COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
6–23 March 2001
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9
OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the fifteenth periodic report of Argentina (CERD/C/338/Add.9), which
was due on 4 January 1998, at its 1439th and 1440th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1439
and 1440), held on 6 and 7 March 2001. At its 1457th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1457),
held on 19 March 2001, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes
the report submitted by Argentina and appreciates the supplementary
updated information provided by the delegation orally and in writing,
and also its detailed and frank answers to the questions and comments
formulated by members of the Committee.
Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
3. The Committee notes that
Argentina is still experiencing a difficult economic situation. In particular,
this situation affects vulnerable population groups, such as indigenous
groups, and immigrants from neighbouring countries, many of whom are
undocumented. This economic situation also results in budgetary constraints
for government agencies responsible for combating racial discrimination
and taking measures in favour of the most vulnerable groups.
4. The Committee welcomes
the measures to strengthen the National Institute to Combat Discrimination,
Xenophobia and Racism (INADI). It also welcomes the activities of the
Institute, such as the organization of training seminars for primary
and secondary school teachers to embrace pluralism, training courses
for law enforcement officials and publicity campaigns in the media,
and the establishment of a mechanism to receive complaints and take
action thereon by mediating and intervening in the courts.
5. The Committee welcomes
with satisfaction the measures designed to give greater autonomy to
the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs, to build its capacity
and to elaborate a national plan for indigenous peoples. It notes with
interest the progress made thus far by the Institute in the context
of the programme to transfer estate land to the indigenous communities
that have traditionally occupied it.
6. The Committee welcomes
Argentina's recent ratification of the Convention concerning Indigenous
and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (International Labour Organization
Convention No. 169).
Concerns and recommendations
7. The Committee notes that
the Government's plans to hold an updated census which would, inter
alia, take into account information on membership of indigenous
groups, have not been sufficiently resourced. The Committee encourages
the Government to take the measures necessary to hold the census as
soon as possible.
8. The Committee notes the
absence in the periodic report of detailed information concerning the
representation of indigenous peoples in the civil service at the federal
and provincial levels, the police, judicial system and Congress. It
also notes the lack of information on the extent to which these segments
of the population enjoy economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee
reiterates its request to the State party to include in its next periodic
report detailed information on the above-mentioned aspects.
9. The Committee notes with
concern a statement made by the State party that the territories in
which indigenous peoples have settled coincide with the areas with the
highest index of unmet basic needs, and that the poverty and unemployment
indices among indigenous populations and other vulnerable groups have
risen as a result of the economic crisis. The Committee recommends that
the State party take steps to alleviate this situation and that it keep
the Committee informed thereon.
10. The Committee also notes
with concern that, although progress has been made regarding consultation
with indigenous peoples so that they may participate in decisions which
affect them with a view to securing their agreement, there are still
situations in which consultation and participation do not occur. The
Committee recommends that the State party find ways and means to facilitate
11. The Committee further
notes with concern the difficulties that arise in some cases of transferring
estate land to indigenous peoples due, primarily, to the existence of
individual title deeds and to the conflict of jurisdiction between the
national and the provincial governments. The Committee recalls the relevant
provisions of its General Recommendation XXIII and recommends that steps
be taken to overcome these difficulties.
12. The Committee notes
with concern the lack of a social security system which takes into account
the specific needs of indigenous peoples and recommends that steps be
taken in that regard.
13. The Committee is concerned
by the existence of xenophobic attitudes towards immigrants, primarily
those from neighbouring countries, asylum-seekers and persons of African
descent. These attitudes, which are manifested even in some of the media,
seem to have increased as a result of the present economic crisis and
have given rise, on occasion, to violent incidents. The Committee recommends
that the State party monitor such attitudes and incidents closely and
take appropriate steps to deal with them.
14. The Committee notes
with concern the difficulties that immigrants, primarily those from
neighbouring countries, have in meeting the cost of obtaining residence
papers, and the lengthy and excessively bureaucratic immigration procedures,
and recommends that the State party take steps to deal with this, inter
alia, by offering advice free of charge. The Committee recommends,
in particular, that the immigration bill currently under discussion
should include provisions to deal with these problems.
15. The Committee regrets
the slow pace of the proceedings relating to the 1992 and 1994 anti-Semitic
attacks, although it notes that progress has been made, and it calls
for these proceedings to be completed as soon as possible.
16. The Committee notes
with concern that there have been reports of police brutality committed
on a variety of pretexts, on grounds of race, colour or ethnic origin;
it therefore recommends that, in the courses and seminars organized
to provide human rights education for members of the police, armed forces,
immigration and prison officials, particular attention be given to the
dissemination and implementation of the Convention.
17. The Committee notes
that INADI is experiencing difficulties in covering the entire national
territory with regard to receiving and handling complaints of racial
discrimination, and recommends that steps be taken to address this situation.
18. The Committee requests
that the State party include in its next report statistical information
regarding legal actions carried out in Argentina against acts of racism.
It also requests information regarding the conclusions of the Ministry
of Justice commission responsible for adapting domestic laws to international
instruments as regards the Convention.
19. The Committee recommends
that the reports of the State party be made public when they are submitted
to the Committee, and that the concluding observations of the Committee
thereon be widely disseminated.
20. The Committee takes
note of the proceedings under way at the level of the executive organs
with a view to formulating the declaration provided for in article 14
of the Convention and encourages the State party to complete these proceedings.
21. The Committee recommends
that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6,
of the Convention which were adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth
Meeting of States Parties.
22. The Committee recommends
that the State party submit its 16th and 17th periodic reports jointly
with the 18th periodic report on 4 January 2004, and that it address
the points raised in the present observations.