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
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
1. The Committee
considered the initial, second and third periodic reports, consolidated
in one document, of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (CERD/270/Add.2)
at its 1226th and 1227th meetings (CERD/C/SR/1226 and 1227), held
on 11 and 12 August 1997, and at its 1241st meeting, held on 21 August
1997, adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
commends the State party on the quality of its initial report prepared
in accordance with the Committee's guidelines. The Committee notes
with appreciation the high-level delegation which presented the report,
indicating the importance attached by the State party to the Convention.
It further notes the open and constructive dialogue with representatives
of the State party. The Committee expresses its appreciation to the
delegation of the State party for the additional information that
it provided to the Committee orally and in writing.
B. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation
of the Convention
3. It is
recognized that the State party has experienced considerable economic
difficulties, partly resulting from hostilities in the Balkan region,
which have had a negative impact on the enjoyment of human rights,
including those protected by the Convention.
C. Positive aspects
4. The State
party is commended for the many legislative acts which have been adopted
in order to comply with the provisions of the Convention, including
the Act on Public Information; the Act on Telecommunications, which
prohibits the use of mass media to incite national, racial or religious
hatred or intolerance; the Act on Political Parties, which prohibits
the establishment of those parties whose aim is the incitement of
national, racial and religious hatred and intolerance, and the Act
on Social Organizations and Citizens' Associations, which prohibits
activities which violate human freedoms and rights or encourage national,
racial or religious hatred or intolerance.
5. The willingness
affirmed by representatives of the State party during the dialogue
with the Committee to make the declaration under article 14 of the
Convention and to consider the ratification of the amendments to article
8, paragraph 6, of the Convention adopted at the 14th meeting of States
parties, is welcomed.
D. Principal subjects of concern
6. The lack
of statistical information on the invocation of the various protections
against racial discrimination, in particular those referred to in
paragraph 4 above, is noted with concern.
7. It is
noted that the representation of various ethnic groups in the judiciary,
Parliament, and other public bodies and agencies of Government continues
to be less than their respective percentages in the population.
8. With respect
to article 5 of the Convention, the lack of sufficient information
on the participation of ethnic minorities in public life and on their
economic and social situation, especially with regard to access to
employment, health, education and housing, is regretted.
is expressed that it was impossible to conduct the census in the whole
territory of the State party.
is expressed at the low levels of participation, in particular in
secondary and higher education, of certain minorities, notably of
Roma children and Albanian girl children in rural areas.
regard to article 7 of the Convention, concern is expressed that there
is little or no reference to the Convention in human rights educational
E. Suggestions and recommendations
information is requested in the next periodic report concerning the
participation of the various minorities in public life and the implementation
and enjoyment by them, on a non-discriminatory basis, of the human
rights contained in the various laws.
13. The Committee
encourages the State party to continue its programmes of affirmative
action in order to increase the representation of the ethnic minorities
in public life, including in the civil service, army and police.
the role of the justice system in eliminating racial discrimination,
the Committee asks to be provided with additional information on whether
the Convention is directly applicable before the domestic courts,
on the effectiveness of remedies in cases of racial discrimination,
on the number of complaints of racial or racially motivated offences,
and on the judicial action taken on those complaints and the redress
or compensation awarded to victims.
15. The Committee
recommends that the State party continue its efforts to facilitate
the participation of different ethnic minorities in the educational
system, in particular at the secondary and higher educational levels,
and to provide for the training of teachers for minority languages
in public establishments.
16. The Committee
suggests that the State party consider incorporating the Convention
into its human rights programmes in school curricula with a view to
promoting the prevention of racial discrimination.
recommending to the State party to provide greater educational and
cultural opportunities to the Albanian minority, it was also felt
that this minority should truly see its future as lying within the
18. The Committee
recommends that the State party's next periodic report, due on 17
September 1998, be an updating report and that it address all the
points raised in the present observations.