Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, Concluding observations: Germany, U.N. Doc. A/48/18, paras. 442-452 (1993).

At its 1009th meeting, held on 18 August 1993, the Committee adopted the following concluding observations.

(a) Introduction

The Committee commended the State party on the high quality of its report, drawn up in accordance with the Committee's guidelines for the preparation of State party reports (CERD/C/70/Rev.3). The comprehensive information provided in the report, the frank and constructive approach taken by the representatives of the reporting State in their dialogue with the Committee and the additional information they provided with regard to recent developments relating to the implementation of the Convention in Germany showed the seriousness of the Government of Germany in cooperating with the Committee and its commitment to the international obligations it has assumed under the Convention.

(b) Positive aspects

The Committee welcomed the efforts of the German authorities to fight against xenophobia and racial discrimination, in compliance with its obligations under the Convention. In that connection, the Committee welcomed legal and other measures taken by the German authorities to give effect to the provisions of article 4 of the Convention. The Committee noted that the Government had the necessary will to cope with the problem of racial hatred. The Committee also noted with appreciation that in many German cities large popular demonstrations had been held against recent expressions of racist violence and xenophobia.

(c) Principal subjects of concern

The Committee expressed serious concern at the manifestations of xenophobia, anti-semitism, racial discrimination and racial violence that had recently occurred in Germany. In spite of the Government's efforts to counteract and to prevent them, it appeared that those manifestations were increasing and that the German police system had in many instances failed to provide effective protection to victims and potential victims of xenophobia and racial discrimination, as required by the Convention. The Committee particularly held that all those who carried out functions in public and political life should in no way encourage sentiments of racism and xenophobia.

(d) Suggestions and recommendations

In view of the serious nature of the manifestations of xenophobia, racism and racial discrimination in Germany, the Committee recommended that practical measures should be strengthened with a view to preventing such manifestations, particularly acts of violence on an ethnic basis, and to punishing those who committed them. Measures should be taken, in that regard, against the organizations and groups involved.

At the same time, taking into account that practices of racial discrimination in such areas as access to employment, housing and other rights referred to in article 5 (f) of the Convention are not always effectively dealt with, the German authorities should give serious consideration to the enactment of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law. Such a law would constitute a clear reaffirmation by the Germany authorities that racial discrimination was absolutely unacceptable, detrimental to human rights and human dignity. Other preventive measures, such as information campaigns, educational programmes and training programmes addressed particularly to law enforcement officials, in accordance with article 7 of the Convention and General Recommendation XIII of the Committee, would strengthen the effectiveness of legal provisions.

The Committee was also of the view that the Government should guarantee equal protection to all minority groups living in Germany. In addition, the Government should consider reviewing certain restrictive provisions recently adopted with regard to asylum-seekers, to ensure that they did not result in any discrimination in effect on grounds of ethnic origin.

While commending the Government of Germany for taking measures to prohibit extremist organizations disseminating ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, the Committee was of the view that appropriate measures should also be strictly applied against such organizations and especially against persons and groups who were implicated in racially motivated crimes.

In accordance with its General Recommendation XI, the Committee appealed to the Government of Germany to continue reporting fully upon legislation on foreigners and its implementation.

The Committee further invited Germany, taking into account statements to that effect by the World Conference on Human Rights, to make the declaration under article 14 of the Convention recognizing the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals or groups of individuals within its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation of any of the rights set forth in the Convention.

The Committee was of the view that the situation in Germany should be kept under close scrutiny and expected Germany, in its thirteenth periodic report, to inform the Committee on further measures taken in compliance with the Convention and pursuant to recommendations and suggestions put forward in connection with the examination of the eleventh and twelfth reports.

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