commission has already established a programme of activities comprising various fields of action, the first of which consists of the study of the situation of each member country of the Council of Europe, the second of work on international legal instruments and the third of the international dimension in the fight against racism and intolerance.

8. During 1995, following consideration of the situation country by country, the Commission began to formulate recommendations involving both legal and non­legal measures intended for the countries concerned on the subject of international legal instruments. It concentrated particularly on the European Convention on Human Rights by carrying out work focusing on the feasibility of strengthening the non­discrimination clause in that Convention.

9. The Special Rapporteur, for his part, outlined the mandate entrusted to him by the Commission and expressed his wish to work in close cooperation with the European Commission, in particular through the regular exchange of information. He briefly referred to the tour he was making in Europe at that time (to Germany and France) and requested some additional items of information on the situation of certain member countries of the Council of Europe.

10. The Special Rapporteur and the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance mutually agreed to keep each other informed of any developments in Europe and within the United Nations in connection with combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance.

C. Consultations with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

11. The Special Rapporteur went to the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 5 October 1995 in order to consider the scope for cooperation with the organization and to acquaint himself with its work to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. This brought home to him that UNESCO was attentively following the implementation of the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination and had, in that connection, organized several seminars and conferences that had given rise to publications. The following may be mentioned by way of example:

An international seminar of experts on the prevention of discrimination against migrants, refugees and minorities, held at Olympia, Greece, in May 1994;

The Conference on Democracy and Tolerance, held at Seoul in September 1994.

12. The Special Rapporteur said that such work would be very useful to him and invited UNESCO to refer also to the various reports he had submitted to the Commission on Human Rights and to the General Assembly, and to consider practical measures to introduce the teaching of human rights as a subject in the curricula of preschool, school, non­formal and university education, with a view to progressively putting an end to racism and xenophobia.

D. Missions of the Special Rapporteur

13. During 1995, the Special Rapporteur visited in turn Brazil, Germany, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. His report on his mission to Brazil is available as document E/CN.4/1996/72/Add.1. Those on the missions to Germany, France and the United Kingdom, will, because of lack of resources and time constraints, be submitted later. Germany, France and the United Kingdom respectively submitted periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which will usefully supplement the information gathered during the missions, without duplicating it. That information can be summarized as follows.

1. Mission to Germany

14. The Special Rapporteur visited Germany from 18 to 27 September 1995. He wishes to convey his appreciation to the German Government for the thoroughness with which the visit was organized and for the outstanding hospitality with which he was received and which contributed greatly to the success of his mission. He was most gratified at the highly instructive and valuable exchanges of views he had with the people with whom he spoke and appreciated their responsiveness and availability, as well as their knowledge of the problems and their wish to arrive at satisfactory solutions which, in fact, were not always self­evident. However, it is to be regretted that a lawyer should have made a point of relating all issues - immigrants, right of asylum, holding centres, and so forth - to the Federal system and to the domestic law of Germany, as well as to the European Union, the prime objective of the German people, thus overlooking international law and the international conventions duly ratified by his country. The Special Rapporteur based his discussions on a principle and a virtue which he regards as essential: dialogue.

15. His German counterparts grasped the situation so well that they called him the "Ambassador for Human Rights" a title he welcomes and which he is keen to deserve fully since it is a noble calling. This attitude which was soon shared by both sides quickly dispelled the somewhat inquisitorial climate which characterized the start of his discussions, and greatly facilitated them.

16. Xenophobia exists in Germany. It is widely acknowledged that at the grass­roots level there is racism; hatred of foreigners is not directed against Europeans, Americans or Australians. Racism is based on skin colour and religion: people of Judaeo-Christian background and the rest. It is said that foreigners are tolerated, but not accepted.

17. It is appropriate to recall that German reunification was accompanied by a chorus of xenophobic sentiments encouraged by organizations of the far right and by neo-Nazi cells. Between 1991 and 1993 there was a plethora of incidents motivated by xenophobia or racism and targeting foreigners and asylum­seekers. While being mindful of the positive trend taken by events since 1994, the Special Rapporteur wished to look into the underlying causes of the phenomena observed and to acquaint himself with the measures taken by the Federal Government and by the authorities of the Länder and with what had been done by civil society.

18. Thanks to the firm and meticulous policy pursued by the Federal authorities and those of the Länder against political organizations of the far right and neo-Nazi cells and against the denial of the genocide of the Jews, Germany has been able to stem the tide of xenophobia and to curb the racially inspired violence which, following reunification, shook the country from 1991 to 1993.

19. According to information from the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, racial, anti-Semitic and xenophobic acts are on the decline; they fell by 60 per cent in 1994; in 1995, however, they remained a major factor: fires of criminal origin occurred in April, May and June 1995. Direct confrontation between the protagonists no longer takes place but racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic statements are made, and written material is sent, comprising insults or racist propaganda or incitements to hatred of foreigners coming from "anti-constitutional movements"; similarly, there are instances of damage to property. There is a great risk of becoming inured to these manifestations which are frequent and unspectacular. This is particularly the case, so it is said, since the perpetrators are not all identifiable and that it proves difficult to characterize such actions in legal terms: "It is not always clear what is racist, anti-Semitic or xenophobic".

20. There is a clear awareness of the danger for Germany of the development of xenophobia and racism which is likely to tarnish its image as a major Power in the world. Thus, the Special Rapporteur was often told: "We have not forgotten anything and we know we must behave in an exemplary fashion". As a result, great vigilance is shown towards the far right and neo-Nazism and there is a sustained offensive against anti­Semitism and xenophobia.

21. The Special Rapporteur was able to ascertain the progress achieved: legislation has been strengthened, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution monitors respect for rights and fundamental freedoms. Several organizations of the far right have been dissolved and the activities of neo­Nazi movements, in particular their racist and anti­Semitic propaganda, have been prohibited. Anti­Semitism is a taboo subject. Since it persists, the Government has spent about 10 million deutsche marks over two years in order to combat anti­Semitism in schools and other places of assembly (through advertising posters, computer games, and so forth). As a result of severe penalties and of improvements made to police training through the teaching of the principles of non­discrimination and inculcating awareness of non­racist attitudes, police violence is on the decrease. Moreover, the judgement in the Soligen case  sends an exemplary message and appears to act as a deterrent. Furthermore, Germany civil society, under the leadership of the Commissioners for Aliens, the churches, various associations and private firms, has conducted and continues to conduct intensive campaigns calling for respect for foreigners and coexistence with foreign populations and communities resident in Germany.

22. It remains for Germany to adopt a more coherent immigration and integration policy which takes account of the presence of long­established immigrants not as a transitory phenomenon but as a long­term and even permanent feature. In the main, this is a matter of the Turkish issue which is a difficult one which is complicated by intra­Turkish disputes connected with the question of the Kurds.

23. The Turks resident in Germany are the largest alien colony, numbering over 2 million out of 7 million foreigners in the country. This population is in its third generation: born, educated and trained in Germany, following the same school, university and vocational studies as people of German stock, the second and particularly the third generation of immigrants have in general no more than emotional ties with Turkey. On reaching their majority they discover that they are not German; they do not have German nationality. They are conscious of this, for example, on getting married and when submitting official documents. Few of them are integrated and have acquired German nationality; unlike foreigners from the European Union, they cannot take part in municipal elections. Up to the time of the Special Rapporteur's mission the question of dual nationality was not resolved. The German law, which is 82 years old, and the Turkish law, do not allow dual nationality. Agreements are currently being negotiated between the two States to determine a policy on dual nationality, which is something that would facilitate the "integration" of the Turks. But the difficulty remains that the latter, in general, want to have the status of "national minority" like the two other national minorities, the Danes and the Swabians.

24. Efforts still need to be made to change mental attitudes in favour of the acceptance of a multicultural German society, a matter that is being actively addressed by the Commissioners for Aliens. Efforts should also be made to improve the reception of asylum­seekers. The question is complicated by the European third State clause - and the flood of asylum­seekers from the former Yugoslavia and from the countries of Eastern Europe gives Germany the feeling that, more than any other European State, it is bearing the brunt of the burden of immigration.

25. The Special Rapporteur makes the following recommendations:

(a) Living conditions in the holding centres should be improved and the humanitarian aspect should be taken into account in the refoulement of irregular immigrants.

(b) A more humane solution than refoulement should be found, in particular, for Vietnamese and Mozambicans who were working under contract in the former German Democratic Republic and whom reunification did not take into account.

(c) Lastly, an anti­racist law against anti­Semitism and against xenophobia should be adopted.

26. In addition to his findings, the Special Rapporteur transmitted to the German Government allegations of incidents that may have been racially motivated. The observations of the German Government on this matter are annexed to this report (annex I).

27. The German Government also made observation on certain passages (paras. 144­148 and 150) of the Special Rapporteur's report to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session (A/50/476); those observations are reproduced below:

"The accounts of criminal acts in Germany in the Special Rapporteur's report are partly incorrect, incomplete or misleading. For example, the description of the case of arson in Mellendorf on 8 January 1995 is not consistent with the facts. The fire was actually caused by a technical defect. A politically motivated criminal act or terrorist attack can definitely be ruled out. The fire in mobile homes in Arsberg on 2 February 1995 was started by the occupants themselves to show their dissatisfaction with their living conditions.

"Some of the report's statistics require correction. The percentage of cases solved in Germany is higher than as stated in the report. It increased from 23.8 per cent in 1993 to 33.5 per cent in 1994. The Rapporteur's list of banned extreme right­wing organizations is incomplete. Since 1992, five have been banned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and six by the interior ministries of the Länder.

"The information on German criminal procedure and especially on the Priem case is inaccurate. Arnulf Priem was convicted by the Berlin regional court on 23 May 1995 not merely for illegally possessing weapons and racist propaganda material but for disparaging the State and constitutional institutions, using symbols of former Nazi organizations and keeping objects which contain such symbols, and for forming an armed gang and violating the Weapons Act. He was given a prison term of three years and six months and the judgement is final." 

28. The Special Rapporteur would nevertheless like to make some remarks on the handling of the information he receives or seeks, in particular the allegations of racist incidents.

29. The German Government has made observations which, at its request, have been brought to the attention of the General Assembly (A/50/476, para. 16). The German authorities expressed regret that no adversary procedure had been instituted making it possible to obtain the views of Governments on the racist or xenophobic incidents reported by non­governmental organizations or by certain Governments.

30. The Special Rapporteur would like to reiterate the observations he made in paragraph 17 of his report in document A/50/476 of 25 September 1995: "The Special Rapporteur wishes to draw attention to the administrative and financial constraints (relatively short deadlines for the preparation and submission of reports to the Commission and to the General Assembly, consultations with Governments, administrative secretariat and translation of documents ...) which make such a procedure impracticable in the immediate future. None of the recommendations about the means required for the proper execution of the mandate have been followed up. For the time being, the Special Rapporteur is trying to the best of his ability to inform Governments of the cases submitted to him". That is how he is proceeding. The responses of Governments are transmitted to the political authorities (see the case of the fire attack without warning on a woman of Turkish origin in the Land of Bade­Wurtemberg, a case which the Special Rapporteur submitted to the German authorities during his visit to Germany) and to relevant non­governmental organizations.

31. Rather than relying on political and administrative explanations - inquiries into racist or xenophobic incidents often run into the sand (those guilty are not found, there is no evidence) - the Special Rapporteur prefers to rely on judicial rulings, for which he has respect. The case of the seven Sudanese "asylum­seekers" which caused a stir in the Bundestag in Germany at the time of the Special Rapporteur's visit and which was referred to in his discussion with Members of Parliament during the working session that was arranged on 19 September 1995, is a revealing example of this. The great debate which should have been held in the Bundestag on 20 September 1995 did not take place as the case had been "deflated" by the press, which had established that they were "bogus asylum­seekers" who had been "rightly" refused entry.

