Shadow Report to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter submitted in July 2023 to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) a Shadow Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in Croatia.
The preparation of this Report is one of the Ombudswoman’s roles as the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) with Status A. It’s preparation is in accordance with the General Recommendation of CERD no. 28 on the role of NHRIs in the performance of obligations arising from the Convention and the implementation of CERD recommendations.
CERD held its 110th session from 7 to 31 August 2023 in Geneva. Deputy Ombudsman Tatjana Vlašić participated in the session on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in Croatia, which took place on August 9 and 10.
The Report is based on complaints acted upon by the Ombudswoman, field work, research, as well as data collected from various stakeholders: public authorities, civil society organizations, trade unions, employers, universities and many others. It contains challenges in protection against discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, including comments on the most important strategic documents. It also describes most common complaints and gives a more detailed overview of the areas under CERD’s jurisdiction.
This especially applies to the problems faced by members of the Roma, but also the Serbian national minority and migrants, as well as violation of rights in work and employment in the context of national and ethnic origin, including those encountered by foreign workers who are citizens of third countries. The report also contains challenges related to hate crimes and hate speech, free legal aid, housing and sustainable return.
The Report particulary highlights the need to introduce mandatory human rights education as a separate school subject and part of civic education. As part of that subject, children would learn from an early age about the right to equality and the prohibition of discrimination, and the implementation of education in that area should be regularly evaluated.
The Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is a body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in the signatory states. All signatory states are required to submit reports on the implementation of the Convention every five years. The committee reviews the report and makes final recommendations to the states.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination is available here.
Croatia submitted the last report on the implementation of the Convention in 2020, in the form of a consolidated version of several periodic reports (from the 9th to the 14th). You can find that report here.
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