COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination
People's Republic of China
1. The Committee
examined the fifth, sixth and seventh periodic reports of
the People's Republic of China, which were submitted in
a single document (CERD/C/275/Add.2), at its 1163rd and
1164th meetings held on 8 and 9 August 1996 (see CERD/C/SR.1163-1164).
In the light of the examination of the report and the observations
made by the members of the Committee, the Committee, at
its 1179th meeting, on 20 August 1996, adopted the following
2. The Committee
welcomes the submission of the combined periodic report
of the State party and the resumption of dialogue. The Committee
regrets that the report contained insufficient data on health,
education, welfare and other social and economic conditions
of life of the different minority groups, which made it
difficult to assess properly the implementation of the Convention
in the State party. However, it expresses its satisfaction
with the additional oral and written information provided
by the delegation representing the State party and with
the constructive nature of the dialogue between the delegation
and the Committee which, due to a restrictive timetable,
could unfortunately not be prolonged.
3. The Committee
notes that the State party has not made the declaration
provided for in article 14 of the Convention; some members
requested the State party to consider the possibility of
making such a declaration.
B. Factors and difficulties affecting the implementation
of the Convention
4. Note is taken
of the large number of minorities which, according to the
State party, include 55 nationalities. Since a significant
percentage of these nationalities do not reside in the autonomous
minority areas, it is difficult to assess their living conditions
with precision. Note is also taken of the difficulties in
standardizing essential services throughout the vast territory
C. Positive aspects
5. The strong
economic growth experienced in recent years by the State
party is a positive factor and should provide greater possibilities
for public investment in areas that require urgent attention.
In particular, indications by the State party that minority
areas are granted public investment on a priority basis
are viewed with great satisfaction.
is expressed that the living standards of minority peoples
have improved in recent years, particularly with respect
to preferential treatment with regard to marriages, family
planning, university admissions, employment, etc.
is expressed at the efforts to preserve the linguistic heritage
of the minority nationalities. Such efforts include the
provision of textbooks, the development of school curricula
and the publication of newspapers and literary works in
the minority languages.
8. The State's
policy of largely exempting members of minority nationalities
from the birth control regulations which generally apply
in China is welcomed.
9. The promulgation
of laws and regulations at the various administrative levels
covering many aspects of the lives of members of minorities
is an indication that a policy of promoting the status of
minorities is being pursued.
10. With respect
to the autonomous areas, it is noted with appreciation that
the law on regional autonomy for minority nationalities
guaranties that a proportion of local government officials
is drawn from local nationalities.
D. Principal subjects of concern
is expressed at the lack of protective legal provisions
for minority groups that are scattered throughout China.
The absence of information regarding these minorities' enjoyment
of rights enumerated in the Convention is noted with regret.
information regarding the ban on domestic organizations
that propagate racial discrimination or the superiority
of any people would be necessary to make a proper assessment
of the implementation of article 4.
is expressed with respect to reports concerning incentives
granted to members of the Han nationality to settle in autonomous
areas, as this may result in substantial changes in the
demographic composition and in the character of the local
society of those areas.
14. Taking into
consideration that a distinctive religion is essential to
the identity of several minority nationalities, concern
is expressed with regard to the actual enjoyment of the
right to freedom of religion in the State, particularly
in the Muslim parts of Xinjiang and in Tibet, including
the preservation of places of worship and the exercise of
religious rights by members of all ethnic groups.
is expressed at reported cases of violation in the autonomous
regions of Xinjiang and Tibet of the right to security of
person and protection against violence or bodily harm, as
contained in article 5 (b) of the Convention. With regard
to prison facilities, it is regretted that limited information
is contained in the report on the percentage of persons
imprisoned who are of minority origin relative to the total
prison population in the State as a whole, the types of
violations they have been charged with and the prison conditions
under which they serve their sentences.
is expressed at the underrepresentation in business in some
areas of persons of minority groups, which may be indicative
of structural obstacles to their enjoyment of increases
in economic prosperity. Concern is also expressed with regard
to allegations that members of minority nationalities may
not enjoy the same working conditions as persons of Han
17. With respect
to article 5 (e) (v) of the Convention, concern is expressed
that at the secondary school and university levels children
from minority nationalities are underrepresented. Moreover,
concern is expressed that the instruction provided in the
curricula on the history and culture of minority nationalities
is not adequate as compared to the education provided concerning
the history and culture of persons of the Han nationality.
is expressed at the disparities in access to economic, social
and cultural benefits by different ethnic groups. While
the difficulties in providing such benefits to regions far
removed from the capital and developed economic regions
are appreciated, the effects of the differing levels of
economic development of different regions and their impact
on different communities are of concern, as they may generate
racial discrimination towards disadvantaged groups. In addition,
efforts with respect to economic development and national
modernization should not deprive members of such ethnic
groups of their right to their own culture, in particular
their traditional ways of life.
