COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
6-24 March 2000
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of
the Committee on the Elimination
of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered the seventh, eighth,
ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports
of Lesotho, submitted as one document (CERD/C/337/Add.1), at its 1389th
and 1390th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1389 and 1390), held on 17 and 20 March 2000.
At its 1396th meeting, held on 23 March 2000, it adopted the following concluding
2. The Committee welcomes the
reports submitted by the State party and the additional oral information
provided by the high-level delegation. It also thanks the State party for
its additional updated report which not only contains useful information
that was not included in the report but also gives a more candid assessment
of matters relating to racial discrimination on the territory of the State
3. The Committee welcomes the
opportunity to resume the dialogue with the State party after a 16-year
4. The Committee welcomes the
constitutional status granted to the protection of human rights and the
recognition of the principle of equality of persons in the State party's
Constitution, in particular section 18, designed to preclude any form of
discrimination, including racial discrimination.
5. The Committee is concerned
about the recent incidents of tension between Lesotho nationals and Asian
and South African white factory owners which resulted in kidnapping, violence
and the flight of about 100 Asian nationals from the country for fear of
persecution. The Committee recommends that the State party take measures
to resolve the underlying socio-economic causes of these events. In this
context, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to General
Recommendation XI on non-citizens and the obligation to report fully on
legislation concerning foreigners and its implementation. It therefore requests
that more detailed information be included in the State party's next report
on the situation and rights of non-nationals residing in the country.
6. The Committee notes the non-self-executing
character of international conventions in the State party and would like
to have more information on the status of the Convention.
7. The Committee is concerned
about increasing expressions of xenophobia resulting in acts of racial discrimination.
The Committee is further concerned about the absence from the 1971 Race
Relations Order of a comprehensive legislative framework prohibiting and
penalizing such acts. Taking note of information provided by the delegation
on the State party's intention to review the legislation in this respect,
the Committee encourages the State party to establish appropriate and effective
remedies and recourse mechanisms and to implement fully all its obligations
under articles 2, 4 and 6 of the Convention.
8. The State party is invited
to provide further information in its next report about: (a) the ethnic
composition of the population and (b) measures taken to implement article
7 of the Convention.
9. 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 State
Parties to the Convention.
10. 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 making
such a declaration be considered.
11. The Committee recommends
that States party's reports be made readily available to the public from
the time they are submitted and that the Committee's observations on them
be similarly publicized.
12. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report, which is due on 4 December
2000, be a comprehensive report and that it address the points raised in
the present observations.