UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)

UN to assess racial discrimination in Ireland in 2019

Is Ireland meeting its legal obligations to eliminate racial discrimination? That’s what the United Nations will ask the Irish government this coming December. Ahead of the state review, the Commission, as Ireland’s independent national human rights and equality institution, will submit its independent “shadow” report to the UN.

On 2-3 December 2019 in Geneva, representatives of the Irish government will appear before the UN Committee tasked with examining the State’s record in ending racial discrimination and make recommendations for action under the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

The UN CERD Committee is made up of experts from countries around the world. Every few years, different countries that have ratified the CERD Convention are called to report to the Committee, which then issues recommendations in the form of Concluding Observations. Ireland ratified the CERD Convention in 2000 and last appeared before the Committee in 2011.

In parallel to the Irish government’s official CERD submission, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has a mandate to provide a separate independent report on how Ireland is meeting its international legal obligations to combat racial discrimination under CERD. The Commission’s final parallel report will be submitted to the UN in November.

The Commission will also attend the examination and engage with the UN CERD Committee during the 2-3 December 2019 examination session in Geneva.

Throughout 2019, the Commission has held consultations with young people, civil society and others to inform our report to the UN Committee overseeing compliance with the CERD treaty. We will host a live webcast of the UN CERD Committee’s examination of Ireland at our offices in Green Street, Dublin. More information to follow shorty.

In July 2019, the Commission submitted a List of Themes to assist the UN CERD Committee plan its examination of Ireland on its Combined 5th to 9th Report to UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On 9 October 2019, the UN Country Rapporteur published a Note on the List of Themes in relation to the combined fifth to ninth reports of Ireland.

Scroll down to find out more about the Commission’s CERD consultations and links to the documents mentioned above.

Follow all the latest on Twitter with the hashtags#BeHeardonCERD and CERD19.


Youth consultation to inform IHREC independent report

We know that racial discrimination affects young people in particular ways. That’s why we have made youth perspectives, insights and recommendations a key part of our consultations for our independent report to the UN Committee.

On 30 March 2019, in association with the National Youth Council of Ireland, we held a youth consultation inviting young people – aged 16-24 – to tell us how the Irish government could create a more just and equal society that is free from racial discrimination.

Watch the video summary above of the day-long event held in Dublin.


Civil society consultation at Green Street

On 27 May 2019, the Commission held a further consultation with civil society organisations, former chair of the UN CERD Committee Anastasia Crickley and other stakeholders.

See below for a collection of Tweets from the consultations, held at the Commission’s offices at Green Street, Dublin.


Supporting resources

List of themes in relation to the combined fifth to ninth reports of Ireland, Note by the Country Rapporteur, 8 October 2019

Submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the List of Themes for the Examination of
Ireland on its Combined 5th to 9th Report, Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, July 2019

Combined fifth to ninth periodic reports submitted by Ireland under article 9 of the Convention (2018)

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (April 2011)

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination