COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
26 February - 15 March 1996
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. At its 1150 meeting, held on 11 March 1996 (see CERD/C/SR. 1150), the Committee examined the implementation of the Convention by the Government of Madagascar based on the last periodic report of the State party (CERD/C/149/Add.19) and the summary records of the consideration thereof by the Committee (CERD/C/SR.835), and adopted the following concluding observations at its 1154th Meeting, held on 14 March 1996.
2. The Committee notes that no new report has been received since 1989 and that no reply has been given by the Government to the Committee's list of principal concerns, of August 1995, with regard to the implementation of the Convention in Madagascar. The Committee had also recommended during its forty-seventh session that the Government request technical assistance from the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, which has not been done.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention and principal subjects of concern
3. Grave concern is expressed at the continuing deterioration of the social, cultural and economic living conditions prevailing in the State party. The general impoverishment of the country, the dysfunctioning of social services and social security and the existence of tensions between various groups of the population, which lead to phenomena of racial or ethnic discrimination, are matters of anxiety for the Committee.
C. Suggestions and recommendations
4. The Committee requests the Government of Madagascar to submit without delay a comprehensive report in compliance with the Committee's guidelines for the preparation of State party reports.
5. The general part of the updated report should contain information relating to the composition of the State party's population and to its ethnic characteristics, as well as to the recent evolution of the political, social, and economic situation prevailing in the country. Issues such as the inter-ethnic tensions, discrimination against the Indo-Pakistani community, the increasing impoverishment of rural population, the acute lack of social services and health services, the alarming situation of education, which intensify discrimination within the population between ethnic groups, and the social impact of structural adjustment programmes under the auspices of the IMF, should be addressed.
6. The second part of the report should contain detailed information on the implementation of articles 2 to 7 of the Convention. This part should describe the existing penal legislation implementing article 4 of the Convention, as well as the available remedies against any acts of racial discrimination, implementing article 6 of the Convention, and provide examples of complaints and statistics about such remedies. The role and achievements of the Mediator, as far as protection against racial discrimination is concerned, should also be spelled out. The report should further indicate what measures have been taken by the Government to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis on the most disadvantaged groups of the population. Existing measures adopted in the field of education and awareness-raising to counter racial or ethnic discrimination, to promote tolerance and to make the principles of the Convention better known, should also be described.
7. The Committee recommends that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention, adopted by the fourteenth meeting of States parties.