COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
2 – 27 August 1999
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered
the twelfth to fifteenth periodic reports of Romania (CERD/C/363/Add.1)
at its 1336th and 1337th meetings (see CERD/C/SR.1336 and 1337), on
3 and 4 August 1999, and adopted, at its 1360th meeting (see CERD/C/SR.1360),
on 19 August 1999, the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the report submitted by the Government of Romania,
together with the additional information provided by the delegation in
reply to the questions and observations by members of the Committee during
the oral consideration of the report. The Committee notes with appreciation
the particular effort made to respond to concerns and requests for information
expressed by the Committee on the occasion of the consideration of the
previous periodic report in 1995.
B. Positive aspects
3. Note is taken with satisfaction of the legislative measures adopted
since the consideration of the previous periodic report which are relevant
to the implementation of the Convention, such as the Act regulating the
institution of the People's Advocate and its entry into operation, and
also the Act regulating the status of refugees.
4. Note is taken with interest
of the establishment within the Executive of a Governmental Department
for the Protection of National Minorities. In connection with the Roma,
note is taken of the establishment, within that Department, of the National
Office for Roma and of the efforts made at the inter-ministerial level
to coordinate policies in support of this minority.
5. The efforts made to put
into practice human rights education programmes, some of which are intended
for law enforcement officials, are welcomed. Note is taken of the efforts
to make the police more efficient and respectful of the rights of individuals
in general and of minorities in particular.
6. The efforts aimed at
facilitating access to mother-tongue education for members of national
minorities are also welcomed.
7. Note is taken with interest
of the increase in the number of persons belonging to national minorities
who are members of the organs of the Legislature and the Executive,
and also of local administrative bodies.
8. The Committee takes note
with satisfaction of the submission to Parliament of bills for the ratification
of the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention, approved
at the fourteenth meeting of States parties to the Convention, and for
approval of the declaration provided for in article 14 of the Convention.
D. Principal subjects of concern
9. Concern is expressed that the provisions of Romanian legislation making
punishable acts of racial discrimination by individuals, are not in full
conformity with the provisions of article 2, paragraph 1 (d), of the Convention.
The fact that legislation contains no clear prohibition of organizations
which promote and incite racial discrimination, within the meaning of
article 4 (b) of the Convention, is also unsatisfactory.
10. Another subject of concern
is the persistence of xenophobic attitudes and prejudice against certain
minorities within Romanian society, which manifest themselves on numerous
occasions in various mass media.
11. The situation of Roma
is a subject of particular concern since no improvements have been noted
in the high unemployment rates and the low educational level traditionally
predominant among members of this minority; this contributes to the
continued unacceptable prevalence of the negative and stereotyped image
of the minority in the rest of society. Given its disadvantaged situation
in society, particular concern is caused by the absence of economic
and social measures of the kind envisaged in article 2 (2) of the Convention
in favour of this minority, Romania's current difficult economic situation
E. Suggestions and recommendations
12. The State party should adopt measures to include in legislation provisions
which fully prohibit any act of racial discrimination by individuals,
as provided for in article 2, paragraph 1 (d), of the Convention, and
also any organization which promotes and incites racial discrimination,
within the meaning of article 4 (b) of the Convention.
13. The Committee notes
the limited number of cases of racial discrimination that have come
before the organs administering justice. The Committee is of the opinion
that the lack of more complaints and judicial decisions may indicate
a lack of awareness of the existence of available legal remedies and
of the protection against racial discrimination provided by the Convention.
It suggests to the State party that it take measures to remedy that
14. The Committee recommends
that the State party take measures to prevent and punish racist practices
in the mass media. In addition, adequate means should be found to ensure
that the media constitute an instrument that helps to combat racial
prejudice, particularly against the Roma, and fosters a climate of understanding
and acceptance among the various groups which make up the country's
15. Measures of affirmative
action should be adopted in favour of the Roma population, especially
in the areas of education and vocational training, with a view, inter
alia, to placing Roma on an equal footing with the rest of the population
in the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, removing prejudices
against the Roma population and enhancing its capacity in asserting
its rights. A coordinated effort by the various State bodies competent
in this area, working in conjunction with representatives of the Roma
population, is required.
16. While noting the State
party's statement that in view of the absence of any practices of racial
segregation or apartheid it has not taken any action to prevent or eliminate
such practices, the Committee nevertheless requests the State party
to take into consideration its general recommendation XIX relating to
article 3 of the Convention.
17. The training programmes
for law enforcement officials on human rights in general and observance
of the Convention in particular must be continued. In this connection,
the Committee invites the State party's attention to the content of
its general recommendation XIII.
18. The Committee suggests
to the State party that it take measures to ensure the effective dissemination,
including in the languages of the national minorities, of the provisions
of the Convention, as well as its periodic report and the Committee's
19. The Committee recommends
that the State party's next periodic report, due on 15 October 2001,
be an updating report, and that it should address all the points raised
in these concluding observations.