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 fourteenth and fifteenth periodic reports
of Spain, submitted as one document (CERD/C/338/Add.6), at its 1383rd
and 1384th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1383 and 1384), held on 13 and 14 March
2000. At its 1396th meeting, held on 23 March 2000, it adopted the following
2. The Committee
welcomes the reports submitted by the State party and the additional oral
information provided by the delegation, although it was considered that
numerous and voluminous annexes to the report in Spanish prevented members
from having easy access to essential information. The Committee was encouraged
by the attendance of a delegation composed of representatives of many
government departments and expresses its appreciation for the frank and
constructive responses of the members of the delegation to the questions
3. The Committee
acknowledges that the State party has addressed some of the concerns and
recommendations set out in the Committee's previous concluding observations.
However, the new report is an updating report describing developments
in the interim period, rather than the comprehensive one that the Committee
requested. Moreover, the new report does not conform fully with the Committee's
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee
notes the recent enactment of Organic Law No. 4/2000 on Rights and Freedoms
of Foreigners, the implementation of which will be followed closely and
with great interest, particularly with respect to regularization schemes
for illegal immigrants and the establishment of integration programmes.
5. The Committee
encourages the continued implementation and evaluation of the results
of the "Gypsy development programme" initiated by the Government in 1989
and conducted in cooperation with Roma associations. It notes with particular
interest the favourable effects in the field of housing of measures designed
to ensure that the Roma are not discriminated against.
C. Concerns and recommendations
6. The Committee
notes with concern that remarkably few cases before national courts have
been identified as incidents of racial discrimination, despite a recognized
general increase in juvenile violence, including attacks on foreigners
by extremist groups, neo-Nazi movements and gangs. It also notes that
violence against certain foreigners often results in judicial proceedings
alleging assault, unlawful detention and property damage, and that the
racial aspect of such acts is not taken into consideration. With reference
to article 4 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State
party register, for inclusion in the next periodic report, statistics
of allegations of racially-motivated and related offences, their investigation
and the punishment of those responsible.
7. The Committee
is concerned about the recent incidents of violence against persons of
Moroccan nationality in El Ejido in the region of Almería and is further
concerned about reports that the underlying socio-economic problems which
provoked these events are also found in other regions of the country.
The Committee therefore recommends that the State party take measures
to resolve the underlying causes of tension and unrest, not merely on
an emergency basis, but as part of a long-term strategy to combat racial
discrimination and violence, so as to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.
The Committee also wishes to receive further information concerning the
criminal proceedings brought against individuals involved in the incidents,
and to know to what extent convictions were directly linked to acts of
8. The Committee
notes that no easily accessible information was provided with regard to
the status of the inhabitants of Ceuta and Melilla. The State party is
requested to provide information on their status and on whether they enjoy,
without discrimination, the rights listed in article 5 of the Convention.
9. With reference
to article 5 (e) of the Convention, the Committee expresses concern about
reports indicating the prevailing discrimination against persons of foreign
origin, particularly in the field of employment. The Committee wishes
to receive further information on measures taken by the State party to
ensure the practical enjoyment by persons belonging to ethnic or national
minorities of the rights to work and to equal opportunities for promotion
and career development, to education and to housing.
10. While noting
the positive measures taken by the State party to ensure that the Roma
are not discriminated against, the Committee expresses concern over the
high drop-out rates and registered absences of Roma children in primary
schools, as well as the low number of Roma completing higher education.
The State party is requested to provide information about measures undertaken
and planned to ensure equal education opportunities for the Roma minority.
11. With reference
to previously expressed concern about reports of racist attitudes on the
part of the police and Civil Guard officers, the State party is requested
to provide information in its next report on any evaluation made of the
effectiveness of non-discrimination training schemes for these officers.
12. The State
party is invited to provide further information in its next report on
the following issues: (a) the ethnic composition of the population and
the principal socio-economic situation of each group; (b) action taken
to implement Organic Law No. 4/2000 on Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners
effectively; (c) the results of the regularization schemes for illegal
immigrants, and (d) measures taken to ensure that laws governing the right
to education and linguistic standardization in the Autonomous Communities
are not discriminatory in effect.
13. 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.
14. While noting
that the State party has made the declaration provided for in article
14 of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party review
its reservation under article 14, which imposes a restrictive deadline
of three months instead of six after the exhaustion of domestic remedies,
for the submission of communications to the Committee.
15. The Committee
recommends that the State 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.
16. The Committee
recommends that the State party's next periodic report, which was due
on 4 January 2000, be a comprehensive report and that it address the points
raised in the present observations.