COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
152. At its 979th
and 983rd meetings, held on 16 and 18 March 1993 (CERD/C/SR.979
and 983), the Committee reviewed the implementation of the Convention
by Jamaica based on its fifth, sixth and seventh periodic reports
submitted in one document (CERD/C/117/Add.4) and their consideration
by the Committee (CERD/C/SR.741-742).
153. In his introductory
statement, the representative of the State party recalled that
in 1985 the representative of Jamaica had declared that the Government
intended to adopt legislation to implement article 4 of the Convention,
thus allowing the Government to withdraw its reservation to that
article. Since then, the Government had decided not to adopt specific
legislation, but instead to consider amending section 24 of the
Constitution so as to take the Convention into account. The Constitutional
Review Committee was still considering that amendment and, accordingly,
the reservation to article 4 of the Convention was still in force.
154. Members of the
Committee welcomed the presence of the State party's representative,
but noted that he had little to report. They recalled that during
consideration of previous reports, which had been prepared with
the assistance of the United Nations Institute for Training and
Research, members of the Committee had asked for more detailed
information with respect to the implementation of article 5 of
the Convention and had deplored the absence of information about
the poorest population groups in Jamaica. In connection with the
latter, members indicated that the Committee needed socio-economic
indicators to tell it whether ethnic minority groups were disproportionally
represented among the unemployed, criminals, prison inmates, alcoholics,
drug addicts and prostitutes.
155. With respect
to article 4 of the Convention, members of the Committee emphasized
that the adoption of measures to implement that article was particularly
156. With regard to
article 5 of the Convention, members of the Committee requested
that information be provided with respect to measures taken to
implement its provisions dealing with economic and social rights.
They recalled that, in the 1960s, banks and other employers had
preferred light-skinned employees for jobs involving contacts
with the public, thus discriminating against people with darker
skin, and asked whether that was still the case.
157. The representative
of Jamaica, replying to the questions asked and comments made
by the members of the Committee, said that Jamaica had chosen
not to submit its outstanding periodic reports because it had
not yet been able to adopt the legislation required to implement
158. With regard to
article 5 of the Convention, the representative said that, in
the past, light-skinned people had, indeed, been preferred for
certain jobs, but that was no longer the case; people of all colours
were now treated on an equal basis.
159. In concluding
the review, the Committee expressed its regret that Jamaica had
not submitted a report since 1985. It expressed its appreciation
for the attendance of the representative of the State party and
the explanation offered for the lapse in reporting.
160. The Committee
expressed the hope that it would receive the next report in due
time, together with a core document, and that the report would
be in accordance with the reporting guidelines. In particular,
it hoped that, by that time, Jamaica would be in a position to
withdraw its reservation concerning article 4 of the Convention.
161. As the demographic
information supplied with the previous report was in some respects
problematic, Jamaica was requested to clarify the demographic
aspects in its next report.