Anastasia Crickley Chairperson UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) reported to the UN General Assembly, New York, today.

Speaking at the presentation of the Report on the Committee’s work over the past year Ms. Crickley called on the international community to redouble its efforts to name and address racism.

She expressed alarm at what she described as the toxic global discourse fanning racism today and said that while progress had been made since the ICERD was adopted in 1965 it had its limitations, including in the USA.

Special measures are required she said for the economic and social access necessary for full rights realisation. These are and have been denied to so many marginalised and minority members globally.

Noting the EU’s focus on citizens rights she reminded that residents whatever their status, however long or short their residency and by whatever means they have arrived, have the right to be free from racial discrimination. Our so called fears should not be pitted against others rights.

Racial discrimination is multi-faceted, in CERD’s experience one size solutions do not fit all, and unless the intersectionality with gender discrimination is addressed the particular and often sexualised forms of racism experienced by women and girls can be ignored she continued.

The situation of Roma and Travellers, Ms Crickley, said continues to be of great concern for the Committee as the implementation of national strategies in various countries continued to lack political will, have inadequate resources and fall short of genuine consultation with Roma and Travellers groups in their development, implementation and evaluation.

The report also focused on the rights of migrants and the need to ensure that the upcoming UN Migration Compact enhanced these and the immediate importance of addressing hate speech and hate crime rigorously. It also called for data collection and the use of appropriately constructed ethnic identifiers to support rights realisation initiatives.

Anastasia Crickley
Chairperson UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Vice-President International Association for Community Development
Emeritus, Department of Applied Social Studies, Maynooth University, Ireland