32. As the Special Rapporteur pointed out at the recapitulatory meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bonn on 27 September, the replies provided give the impression that the only racist or xenophobic incidents or manifestations that are culpable are those that are spectacular and covered prominently by the media, whereas other incidents which occur on a daily basis are treated as inconsequential. Substantial efforts, however, are being made by the Government and by civil society progressively to reduce and even eliminate racism and racial discrimination.

2. Mission to France

33. The Special Rapporteur visited France from 29 September to 9 October 1995 after receiving information on the development of racism and xenophobia. He wishes to convey his deep appreciation to the French Government for having arranged this visit, for the quality of the hospitality received and for the spirit of cooperation displayed by its representatives.

34. In its reports for 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994, the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights noted the multiplication of racist and xenophobic incidents targeting immigrants and French people of foreign origin, particularly Arabs, and of anti­Semitic acts (desecration of cemeteries, graffiti, dissemination of publications). The Special Rapporteur received information on the measures taken by the French Government and on the development of the situation and makes the following observations.

35. France is experiencing problems with the integration of foreign populations or of French citizens of foreign origin (in particular from the Maghreb and from black Africa) and these are typified by the "difficult suburbs" on the periphery of several large cities. These suburbs, where there are concentrations of immigrant populations which seem to have been left behind by the process of development of French society, today exemplify tensions originating in the economic crisis and its corollary, social exclusion, a national identity crisis, ethno­cultural problems, discriminatory practices, particularly in the fields of employment and housing, and a degree of xenophobia in people's way of thinking.

36. The economic crisis on the one hand, and the identity crisis on the other, are aggravated by the claims of people of French stock to ascendency over naturalized French citizens and immigrants; hence the reference to the theme of national preference, with its xenophobic and even racist content, in political speeches.

37. The wave of xenophobia currently sweeping over France feeds on the attitudes adopted and declarations made for electioneering purposes by politicians, both on the right and on the left. It is not due solely to the far right which makes foreigners the scapegoats, particularly if they are Black, Arab or Muslim. Xenophobia in France is today sustained by the Pasqua Acts, which, it must not be forgotten, are laws of the French Republic. For France's image, and its moral responsibility, at the global level, in the history of the promotion and defence of human rights, the peremptorily enacted laws on immigration, the right of asylum and the forced repatriation of "illegal" entrants, constitute nothing less than an act of self­repudiation which calls to mind the words of Suetonius: "et propter vitam vivendi perdere causas" ["and in order to live their own life they lose their true reason for existence"]. The Special Rapporteur's interlocutors acknowledge moreover that the Pasqua Acts are difficult to apply and raise delicate problems of interpretation. Confirmation of this is provided by the paradoxical situation of French children one of whose parents is not of French nationality. The father may be expelled from France if he is deemed to be an illegal alien: families are separated. The procedure for obtaining French nationality now involves a veritable assault course. French nationality may be refused on such surprising grounds as that the applicant is "plump and ugly". There are increasingly frequent cases of this great country, which excels in much publicized humanitarian actions, making it increasingly difficult to obtain an entry visa into France for seriously ill people who demonstrably have the means to pay their hospital bills, meet the cost of their stay and return to their country of origin. Is humanitarian action selective, or is it worth being humane only in the glare of publicity? What has become of human dignity? One is tempted to ask.

38. It would be very helpful if the recommendations of the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights on the review of the Pasqua Acts were to be taken into account by the competent legislative and executive authorities. Some people consider that the National Consultative Commission should build on the celebrity it has acquired and go further, in the faithful discharge of its mission, by prevailing on those in power to take urgent measures to rectify and improve the battery of laws on immigration.

39. One of the principal problems to which a solution should be found that is more humane and more in keeping with the humanist ideal that France has taught and disseminated throughout the world and which has been one of the justifications of colonization which has called the people of other continents to "civilization", is the problem of the right of asylum, a right that is linked to the right of immigration which is all too easily characterized as clandestine. It raises the distressing and worrying issue of the holding centres at airports and seaports, and even in major cities such as Paris with the Centres of Vincennes and Nanterre, and the former Centre at the Palais de Justice in Paris, of sinister memory.

