International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination


The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is a United Nations treaty that was adopted by the General Assembly in 1965. It is one of the core international human rights treaties and addresses the issue of racial discrimination in all its forms.

The ICERD defines racial discrimination as any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.

The main objective of the ICERD is to eliminate racial discrimination and promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all racial and ethnic groups. The convention obliges states parties to take legislative, judicial, and administrative measures to prevent, prohibit, and eradicate racial discrimination in all its forms.

States parties are required to guarantee equal treatment and protection of individuals against racial discrimination in various areas, including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights. They are also encouraged to promote and support activities to combat racial discrimination and promote understanding and respect among different racial and ethnic groups.

The ICERD establishes a monitoring body called the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The committee is composed of independent experts who review periodic reports submitted by states parties on their implementation of the convention. The committee also considers individual complaints of racial discrimination submitted by individuals or groups against state parties that have recognized the committee’s jurisdiction.

Overall, the ICERD plays a crucial role in promoting equality and combating racial discrimination at the international level, urging states to take necessary measures to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and promote a more inclusive and harmonious society.

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