The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is a United Nations convention. A third-generation human rights instrument, the Convention commits its members to the elimination of racial discrimination and the promotion of understanding among all races. Controversially, the Convention also requires its parties to outlaw hate speech and criminalize membership in racist organizations.
The Convention also includes an individual complaints mechanism, effectively making it enforceable against its parties. This has led to the development of a limited jurisprudence on the interpretation and implementation of the Convention.
The convention was adopted and opened for signature by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 1965, and entered into force on 4 January 1969. As of October 2015, it has 88 signatories and 177 parties.
The Convention is monitored by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
n December 1960, following incidents of antisemitism in several parts of the world, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning “all manifestations and practices of racial, religious and national hatred” as violations of the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights and calling on the governments of all states to “take all necessary measures to prevent all manifestations of racial, religious and national hatred”. The Economic and Social Council followed this up by drafting a resolution on “manifestations of racial prejudice and national and religious intolerance”, calling on governments to educate the public against intolerance and rescind discriminatory laws. Lack of time prevented this from being considered by the General Assembly in 1961, but it was passed the next year.
During the early debate on this resolution, African nations led by the Central African Republic, Chad, Dahomey, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, and Upper Volta pushed for more concrete action on the issue, in the form of an international convention against racial discrimination. Some nations preferred a declaration rather than a binding convention, while others wanted to deal with racial and religious intolerance in a single instrument. The eventual compromise, forced by the Arab nations’ political opposition to treating religious intolerance at the same time as racial intolerance plus other nations’ opinion that religious intolerance was less urgent, was for two resolutions, one calling for a declaration and draft convention aimed at eliminating racial discrimination, the other doing the same for religious intolerance.
The draft Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination was adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1963. The same day the General Assembly called for the Economic and Social Council and the Commission on Human Rights to make the drafting of a Convention on the subject an absolute priority. The draft was completed by mid-1964, but delays in the General Assembly meant that it could not be adopted that year. It was finally adopted on 21 December 1965.
Article 1 of the Convention defines “racial discrimination” as:
…any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.
Distinctions made on the basis of citizenship (that is, between citizens and non-citizens) are specifically excluded from the definition, as are affirmative action policies and other measures taken to redress imbalances and promote equality.
This definition does not distinguish between discrimination based on ethnicity and discrimination based on race, in part because the distinction between the ethnicity and race remains debatable among anthropologists. The inclusion of descent specifically covers discrimination on the basis of caste and other forms of inherited status.
Discrimination need not be strictly based on race or ethnicity for the Convention to apply. Rather, whether a particular action or policy discriminates is judged by its effects.
In seeking to determine whether an action has an effect contrary to the Convention, it will look to see whether that action has an unjustifiable disparate impact upon a group distinguished by race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.
The question of whether an individual belongs to a particular racial group is to be decided, in the absence of justification to the contrary, by self-identification. reference :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Convention_on_the_Elimination_of_All_Forms_of_Racial_Discrimination