COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
31 July - 25 August 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 thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports of Mauritius,
submitted as one document (CERD/C/362/Add.2), at its 1401st and 1402nd
meetings (CERD/C/SR.1401 and 1402), held on 31 July and 1 August 2000.
At its 1414th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1414), held on 10 August 2000, it adopted
the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee
welcomes the detailed report submitted by the State party, which was
drafted taking account of the reporting guidelines of the Committee,
as well as the additional information provided orally by the delegation.
It also welcomes the constructive dialogue pursued with the State party.
3. The Committee
was encouraged by the fact that the Government was represented by a
high-ranking delegation; its direct and constructive replies to the
questions asked and its comments were much appreciated.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee
notes the multi-ethnic diversity of the population of Mauritius and
the harmony in which its various constituent ethnic groups live. The
State party's experience regarding ethnic and racial problems is thus
very instructive in the view of the members of the Committee.
5. The Committee
notes with satisfaction that since the consideration of its last periodic
report, the State party has established two new institutions, namely
the National Human Rights Commission and the Committee on Poverty, both
of which will contribute to combating racial discrimination.
the Committee welcomes the forthcoming adoption of the Equal Opportunities
Act, aimed at the implementation of article 5 of the Convention, and
the introduction of a Public Security Act punishing any act or conduct
inciting to racial hatred, in conformity with article 4 of the Convention.
C. Concerns and recommendations
7. The Committee reminds the State party that the existence of constitutional
and legislative provisions prohibiting racial discrimination and incitement
to racial hatred and the absence of judicial decisions relating to such
acts does not mean that there is no racial discrimination in Mauritian
society. It is therefore essential to inform the public of the existence
of such legal provisions.
8. The Committee
notes that the State party has not provided it with sufficient information
about the rioting that broke out between Creole groups and groups of
Indian origin following the death of a popular singer at a police station.
The Committee would like to know the results of the inquiry on this
its previous requests, the Committee notes that it has still not been
provided with statistical data on the ethnic composition of Mauritian
society. The Committee would appreciate information on the ethnic and
gender composition of the population to be included in the next report.
10. Since the
National Human Rights Commission and the Committee on Poverty are very
recent institutions, the State party is also invited, in its next report,
to provide further information on their functioning and the results
of their activities, with particular reference to problems of racial
11. 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 the
State party to consider the possibility of making such a declaration.
12. 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 States Parties to the Convention.
13. The Committee
recommends that the State party's periodic reports be made widely available
to the public from the time they are submitted and that the Committee's
concluding observations be similarly publicized.
14. The Committee
recommends that the State party's next periodic report, due on 29 June
2001, be an updating report and that it address the points raised in
the present observations.