UN Rights Committee reviews anti-discrimination efforts in seven states


The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Monday opened its 107th session in Geneva and reviewed the anti-discrimination efforts done in the seven UN member states – Benin, Nicaragua, United States of America, Azerbaijan, Slovakia, Zimbabwe and Surinam.

Wan-Hea Lee, Chief of the Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Human Rights Treaties Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Representative of the Secretary-General, congratulated the Committee on its work fighting racial discrimination.

The UN official also commended the Committee for its flexibility throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms. Lee credited an agreement that established a predictable schedule of country reviews with bolstering the Committee’s resilience and expanding upon its initiatives, including a simplified procedure to address chronic under-reporting and long delays in submitting reports.

Despite notable improvements, Ms. Lee said that the Covid-19 pandemic remains prevalent and continues to deal economic, social, and cultural progress blows.

The Treaties chief described education as a fitting example of the impact that the pandemic has had on advancing human rights.

Specifically, she pointed to the challenges it has created for vulnerable learners and observed that ingrained disparities within global education systems had come to the fore.

Ms. Lee also flagged that migrants at international borders remain an important concern across the globe.

She referenced a recent report by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, who raised concerns over rights implications on measures being followed by some States.

To control borders and govern immigration, they are pushing back by restricting asylum procedures and criminalizing of irregular immigration.

Meanwhile, during its last session, the Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent extensively explored the human rights situation of children of African descent.

From the administration of justice to education and health to family life as well as redress for legacies of enslavement, colonialism, and racial segregation, they investigated the racial discrimination and inequalities faced by children of African descent in all areas of life.

The Committee meeting on Tuesday (09 Aug.) will consider Benin’s periodic reports. (Source: UN News)