COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
2 – 27 August 1999
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the combined second to eleventh periodic reports of Guinea (CERD/C/334/Add.1)
at its 1366th and 1367th meetings (see CERD/C/SR.1366 and 1367), on
24 and 25 August 1999. At its 1370th meeting (see CERD/C/SR.1370), on
26 August 1999, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the report of Guinea as well
as the additional information provided in the core document (HRI/CORE/1/Add.80/Rev.1)
and orally by the delegation. The Committee also expresses its satisfaction
for the resumption of the dialogue with the State party and is encouraged
by the commitment to continue the dialogue as a means of facilitating
the implementation of the Convention in Guinea.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation
of the Convention
3. While noting that Guinea is a developing country, the Committee notes
that the structural adjustment programme and the influx of large numbers
of refugees from Sierra Leone, Liberia and, more recently, Guinea-Bissau,
has had an adverse impact on socio-economic, cultural and environmental
development and has impeded the full implementation of the Convention.
C. Positive aspects
4. The Committee is encouraged by the fact that Guinea has acceded to
the six main international instruments of the United Nations for the protection
of human rights and that its Constitution as well as its domestic legislation
gives prominence to respect for human dignity and provides for the principle
of equality as well as for the prohibition of racial discrimination.
5. The Committee notes with
appreciation that the International Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other international instruments
prevail over the domestic legislation and are binding on the judicial
and other authorities of the State.
6. The Committee notes with
appreciation that the State party, in cooperation with the Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has introduced
human rights training for police officers in accordance with general
recommendation XIII and has undertaken training on reporting to international
human rights treaty bodies.
7. While noting the impact
of the influx of refugees, the Committee welcomes the willingness and
acceptance of the State party to receive over 1 million refugees and
asylum-seekers from neighbouring countries. In this regard, the Committee
also notes with appreciation that the State party's domestic legislation
provides for the protection of and asylum of refugees who have fled
their countries because of racial or ethnic discrimination.
D. Principal subjects of concern
8. While noting that the State party's Constitution establishes the principle
of equality and that domestic legislation establishes that all acts of
racial discrimination are punishable by law, concern is expressed at the
lack of information on the implementation of articles 2 and 4 of the Convention,
especially on how these principles are applied by judges, lawyers and
9. While the Committee notes
that articles 109 and 111 of the Penal Code reflect article 4 (a) of
the Convention and that the Constitution reflects article 4 (c), the
lack of information regarding the remaining sections of article 4 is
noted with concern.
10. While the Committee
recognizes the importance of national unity and the need to avoid regionalism
within the State party, concern is expressed that any measures taken
to this end should not lead to racial discrimination.
11. Concern is expressed
about the lack of information regarding the practical implementation
of article 5 of the Convention. In this connection, the Committee is
concerned about the destruction by the State of more than 10,000 homes
in the Conakry Ratoma neighbourhood, belonging mainly to members of
the Puhlar ethnic group; the resulting riots which led to the death
of eight persons; and the inter-ethnic tension which remains in that
area. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of compensation
for those persons whose property was expropriated.
12. The Committee is particularly
concerned that the recent developments in both the public and private
sectors may have had a more adverse effect on some ethnic groups.
13. The Committee takes
note of the information on the existing legal mechanisms to lodge complaints
in cases of racial discrimination. In this connection and in view of
the absence of complaints of racial discrimination in the State party,
attention is drawn to the fact that the absence of complaints and legal
action by victims of racism is not necessarily a positive sign and that
it could be an indicator of lack of awareness of the existence of available
legal remedies in cases of racial discrimination, and that members of
the public may not be sufficiently aware of the protection against racial
discrimination provided by the Convention.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
14. With regard to articles 2 and 4 of the Convention and in order better
to evaluate the concrete implementation of these articles, the Committee
requests the State party to include in its next periodic report additional
information on how these provisions are applied by judges, lawyers and
15. With reference to the
law concerning acts of regionalism, the Committee encourages the State
party to ensure that any measures taken in this connection do not lead
to racial discrimination.
16. The Committee recommends
that the State party include in its next report the text of the Law
on Citizenship for the Committee to evaluate the limitations on foreigners
and stateless persons on the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in article
5 of the Convention. In addition, the State party is invited to provide
further information on the effective enjoyment of the political, economic
and social rights enumerated in article 5 of the Convention, in particular
by persons belonging to ethnic groups.
17. The Committee invites
the State party to include in its next report further information on
the situation in Conakry Ratoma and the measures taken to address inter-ethnic
tension in that area and to accommodate and/or compensate those persons
whose properties were expropriated.
18. The Committee recommends
that the State party consider the establishment of a national institution
to facilitate the implementation of the Convention, in accordance with
the Committee's general recommendation XVII.
19. With regard to the implementation
of article 6 of the Convention, the Committee requests the State party
to include information in its next report on measures taken or envisaged
for improving public awareness of the principles and provisions of the
20. The Committee encourages
the State party to continue working in cooperation with the Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the protection
and promotion of human rights, including the elimination of racial discrimination.
In this connection, the Committee recommends that the State party consider
providing education and training on racial tolerance and human rights
issues to the population at large and, in particular, to teachers and
school administrators, in accordance with article 7 of the Convention
and general recommendation XIII of the Committee.
21. 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 requested that
the possibility of such a declaration be considered. The Committee also
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 States parties to the Convention.
22. The Committee suggests
to the State party that the report and these concluding observations
be widely distributed. The Committee recommends that the State party's
next periodic report, due on 13 April 2000, be an updating report and
that it address the points raised in the present concluding observations.