OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
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.
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
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.