COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
30 July – 17 August 2001
298. The Committee considered
the thirteenth periodic report of Italy CERD/C/406/Add.1) at its 1466th
and 1467th meetings, on 30 and 31 July 2001 (CERD/C/SR.1466 and 1467),
and at its 1479th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1479), on 8 August 2001, adopted
the following concluding observations.
299. The Committee welcomes
the very detailed report presented by the Government of Italy, which
focuses on the recommendations made by the Committee in its previous
concluding observations (CERD/C/304/Add.68) and contains relevant information
about the implementation of the provisions of the Convention in the
State party. The Committee also notes the State party's regularity in
its submission of periodic reports.
300. While the Committee
welcomes the detailed information on issues related to immigration,
most of the report deals with the situation of foreigners, while racial
discrimination in the sense of the Convention embraces discrimination
against all persons on grounds of race, colour, descent or national
or ethnic origin, irrespective of whether they are Italian citizens
B. Positive aspects
301. The Committee is satisfied
that its previous recommendations have been widely disseminated and
communicated among all relevant administrations.
302. The Committee notes
with satisfaction that new courses on human rights implementation and
principles have been set up for the police, the carabinieri and for
the personnel of detention facilities.
303. The Committee welcomes
the establishment of cultural mediators who are expected to contribute
to a constructive and successful dialogue with foreigners present in
the country and between individuals of different communities. The Committee
also notes with satisfaction that these cultural mediators, currently
75 in number, are properly trained and are mostly recruited among persons
of foreign origin.
304. The Committee welcomes
the fact that the Testo Unico, the State party's unified legislation
on the status of foreigners, creates an obligation for employers to
ensure, by means of their own resources, appropriate housing facilities
for immigrants and their families for a certain period of time.
305. The Committee welcomes
the particularly detailed statistical information on foreigners and
criminality and on illegal immigration.
306. The Committee welcomes
the fact that the State party's legislation provides for the right to
education for all minors, irrespective of the existence of a valid residence
permit, and the role played in this regard by the recently created Permanent
Territorial Centres (Centri Territoriali Permanenti).
307. The Committee welcomes
the imminent adoption of the draft law on "Measures against trafficking
in persons" that has already been adopted by one chamber of the State
C. Concerns and recommendations
308. The Committee notes
that foreigners residing regularly on the territory of the State party
account for 2.2 per cent of its total population. In view of the difficulties
resulting from its particular geographical location and the specific
shape of its territory which lead to a high influx of illegal immigrants,
the Committee recommends that the State party take active measures to
promote racial tolerance among all individuals and especially among
law enforcement authorities.
309. The Committee reiterates
its encouragement to the State party to consider recognizing the status
of minority to Roma populations who have resided in Italy for an extended
period of time and who have become sedentary. In this respect, the Committee
recommends that the State party consult effectively with representatives
of the Roma population. The Committee also expresses its concern with
regard to the possible inappropriate consequences of the State party's
policy of encouraging Roma to apply for stateless status.
310. The Committee recommends
the State party to ensure that the local authorities take more resolute
action to prevent and punish racially motivated acts of violence against
Roma and other persons of foreign origin.
311. The Committee considers
that the education of Roma children is one of the priorities for the
integration of their community in Italian society. In this respect,
the Committee notes that the State party has chosen to integrate Roma
children into the regular Italian schooling system, but suggests that
the State party continue to make every effort to respect and accommodate
the specific cultural background of these children.
312. While noting that the
legislation adopted by the State party regarding article 4 of the Convention
is appropriate and contains a comprehensive definition of racial discrimination,
the Committee, concerned about allegations that racist organizations
were not properly punished, requests the State party to examine thoroughly
313. While noting the State
party's indication in its report that the number of incidents of racist
violence has decreased, the Committee is concerned about incidents of
this nature, in particular those that have recently occurred during
football matches. The Committee supports, in this respect, the efforts
made by the State party and urges it to maintain a firm policy towards
the perpetrators of such violence.
314. Taking note of the
information provided by the State party that women represent 58.8 per
cent of the immigrant labour force in domestic work, and aware of the
possibility that they may easily be exploited, the Committee recommends
that the State party take all appropriate measures to reduce this risk.
315. The Committee notes
that the increase in the percentage of foreigners accused of crimes
(from 4.2 per cent in 1991 to 9.8 per cent in 1997) is largely due to
foreigners staying illegally in Italy (84.95 per cent of the persons
denounced and 88.77 per cent of the persons arrested). As this development
can have an important effect on tolerance and peaceful coexistence between
Italian citizens and foreigners, as acknowledged by the State party,
the Committee encourages the State party to stress that there is no
correlation between the increase of criminality and the presence of
migrants and other foreigners staying legally in the country.
316. The Committee recommends
that the State party intensify its efforts and its cooperation with
other countries, including the countries of origin, in order to reduce
illegal immigration, criminal trafficking and commercial exploitation
of human beings. Noting that foreign employees regularly resident on
the territory are guaranteed equality of treatment with Italian employees
while irregular workers, who make up 30 per cent of the entire non-EU
labour force (and even up to 50 per cent in northern Italy), are subjected
to different forms of exploitation, the Committee recommends that the
State party take all necessary measures to put an end to those illegal
317. In accordance with
previous requests made by the Committee * the State party is invited
in its next report to provide further information on the implementation
of article 6 of the Convention, and particularly on the numbers of persons
who have been convicted following racist incidents, on the different
forms of such incidents and on the response provided by Italian courts.
In this regard, the Committee would welcome updated information on the
incidents that occurred in 1998 and 1999 in Venice, Milan, Rome, Barletta,
Turin and Bologna referred to in the present periodic report.
318. While recognizing that
the State party has made the declaration provided for under article
14 of the Convention in 1978, the Committee notes that it has not yet
received any individual communications from persons under the jurisdiction
of the State party. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure
that the public is well informed of the possibility of submitting such
communications to the Committee.
319. 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. It encourages the State
party to insert the Committee's concluding observations on the appropriate
ministry's Web site.
320. The Committee recommends
that the State party submit its fourteenth periodic report jointly with
its fifteenth periodic report, due on 4 February 2005, and that it address
the points raised in the present observations.
* Ibid., Fiftieth Session, Supplement No. 18 (A/50/18), para. 104; see
also document CERD/C/304/Add.68.