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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS


12 March 2004


COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION CONCLUDES SIXTY-FOURTH SESSION

Issues Recommendations on Reports of Suriname, Spain, Sweden, the Bahamas,the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lebanon, Nepal, Brazil and the Netherlands



The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this afternoon concluded its sixty-fourth session by adopting its concluding observations on the reports of Suriname, Spain, Sweden, the Bahamas, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Lebanon, Nepal, Brazil and the Netherlands which were reviewed during the three-week session. The Committee also adopted a decision on Guyana under its review procedure.

The Committee, the first body created by the United Nations to review actions by States parties in fulfilling their obligations under a specific human rights agreement, held question-and-answer sessions with Government delegations from the presenting countries. All 169 State parties to the International Convention are required to submit periodic reports to the Committee, which consists of 18 Experts.

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In response to the reports of Lebanon, the Committee welcomed the measures taken with regard to foreign workers and the inclusion in school curricula of human rights education. The Committee reiterated its concern over the enjoyment by the Palestinian population present in the country of all rights stipulated in the Convention and urged the State party to take measures to ameliorate their situation in that regard.

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Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Country Reports

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Lebanon

Concerning the periodic reports of Lebanon, the Committee welcomed the measures taken with regard to foreign workers concerning regulation of the work of agencies that recruited domestic employees and the inclusion in school curricula of human rights education and in particular the concept of combating discrimination, especially racial discrimination, and promoting tolerance.

While acknowledging the political factors related to the presence of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, the Committee reiterated its concern with regard to the enjoyment by the Palestinian population present in the country of all rights stipulated in the Convention on the basis of non-discrimination, in particular access to work, health care, housing and social services as well as the right to effective legal remedies. The Committee urged the State party to take measures to ameliorate the situation of Palestinian refugees with regard to the enjoyment of the rights protected under the Convention, and at a minimum to remove all legislative provisions and change policies that had a discriminatory effect on the Palestinian population in comparison with other non-citizens.

The Committee expressed regret that no statistics were provided on cases where the relevant provisions of domestic legislation concerning racial discrimination were applied. In this regard, it requested that the State party include in its next periodic report statistical information on prosecutions launched, and penalties imposed, in cases of offences which related to racial discrimination, and where the relevant provisions of the existing domestic legislation had been applied.

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