The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination holds regular thematic discussions on issues related to racial discrimination and the Convention. During these thematic discussions, the Committee holds an informal meeting to allow States parties, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations wishing to do so to express their views on the subject. The Committee then continues the thematic discussion in a public plenary meeting.

The Committee receives written information from NGOs on the subject under discussion and NGOs wishing to make a 5-minute oral intervention during the meeting should inform the Secretariat of the Committee and provide an electronic version and 20 hard copies of their oral intervention.

The CERD holds a thematic discussion regularly. Past discussions have focused on the issues in the following table. Click on the summary record of the meetings to follow the discussion.

Summary records
29 November 2017: Thematic Discussion on Racial Discrimination in Today's World: Racial profiling, ethnic cleansing and current global issues and challenges
28 August 2012: Thematic discussion on racist hate speech
7 March 2011: Thematic discussion on racial discrimination against People of African descent
4 - 5 August 2008: Thematic discussion on "special measures / affirmative action"

Declaration on the prevention of genocide


Follow up procedure to the Declaration on Prevention of Genocide Indicators of Systematic and massive patterns of racial discrimination



Non-citizens and racial discrimination

Discrimination based on Descent
Discrimination against Roma

About the early-warning measures and urgent procedures

In 1993, the Committee adopted a working paper to guide it in dealing with possible measures to prevent, as well as to respond more effectively to, violations of the Convention (see A/48/18, Annex III). The working paper noted that both early warning measures and urgent procedures could be used to try to prevent serious violations of the Convention. At its 45th session in 1994, the Committee decided that preventive measures including early warning and urgent procedures, should become part of its regular agenda.

Early warning measures are to be directed at preventing existing problems from escalating into conflicts and can also include confidence-building measures to identify and support whatever strengthens and reinforces racial tolerance, particularly to prevent a resumption of conflict where it has previously occurred. Criteria for early warning measures could, for example, include the following situations: the lack if an adequate legislative basis for defining and prohibiting all forms of racial discrimination, as provided for in the Convention; inadequate implementation of enforcement mechanisms, including the lack of recourse procedures; the presence of a pattern of escalating racial hatred and violence, or racist propaganda or appeals to racial intolerance by persons, groups or organisations, notably by elected or other officials; a significant pattern of racial discrimination evidenced in social and economic indicators, and significant flows of refugees or displaced persons resulting from a pattern of racial discrimination or encroachment on the lands of minority communities.

Urgent procedures are to respond to problems requiring immediate attention to prevent or limit the scale or number of serious violations of the Convention. Criteria for initiating an urgent procedure could include, for example, the presence of a serious , massive or persistent pattern of racial discrimination; or a situation that is serious where there is a risk of further racial discrimination.

Decisions, statements or resolutions are adopted and further action is taken by the Committee under these procedures that have been used since 1993 in relation to more than 20 States parties. The Committee has, inter alia, conducted two field visits in connection with the procedure and has drawn the attention of the Secretary-General, the Security Council or other relevant bodies in relation to 6 States parties.

In its working paper adopted at the 63rd session, the Committee mentioned that it may decide to set up a working group to consider the status of implementation of its decisions and recommendations under the early-warning measures and urgent procedures and to make suggestions in this respect. The working group may also be charged with suggesting appropriate measures to reactivate these mechanisms, indicating the situations or cases to which these measures or procedures may be applied.

Civil Society Consultation

 Joining hands to end racial discriminatiom, CERD Consultation with Civil Society 

Country-specific information