19. With respect
to article 7, concern is expressed about whether the efforts
in teaching and education to combat prejudices which lead
to racial discrimination are sufficient.
is expressed about the content and implementation of the
law of 1995 on mother and child health care and its impact
on minority nationalities.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
21. The Committee
recommends that the Government make all acts of racial discrimination,
as specified in article 4 of the Convention, punishable
by law. In this respect, it notes with satisfaction indications
that the Government would welcome technical assistance from
the technical cooperation services of the Centre for Human
Rights of the United Nations.
22. The Committee
recommends that with respect to article 4 more detailed
information regarding the ban on domestic organizations
that propagate racial discrimination or the superiority
of any people be submitted in the State party's next report.
23. The Committee
recommends that comprehensive information regarding the
composition of the population, the geographic areas where
minority nationalities are concentrated, their standard
of living and other educational and social indices be included
in the next report. Such information should be provided
not only with respect to minority nationalities living in
the autonomous areas, but also as far as possible with respect
to those dispersed in various regions. With regard to the
latter groups, the Committee would appreciate information
regarding the legal protection available to dispersed minorities
relative to the rights provided for in the Convention.
24. The Committee
recommends that consideration be given to the inclusion
of more members of minority nationalities in positions of
leadership, not only in the Government but also in the Party
and other institutions at both the national and local levels.
25. The Committee
recommends that the elaboration and adoption of autonomy
regulations for the five autonomous regions, which were
envisioned in the 1984 Law on Autonomous Regions, be expedited.
26. The Committee
recommends that any policies or practices that may result
in a substantial alteration of the demographic composition
of autonomous areas be reviewed.
27. The Committee
recommends that information and clarification be provided
in the next periodic report on allegations of destruction
by the State of mosques, Buddhist and Lama temples and other
places of worship of the minority nationalities. It encourages
the Government to avoid any restriction on the exercise
of religious rights of the members of minority nationalities.
28. The Committee
recommends that in relation to respect for article 5 (b)
of the Convention information be provided in the next report
concerning the number and percentage of persons detained
who are of minority origin relative to the total prison
population of the State party and the types of violations
with which they have been charged.
29. The Committee
recommends that further necessary legal, administrative
or other appropriate measures be taken to ensure that there
is no discrimination against members of minority nationalities,
in either the public service or private employment, with
respect to the right to just and favourable conditions of
work and the right to just and favourable remuneration.
30. With respect
to article 5 (e) (v) of the Convention concerning the right
to education, the Committee recommends that the State party
ensure access by members of minority nationalities to education
at all levels and that, in autonomous areas, instruction
on the history and culture of the relevant minority nationalities
be included in the school curricula.
31. The Committee
recommends that special attention be paid to any adverse
effect that economic development and national modernization
may have on the enjoyment of the right to culture, particularly
of minority nationalities.
32. With respect
to article 6 of the Convention, the Committee recommends
that the State party provide in its next periodic report
information and statistics on complaints filed and judgements
passed on acts of racial discrimination.
33. The Committee
recommends that the State party consider how it may implement
the provisions of article 7 and incorporate in the school
curricula and the training of persons working in the public
service, appropriate instruction effectively to combat prejudice
and promote tolerance.
34. The Committee
recommends that the text of the Convention, the State report
and the present concluding observations of the Committee
be widely disseminated and made available in national languages,
particularly those spoken in autonomous areas.
35. The Committee
recommends that the State party ratify at its earliest convenience
the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention,
adopted by the 14th meeting of States parties.
36. The Committee
recommends that the State party's next periodic report,
due on 28 January 1997, be updating in character and that
it address all points raised in these concluding observations.