Committee considered the third periodic report of Iceland (CCPR/C/94/Add.2)
at its 1704th and 1705th meetings, held on 21 October 1998 (CCPR/C/SR.1704-1705),
and adopted the following concluding observations at its 1717th
meeting, held on 29 October 1998.
Committee welcomes the timely and comprehensive report submitted
by the Government of Iceland. The Committee also expresses its appreciation
for the provision, by the Icelandic delegation of further information
about developments in the implementation of human rights in Iceland
subsequent to the submission of the report. The written information
submitted by the delegation in reply to the Committee's list of
issues was particularly useful. The Committee also expresses its
appreciation for the constructive and open dialogue it had with
the Icelandic delegation.
B. Positive factors
Committee commends the State party for its excellent record in the
implementation of the provisions of the Covenant. It notes with
appreciation that the second periodic report of Iceland as well
as the Committee's concluding observations thereon were widely disseminated
and were the object of public debate, which contributed to recent
constitutional and legislative changes in the field of human rights.
Committee welcomes the fact that Iceland has withdrawn its reservation
to articles 8, paragraph 3 (a), and 13 of the Covenant.
Committee expresses satisfaction at the adoption of Constitutional
Act No. 97/1995 amending the human rights provisions of the Constitution,
which now reflects to a greater extent the provisions of various
international human rights instruments, including the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee also expresses
its satisfaction that the constitutional amendments give strength
to the principle of the indivisibility of civil, political, economic,
social and cultural rights.
Committee takes note of the intense legislative activity in matters
covered by the Covenant that has taken place in Iceland since the
examination of the second periodic report. It expresses its appreciation
that the newly adopted laws contribute to better protection of fundamental
rights in the State party. Of particular interest in this respect
are the adoption of Act No. 62/1994 incorporating the Convention
on Human Rights, the Act on the Judiciary (No. 15/1998), and the
amendments to the Foreign Nationals Supervision Act (No. 45/1965),
the Personal Names Act (No. 45/1996) and the Act on Administrative
Committee welcomes the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman
for Children (Act No. 83/1994) and of the Human Rights Centre in
C. Principal subjects
of concern and recommendations
noting that the the European Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has been incorporated into Icelandic
law, the Committee emphasizes that a number of articles of the Covenant,
including articles 3, 4, 12, 22, 24, 25, 26 and 27, go beyond the
provisions of the European Convention. The Committee therefore encourages
the State party to ensure that all rights protected under the Covenant
are given effect in Icelandic law.
Committee recommends that the remaining reservations to the Covenant
be reconsidered with a view to their eventual withdrawal.
Committee notes with concern the persistence of certain areas of
inequality between men and women in Iceland, despite the efforts
of the Government. It recommends that the State party intensify
its efforts to achieve full equality between men and women, including
in the employment sector. It hopes that the "job evaluation"
exercise undertaken under the Ministry of Social Affairs will contribute
to eliminating discrimination in the workplace and to implementing
fully the principle of equal wage for work of equal value. The Committee
asks that the next periodic report provide further information on
measures taken to combat all forms of violence against women.
Committee reiterates its concern over the persistence of discrimination
in law and practice against children born out of wedlock, which
is incompatible with articles 24 and 26 of the Covenant. It recommends
that attention be paid to the prompt rectification of this situation
with regard to all rights to which children are entitled.
Committee requests the State party to ensure the publication and
wide dissemination in Iceland of the State party's report as well
as of the Committee's concluding observations.
Committee fixes the date for the submission of Iceland's fourth
periodic report to be October 2003.