COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
31 July - 25 August 2000
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 twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth periodic
reports of Ghana, which were due on 4 January 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998,
respectively, submitted as one document (CERD/C/338/Add.5), at its 1432nd
meeting (CERD/C/SR.1432), held on 22 August 2000. At its 1436th meeting
(CERD/C/SR.1436), held on 24 August 2000, it adopted the following concluding
2. The Committee
notes the reports submitted by the State party, while regretting the
late submission of the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports,
and expresses its appreciation for the additional oral information provided
by the delegation. The report was not adequately prepared in accordance
with the Committee's guidelines for the preparation of States parties'
3. The Committee
notes that the report does not contain information on implementation
of most of the concerns and recommendations expressed by the Committee
in the concluding observations on the eleventh periodic report (A/47/18,
4. The Committee
notes with appreciation the State party's policy of preventing the exploitation
of ethnic differences and commends the State party for the degree to
which its population of more than 50 ethnic groups has avoided serious,
5. The Committee
notes that article 17 of the 1992 Constitution guarantees equality before
the law and prohibits discrimination on the basis of "gender, race,
colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social and economic status".
It notes with interest the definition of discrimination provided under
article 17, paragraph 3, of the Constitution as treatment resulting
"in disabilities or restrictions on some persons which are not imposed
on others or resulting in privileges or advantages for some persons
which are not afforded to others".
6. The Committee
welcomes the establishment in 1993 of the Commission on Human Rights
and Administrative Justice to protect human rights, particularly the
right to be protected from racial discrimination. The Committee takes
note of the capacity of the Commission to investigate violations of
fundamental rights and freedoms following a complaint or on its own
initiative, as well as the binding nature of its decisions on the parties.
The Committee notes also the establishment of the National Commission
for Civic Education and welcomes its activities in the field of human
rights education and training.
7. The Committee
commends the State party for adopting measures that outlaw the practice
of slavery known as "Trokosi", which affects solely females in the Ewe
ethnic group, and encourages the State party to strictly enforce the
criminal sanctions for violations.
C. Concerns and recommendations
8. The Committee
is concerned at the lack of detailed information regarding the implementation
of constitutional guarantees against racial discrimination, the legal
status of the Convention under Ghanaian law, and the extent to which
existing legislation is sufficient to ensure the implementation of articles
2 through 6 of the Convention. The Committee recommends that the State
party conduct a detailed review of relevant legislation to ensure that
it implements fully the provisions of the Convention and that the State
party include in its next report detailed information in this respect.
9. The Committee
notes with concern that there are continuing tensions between ethnic
groups in the northern region of Ghana and recommends that the State
party take immediate and effective steps to address the root causes
of these tensions.
10. In this
context, the Committee takes note of information concerning the existence
of a Permanent Peace Negotiating Team set up to mediate and seek peaceful
settlement of conflicts that arise among different ethnic groups, particularly
those based on disagreements regarding chieftancy, succession and land
title issues, while regretting the lack of detailed information with
regard to its functioning, mandate and composition. The Committee requests
that the State party provide such information in its next report.
11. The Committee
notes the lack of detailed information provided about the work of the
Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the Commission's
handling of cases regarding racial discrimination. The Committee recommends
that the State party provide in its next report information on any complaints
handled by the Commission that may have addressed instances of racial
12. The Committee
regrets the lack of information in the report concerning the demographic
composition of the country. The Committee recalls that it drew attention
to this issue in its last concluding observations. In accordance with
paragraphs 8 and 9 of its guidelines on the form and content of States
parties' reports, the Committee recommends that the State party provide
the Committee in its next report with statistical data regarding socio-economic
status, participation in public life and other relevant information
concerning different ethnic groups.
13. The Committee
recommends that the State party's reports be made readily available
to the public from the time they are submitted and that the Committee's
concluding observations on them be similarly publicized.
14. It is noted
that the State party has not made the declaration provided for in article
14 of the Convention, and some members of the Committee request that
the possibility of such a declaration be considered.
15. The Committee
recommends that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8,
paragraph 6, of the Convention, adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth
Meeting of the States Parties to the Convention.
16. The Committee
recommends that the State party's next periodic report be a comprehensive
report and that it address all the points raised in the present concluding