40. The Special Rapporteur also considers that xenophobia and the anti­Arab and anti­Muslim movements should be perceived in the light of the fundamental question of the place that Islam has acquired in French society. Islam is the second religion in France. How is that religion to thrive in all its dimensions in a society that belongs basically to a Judaeo­Christian culture, and in a secular State, in a "citizen's" republic as many people like to say, rather than a culturally pluralistic society of communities: cultural identity, cultural diversity, cultural complementarity, mutual cultural enrichment?

41. Will France accept, in the name of State secularism, Islamic schools in the same way as it accepts private Christian schools, subject to the same legislation and the same rules? These are all questions to which it was difficult to provide the Special Rapporteur with answers. The serious terrorist attacks of fundamentalist or integrist inspiration considerably complicated the situation. From this point of view it seems that France is facing not so much problems of economic and social development as a veritable crisis of society and civilization. It is this set of problems that prompts and feeds the wave of xenophobia that is sweeping across France and is directed in the main against people from the South while the construction of a greater Europe, which some people already regard as a fortress, continues.

42. The French authorities, and many individual voices, speak out to denounce and combat racism, the flood of aggressive xenophobia, and anti­Arab and anti­Muslim movements which are not due exclusively to the French far right. The public authorities and civil society have become aware of the danger of xenophobia and racism and of the sporadic manifestations of anti­Semitism.

43. Having taken the measure of these phenomena, the French authorities are endeavouring by strengthening anti-racist legislation, to reverse the trend. Justice is at work; in spite of its delays (cf. the Carpentras case: the desecration of a Jewish cemetery).  Justice is endeavouring, not without difficulty, to ensure respect for the rule of law and for the international conventions to which France is a party. In addition, economic and social measures are being taken (municipal policy as the Special Rapporteur was able to see it in Lyons and Marseilles) to facilitate the progressive integration of immigrant populations resident in France. Lastly, the call for tolerance and for respect for the dignity of one's fellow human beings, made by the religious communities and by various associations involved in the struggle for the rights and dignity of the individual, is steadily although slowly helping to bring about a change in attitudes.

44. A great deal remains to be done through systematic education in the rights of the individual, not through traditional civic education which the crisis of ideologies has emptied all content, but through an upsurge of French humanism to halt the deterioration in the image of the original homeland of human rights and the rights of the citizen.

45. By way of conclusion, the Special Rapporteur has recommended the French authorities:

(i) to revise the Pasqua Acts to make them more humane and more in keeping with the French ideal of human rights and with international conventions on the rights of the individual;

(ii) to be more generous in granting entry visas for people from the South, in particular for asylum­seekers and for people wishing to have medical treatment in France and who are able to afford it;

(iii) to expedite the procedure for examining the files of persons detained in holding centres and to bring about an improvement in living conditions there since even an ordinary prisoner has a right to human dignity; to make the conditions of expulsion less degrading for "illegal" entrants;

(iv) to study the feasibility of devising and disseminating a syllabus for the teaching of human rights on the basis of the agreed common ground of international declarations and conventions on the rights of the individual;

(v) lastly, to provide technical assistance and financial support for the holding of an international seminar on racism and xenophobia through partnership between the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights. The Special Rapporteur welcomes the fact that his recommendations have been heeded and that the idea of the seminar was relaunched at the start of 1996 by Mr. P. Bouchet, President of the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights.

3. Mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

46. The mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland took place from 13 to 24 November 1995, as agreed with the Government of that country.

47. The prevailing atmosphere was one of frank and open discussion which quickly dispelled memories of the opposition of a sector of the press which had wondered in 1994 what business the United Nations had getting involved.  The prevailing tone of the discussion prompted the British authorities at the conclusion of the mission to say that it had been useful.

