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
1. The Committee considered
the fifteenth periodic report of Germany (CERD/C/338/Add.14) at its
1426th and 1427th meetings, held on 13 and 14 March 2001 (CERD/C/SR.1426
and 1427), and at its 1460th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1460), on 21 March 2001,
adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes
the very detailed report presented by the Government of Germany, which
follows the Committee's guidelines and contains relevant information
about the implementation of the provisions of the Convention in the
State party. The Committee is also grateful for the relevant additional
and updated information that was transmitted during presentation of
3. The Committee particularly
appreciated the delegation's frankness and sincerity during the presentation
of the report, and its acknowledgement of the difficulties faced by
the State party in implementing the Convention.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee welcomes
recent developments that have taken place in the field of human rights.
It noted in particular the creation of the independent German Institute
of Human Rights, the setting up by the Federal Parliament of a Human
Rights Committee, as well as the publication of the Federal Government's
biannual Human Rights Report, which in the future will give more attention
to internal human rights issues.
5. With regard to the implementation
of article 4 of the Convention and the fight against racist organizations
and propaganda, the Committee welcomes the information provided by the
State party that since its previous report additional extreme right-wing
associations have been banned. In this regard, the Committee also notes
the efforts made by the Government, as well as by the Federal Council
and the Federal Parliament, to bring the important and delicate issue
of the constitutionality of the National Democratic Party of Germany
(NPD) before the German Constitutional Court. Finally, the Committee
is pleased to see that measures taken by the State party to combat racial
propaganda are being effectively implemented, leading to the conviction
by the judicial authorities of approximately 900 people during 1998.
6. The Committee also welcomes
the establishment of three new special programmes aimed at combating
racism and xenophobia among young people: "Xenos-living and working
in diversity", "Measures against violence and right-wing extremism"
and "Promotion of model projects against right-wing violence in the
7. The Committee notes with
satisfaction the improvements brought by the recent reform of the nationality
law and, in particular, the partial incorporation of the principle of
jus soli and the expanding of exceptions to the prohibition of
multiple nationalities, for instance when giving up a previous nationality
would bring considerable disadvantages to a person applying for German
8. The Committee notes the
establishment of the Foundation for the Compensation of Persons Subjected
to Forced Labour and welcomes the fact that this Foundation will also
be of benefit to Sinti and Roma populations.
9. The Committee appreciates
the readiness of the delegation to answer a great variety of questions
concerning, inter alia, the State party's response to the concerns
of developing countries with respect to the high prices of medicines
for persons living with HIV/AIDS.
C. Concerns and recommendations
10. The Committee shares
the State party's particular concern that despite appropriate actions
undertaken and significant improvements to the various means of preventing
and punishing right-wing extremist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic crimes,
the number of racist-related incidents, which had more or less stagnated
during the 1990s, suddenly and dramatically increased during the year
2000. While welcoming the work that has already been accomplished to
identify the specific causes of this phenomenon, the Committee encourages
the State party to reinforce its efforts to prevent and combat such
acts, including through further studies and research, in order to understand
fully the reasons for the recent increase in racial violence and to
devise appropriate measures.
11. The Committee is further
concerned by repeated reports of racist incidents in police stations,
as well as ill-treatment inflicted by law enforcement officials on foreigners,
including asylum-seekers, and German nationals of foreign origin. Although
the number of such incidents has diminished recently, the Committee
urges the State party to strengthen existing educational measures for
civil servants who deal with issues involving foreigners, including
asylum-seekers, and German nationals of foreign origin.
12. Concerned by the increase
of racist propaganda on the Internet, and that this trend is likely
to become more significant in the future, the Committee encourages the
State party to continue to seek solutions to this problem.
13. While noting that the
State party has recognized minorities that have been settled in Germany
for a long time, the Committee draws the attention of the State party
to General Recommendation XXIV (55) of the Committee.
14. The State party is invited
in its next report to provide further information on the following issues:
(a) updated information on the number of persons of foreign origin in
the police forces; (b) information on the new draft anti-discrimination
legislation in the field of both civil and labour law; (c) updated information
on the numbers of persons who have been convicted following racist incidents.
15. It is noted that the
State party has not made the declaration provided for in article 14
of the Convention, and the Committee recommends that the possibility
of making such a declaration be considered.
16. Noting that the State
party's report has been made readily available to the public from the
time it was submitted, the Committee recommends that its concluding
observations be similarly publicized. It encourages the State party
to insert the concluding observations on the Web site of the appropriate
17. The Committee recommends
that the State party submit its sixteenth and seventeenth periodic report
jointly with its eighteenth periodic report, due on 15 June 2004, and
that it address the points raised in the present observations.