United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - Concluding Observations
on the Elimination
of all Forms of
1 May 2001
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
31 July - 25 August 2000
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES
PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
1. The Committee considered the thirteenth and fourteenth periodic reports of Mauritius, submitted as one document (CERD/C/362/Add.2), at its 1401st and 1402nd meetings (CERD/C/SR.1401 and 1402), held on 31 July and 1 August 2000. At its 1414th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1414), held on 10 August 2000, it adopted the following concluding observations.
2. The Committee welcomes the detailed report submitted by the State party, which was drafted taking account of the reporting guidelines of the Committee, as well as the additional information provided orally by the delegation. It also welcomes the constructive dialogue pursued with the State party.
3. The Committee was encouraged by the fact that the Government was represented by a high-ranking delegation; its direct and constructive replies to the questions asked and its comments were much appreciated.
B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee notes the multi-ethnic diversity of the population of Mauritius and the harmony in which its various constituent ethnic groups live. The State party’s experience regarding ethnic and racial problems is thus very instructive in the view of the members of the Committee.
5. The Committee notes with satisfaction that since the consideration of its last periodic report, the State party has established two new institutions, namely the National Human Rights Commission and the Committee on Poverty, both of which will contribute to combating racial discrimination.
6. Lastly, the Committee welcomes the forthcoming adoption of the Equal Opportunities Act, aimed at the implementation of article 5 of the Convention, and the introduction of a Public Security Act punishing any act or conduct inciting to racial hatred, in conformity with article 4 of the Convention.
C. Concerns and recommendations
7. The Committee reminds the State party that the existence of constitutional and legislative provisions prohibiting racial discrimination and incitement to racial hatred and the absence of judicial decisions relating to such acts does not mean that there is no racial discrimination in Mauritian society. It is therefore essential to inform the public of the existence of such legal provisions.
8. The Committee notes that the State party has not provided it with sufficient information about the rioting that broke out between Creole groups and groups of Indian origin following the death of a popular singer at a police station. The Committee would like to know the results of the inquiry on this issue.
9. Despite its previous requests, the Committee notes that it has still not been provided with statistical data on the ethnic composition of Mauritian society. The Committee would appreciate information on the ethnic and gender composition of the population to be included in the next report.
10. Since the National Human Rights Commission and the Committee on Poverty are very recent institutions, the State party is also invited, in its next report, to provide further information on their functioning and the results of their activities, with particular reference to problems of racial discrimination.
11. It is noted that the State party has not made the declaration provided for in article 14 of the Convention and some members of the Committee requested the State party to consider the possibility of making such a declaration.
12. 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 States Parties to the Convention.
13. The Committee recommends that the State party’s periodic reports be made widely available to the public from the time they are submitted and that the Committee’s concluding observations be similarly publicized.
14. The Committee recommends that the State party’s next periodic report, due on 29 June 2001, be an updating report and that it address the points raised in the present observations.