University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination, Cyprus, U.N. Doc. A/50/18, paras. 64-76 (1995).



Forty-sixth session


Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination


64. At its 1094th meeting, held on 15 March 1995, the Committee adopted the following concluding observations.

(a) Introduction

65. The opportunity to continue the constructive and frank dialogue with the State party is welcomed. It is noted with satisfaction that the report was prepared by a committee comprised of representatives of governmental ministries directly involved with matters relating to the implementation of the Convention. Appreciation is expressed at the presence of a high-level delegation, which serves as an indication of the importance the State party attaches to the implementation of the Convention, and for the additional information it presented orally to the Committee.

(b) Positive aspects

66. The legislative measures introduced with a view to enhancing the implementation of article 4 of the Convention are welcomed.

67. Satisfaction is expressed as regards the measures taken to promote the objectives of article 7 of the Convention. In this connection, the initiatives taken within the fields of education and information with a view to combating prejudices which may lead to racial discrimination, as well as to promoting understanding and tolerance among nations and to developing awareness of the human rights provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the present Convention, deserve special mention.

68. It is noted with appreciation that the Government has made the declaration provided for under article 14 of the Convention recognizing the Committee's competence to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups claiming to be victims of a violation of any of the rights set forth in the Convention. It is also noted with satisfaction that the State party has initiated procedures for its acceptance of the amendment to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention, which is concerned with budgetary matters relating to the work of the Committee.

69. It is also noted with satisfaction that the State is a party to numerous international and regional human rights instruments under which supervisory mechanisms have been established.

(c) Principal issues of concern

70. It is deplored that since 1974 the State party, due to the lengthy occupation of part of Cyprus by Turkish forces and the continued division of the country, is not in a position to exercise control over the whole of its territory and in consequence cannot ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Convention throughout the country. According to recent reports received, this reality has led to changes in the demographic composition of the population due to the increasing illegal settlement of persons from Turkey in the occupied area of Cyprus. The Committee requests the Government of Cyprus to furnish it with information on developments concerning the occupation of parts of Cyprus by Turkish forces as soon as possible.

71. While welcoming the enactment of Law 11 of 1992 which created offences regarding acts amounting to racial discrimination, a question is raised about whether the wording of certain passages in section 2A meet completely the requirements of article 4 (a) of the Convention.

(d) Suggestions and recommendations

72. The Committee wishes the State party to provide, in its next report, further information on the demographic composition of the population, the trends as regards immigration to and emigration from the country and the breakdown by community and ethnic group as regards their economic and social situation.

73. The Committee would also like to receive information in the State party's next report on the implementation of articles 2 and 6 of the Convention, including as regards any complaints of racial discrimination received, the outcome of the prosecution of any cases of racial discrimination and the redress, if any, provided to persons suffering from such discrimination.

74. The Committee expresses grave concern at the deprivation of the specific rights guaranteed under the Convention of a great number of Cypriots due to the Turkish occupation of part of the territory of Cyprus, and reiterates its call for an end to this totally unacceptable state of affairs. The Committee also expresses its solidarity with the displaced people of Cyprus, its Vice-Chairman, Michael E. Sherifis, among them, and reiterates the earnest hope that they will be enabled, without further delay, to exercise their freedom of movement and residence and their right to property, as provided in article 5 (d) (i) and (v) of the Convention.

75. The Committee has taken note of the information provided in paragraphs 21 to 24 of the report which make reference to religious groups and the rights accorded to them by the Constitution. Although the Committee would have preferred to refer to them as ethnic groups, it is fully aware that the respective constitutional provisions of Cyprus are based upon international agreement which are not within the power of the Cyprus Government to amend.

76. The Committee welcomes the State party's willingness to develop public awareness of and information on human rights. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the Government consider undertaking measures to disseminate to the general public information concerning the Convention and the work of CERD. It welcomes the fact that the report to the Committee was publicized and invites the Government of Cyprus to give maximum publicity to the concluding observations of the Committee.



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