COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
6-24 March 2000
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
of the Committee on the Elimination of
1. The Committee considered
the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports of France,
submitted as one document (CERD/C/337/Add.5), at its 1373rd and 1374th
meetings (CERD/C/SR/1373 and 1374), held on 6 and 7 March 2000, at
its 1396th meeting, held on 23 March 2000, it adopted the following
2. The Committee welcomes
the reports submitted by the State party and the additional oral and
written information provided by a delegation which included representatives
of many government departments. At the same time it regrets the late
submission of the present reports.
3. The Committee considers
that the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth reports do not adequately
address the Committee's concluding observations on the previous reports
(A/49/18, paras. 140-159), although the delegation addressed some
of them orally.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee notes
with satisfaction, among new measures against racial discrimination,
the law of 29 July 1998 detailing action against exclusion, the reorganization
and extension of departmental anti-racism bureaux, the establishment
of departmental commissions on access to citizenship, the work of
the Study Group on Discrimination, the creation of departmental committees
for coordinating policies against exclusion and of departmental councils
on access to justice, and provisions for mediation. The Committee
commends the part played by the National Consultative Commission on
Human Rights in action against racial discrimination.
5. The Committee also
notes that the Government has acted systematically in the suppression
of speech and publications likely to incite racial hatred.
C. Concerns and recommendations
6. Since the Committee
considers that the prohibition of attempts to justify crimes against
humanity, and of their denial, should not be limited to those committed
during the Second World War, it welcomes the assurance provided by
the delegation and requests that the State party report thereon in
its next periodic report.
7. While taking note of
the State party's view of the importance of individual privacy when
collecting information on the composition of the population, the Committee
expresses concern about the paucity of information for monitoring
implementation of the Convention.
8. While noting that French
penal legislation satisfies most of the requirements of article 4,
the Committee reiterates its recommendation that France ensure the
effective prohibition of actions which are discriminatory in effect
on the basis of race or ethnic or national origin, in accordance with
its General Recommendation XIV (42).
9. The Committee expresses
concern about possible discrimination in effect in the implementation
of laws providing for the removal of foreigners from French territory,
including persons in possession of valid visas, and the delegation
of responsibilities which should be exercised by State officials.
10. In the light of article
3 of the Convention and its General Recommendation XIX (47), the Committee
recommends that the State party monitor all tendencies which may give
rise to racial or ethnic segregation and counter the negative consequences
of such tendencies.
11. The Committee recommends
that the State party include in the sixteenth periodic report, due
on 27 August 2002, statistics on racially motivated offences, their
investigation, and the punishment of the perpetrators.
12. The Committee reiterates
its recommendation that France ensure the effective protection of
the exercise, without discrimination, of the rights to work and to
housing, in both the public and private sectors, and to provide compensation
to victims of racial discrimination.
13. The Committee reiterates
its recommendation that when France reviews its laws restricting certain
occupations to French nationals it ensures that none is discriminatory
14. In accordance with
article 5(f) of the Convention, it is recommended that the State party
reinforce existing measures to ensure that access to places or services
intended for use by the general public is not denied to any person
on grounds of national or ethnic origin.
15. With regard to article
6 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party
reinforce the effectiveness of the remedies available to victims of
16. The Committee expresses
concern over reports that negative images of the Roma minority prevail
in the mass media and in the public generally. It recommends that
the State party give full effect to the provisions of article 7 of
the Convention by adopting effective measures, particularly in the
fields of education, training and human rights information, to combat
17. The Committee expresses
concern that remedies available under article 14 of the Convention
may not be sufficiently well known.
18. The Committee recommends
that the State party's reports should be made readily available to
the public from the time they are submitted and that the Committee's
observations on those reports be similarly publicized.
19. It recommends that
the State party's fifteenth periodic report, due on 27 August 2000,
be an updating report responding to issues raised in the consideration
of the present reports and to questions outstanding from the reports
considered in 1994.