Joining hands to end racial discrimination

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Consultation with Civil Society

23 November 2016, 15:00 to 18:00

Palais des Nations, Conference Room XX

School diversity many hands held together” by Wonder woman0731 © CC best practices
School diversity many hands held together by Wonder woman0731,
is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / Cropped and color modified from the

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) marked its 50th anniversary in 2015, hosting an event that brought together States, UN bodies and stakeholders to share their reflections on how the Convention has helped make a difference in combatting racial discrimination. The event also celebrated organizations and individuals who have contributed to the cause by identifying contemporary challenges to, as well as solutions for, the eradication of racism and ensuring the effective implementation of the Convention.

While significant progress has been made, the Committee recognises that much remains to be done. Racial discrimination in all its forms -- including hate speech, hate crimes and racist attitudes towards migrants and minorities – is on the rise worldwide. It is critical that the implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the work of the Committee addresses these global issues. The Committee also seeks to ensure that its work addresses the concerns that are most pressing in various country contexts and at national, regional and global levels.

In light of this, the Committee is strengthening its work and engagement with civil society organizations as an integral part of its efforts. To this end, a consultation day was held on 23 November 2016 to explore new and innovative ways for the CERD to work with civil society organizations to increase the implementation of the Convention. The event explored the key challenges of racial discrimination today and responses by civil society to combat these, civil society representatives’ engagement with CERD to date and suggestions of how to enhance the  work of the Committee on racial discrimination in order to strengthen the impact of its recommendations on the ground.

Prior to the consultation, civil society organizations were invited to submit written responses to the questions outlined below. Click here to access the written submissions received from civil society organisations.  


  1. What are the key challenges and issues of racial discrimination in your country/region today and how do you work to address them?
  2. What has been your experience, as civil society, of engaging with CERD to date?
  3. How can the CERD improve and enhance its engagement with civil society, and its work on racial discrimination for greater impact on the ground?

The Consultation provided a space for discussion among participants on these guiding questions.

Civil Society organizations that were not able to attend the Consultations in person were able to watch the web cast live on UN Web Tv at Questions and contributions were also sought on social media platforms during and after the event, using the hashtag #fightracism, and informed the discussions and recommendations.

​In this section


Event registration form
(Complete the form and send it to the Secretariat by email at by latest 16 November 2016)

Concept note
English: Word | PDF
French: Word | PDF
Spanish: Word | PDF

English: Word | PDF
French: Word | PDF
Spanish: Word | PDF

Summary records (CERD/C/SR.2492)

Outcome Document
English: PDF

Related links
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