48. The Special Rapporteur would like to convey his deep gratitude to the Government of the United Kingdom for arranging his visit, for the quality of the hospitality he received, and for the spirit of cooperation displayed by its representatives. He would like to say how much he appreciated the "British sportsmanship" which enabled him to visit the holding centre at Campsfield, to the north of London, and at Kidlington near Oxford, where immigrants suspected of being illegal entrants and asylum­seekers, who are increasingly regarded as "bogus", are held. He was able to form his own opinion on these holding centres which are tending to increase in number and which raise problems with respect to the rights and dignity of the individual, for a person, even when seeking work and/or seeking asylum, keeps his or her human dignity. He was pleased to have had useful meetings with municipal officials in London and in Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool who are endeavouring to improve race relations in their cities, and with officials of the national and regional offices of the Commission for Racial Equality. He also thanks the officials and representatives of the non­governmental organizations and of various ethnic minorities who agreed to see him and provided him with information.

49. Allegations received at the Centre for Human Rights referred to a multiplication of racist incidents in the United Kingdom due, in particular, to the activities of movements of the far right and to the behaviour of the police towards certain ethnic minorities. Jewish organizations had also informed the Special Rapporteur of the resurgence of anti­Semitic acts prompted by the propaganda of fundamentalist Islamic organizations and organizations of the far right.

50. The mission also took place after the consideration, in July 1995, by the Human Rights Committee of the fourth periodic report of the United Kingdom submitted in accordance with article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  The Committee expressed regret "concerning the failure to address adequately issues properly arising under article 26 of the Covenant". 

51. The Committee also expressed concern on a number of matters directly or indirectly related to the question of racism and racial discrimination. 

52. The Government of the United Kingdom acknowledges the existence of problems of racism and xenophobia and is trying to overcome them through legislative and administrative measures designed to eliminate economic and social disparities between the indigenous majority and the ethnic minorities. Government action is supplemented by that of local communities, churches, trade unions and numerous non­governmental associations and organizations.

53. The United Kingdom was in fact one of the first Member States of the United Nations to make a frontal attack on the problems that may arise from race relations. That country very early on adopted laws on the subject and created a Commission for Racial Equality responsible for supervising their implementation. The United Kingdom is seen as a multicultural society the epicentre of which remains the British nation which is not encroached on by the various ethnic and black minorities which have their own cultures but live under the laws of Britain.

54. Remarkable progress has been achieved during the 30 years of the policy of racial equality, but increasingly subtle forms of discrimination have emerged. Moreover, in recent years, the economic crisis and competition for increasingly scarce resources and jobs, as well as political activity by far right and neo­Nazi movements and parties, and violent action by the police against certain communities, have polarized social relations between rich and poor on the one hand, and between whites and blacks on the other. The term "blacks" is used in a political sense; it denotes the blacks and ethnic minorities of the United Kingdom; in ordinary speech the terms used are either "blacks" or "blacks and ethnic minorities". In these black communities racial riots, murders of racist origin and various more or less serious incidents have occurred.

55. The arrival of immigrants and asylum­seekers, in particular from the southern hemisphere, has accentuated the ambient xenophobia. The recent measures envisaged by the Government to check immigration and requests for asylum (severe restriction of entry visas, construction of new holding centres, establishment of a list of safe countries for the grant of the right of asylum, greater restrictions on the reunification of families) do not seem likely to relieve tensions. British universalism is increasingly tending to be reduced to the European Union and the original civilizing and humanist mission of the United Kingdom is being eroded. In order to provide for a fresh look at that mission, the Special Rapporteur has made the following recommendations to which the British authorities showed themselves to be responsive at the recapitulatory meeting on 24 November:

(i) Education for the acceptance of people different from oneself;

(ii) The training of members of the police force and the incorporation in the police of citizens from different ethnic communities;

(iii) The severe condemnation of police violence;

(iv) Conditions that are more respectful of human dignity in the holding centres and in cases of the refoulement or expulsion of "illegal entrants" and asylum­seekers;

(v) To review the law on incitement to racial hatred which is difficult to apply and seems to serve little purpose. To create a specific offence of racist harassment and violence and an offence of defamation with respect to an ethnic group or minority;

(vi) To take action to ensure that the United Kingdom is not seen as a country that rejects people from the south, particularly black minorities, in favour of nationals of countries of the north.


56. The Special Rapporteur gives below an extract from the communication from the Israeli Government dated 13 October 1995 concerning anti­Semitism worldwide. The full text of this communication is available for consultation in the Secretariat.