COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
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 eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth
periodic reports of the Niger (CERD/C/299/Add.18) at its 1297th meeting
held on 18 August 1998 and, at its 1301st meeting on 20 August 1998, adopted
the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee takes note
of the State party's submission of its eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth
and fourteenth periodic reports. It expresses its satisfaction with
the resumption of the dialogue with the State party and the additional
information provided orally in reply to the questions raised by the
members of the Committee during the consideration of these reports.
The Committee notes, however, that, although the reports submitted by
the State party follow the Committee's guidelines, more detailed information
is required on the implementation of the Convention.
B. Positive aspects
3. The signing of an agreement
to establish peace between the Government of the Republic of the Niger
and the Organisation de la Résistance armée (ORA) (Armed Resistance
Organization) in 1995 is welcomed with satisfaction. The establishment
of the High Commissioner's Office for the Restoration of Peace is also
4. Note is taken of the
various activities being carried out in the fields of culture and education
and, in particular, the strengthening of the itinerant schools system.
5. The planned measures
for the administrative decentralization of the country are also noted
with interest as a means of finding better solutions to the problems
of the various communities.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the
implementation of the Convention
6. Note is taken of the
fragility of the State party's process of democratization. The very
low standard of living, the geographical and climatological situation,
the extremely high population growth rate and the very low literacy
rate in the State party are also key factors.
D. Principal subjects of concern
7. Concerns were expressed
about acts of violence against persons belonging to certain ethnic groups,
particularly the Toubous, the lack of information about measures for
incorporating ORA armed forces into the army and the country's civil
activities and the participation of various ethnic groups in public
8. With regard to article
4 of the Convention, note was taken with concern of the lack of specific
legal provisions prohibiting racial discrimination. Although article
102 of the Penal Code declares any act of racial or ethnic discrimination
punishable by law, the dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority
or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination and acts of violence
and provocation of or assistance in racist acts are not explicitly prohibited
by law within the meaning of the Convention.
9. The ambiguity of Order
No. 84-6 (1984) governing associations and prohibiting those of a regional
or ethnic nature, which may also lead to the prohibition of cultural
associations that have no involvement in acts of racial discrimination,
and the lack of information given by the State party in this connection
are matters of concern.
10. The lack of information
on the implementation of article 5 (c) and (d) of the Convention and,
in particular, on the participation of the various ethnic groups in
political life is noted with regret.
11. The Committee also notes
that there is a lack of information on foreign refugees in the Niger
and the return of Niger refugees from abroad.
E. Suggestions and recommendations
12. The Committee requests
information on relations between the country's various ethnic groups
and on efforts to get them to live together peacefully and harmoniously.
13. In the light of its
general recommendation XIX (47) of 17 August 1995 on article 3 of the
Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party should provide
all the necessary information on the implementation of this provision.
14. In view of article 4
of the Convention, the Committee encourages the State party to bring
its Penal Code into line with the provisions of the Convention and recommends
that the State party should inform it in its next periodic report of
its efforts and of racially motivated offences, as well as of complaints
and judicial decisions concerning racist acts, regardless of their nature.
15. The Committee also requests
information on other legislative reforms which have been scheduled or
undertaken, particularly with regard to the right to freedom of association,
in accordance with the provisions of article 5 (d) (ix) of the Convention.
16. While welcoming the
information provided by the delegation, the Committee would like to
have additional information in the next report on the implementation
of article 5 (c) and (d) relating to the exercise of civil and political
rights, as well as on economic and social indicators for all the country's
17. The State party should
also supply detailed information on the teaching, educational, cultural
and information activities it is carrying out to prevent and combat
all forms of racial discrimination and on the activities of the Association
nigérienne pour la défense des droits de l'homme (Niger Association
for the Protection of Human Rights).
18. The Committee recommends
that the State party should 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.
19. It is noted that the
State party has not made the declaration
provided for in article
14 of the Convention; some members of the Committee requested that the
possibility of such a declaration should be considered.
20. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next report, due on 4 January 1998, should be
an updating report and that it should cover all the points raised in
these concluding observations.