implementation of rights and freedoms (Art. 5) : . 15/03/96. CERD General recom.
20. (General Comments)
implementation of rights and freedoms (Art. 5)
1. Article 5
of the Convention contains the obligation of States Parties to guarantee the
enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms
without racial discrimination. Note should be taken that the rights and freedoms
mentioned in article 5 do not constitute an exhaustive list. At the head of
these rights and freedoms are those deriving from the Charter of the United
Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as recalled in the
preamble to the Convention. Most of these rights have been elaborated in the
International Covenants on Human Rights. All States Parties are therefore
obliged to acknowledge and protect the enjoyment of human rights, but the manner
in which these obligations are translated into the legal orders of States
Parties may differ. Article 5 of the Convention, apart from requiring a
guarantee that the exercise of human rights shall be free from racial
discrimination, does not of itself create civil, political, economic, social or
cultural rights, but assumes the existence and recognition of these rights. The
Convention obliges States to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination in the
enjoyment of such human rights.
Whenever a State imposes a restriction upon one of the rights listed in article
5 of the Convention which applies ostensibly to all within its jurisdiction, it
must ensure that neither in purpose nor effect is the restriction incompatible
with article 1 of the Convention as an integral part of international human
rights standards. To ascertain whether this is the case, the Committee is
obliged to inquire further to make sure that any such restriction does not
entail racial discrimination.
of the rights and freedoms mentioned in article 5, such as the right to equal
treatment before tribunals, are to be enjoyed by all persons living in a given
State; others such as the right to participate in elections, to vote and to
stand for election are the rights of citizens.
4. The States Parties are recommended to report about the
non-discriminatory implementation of each of the rights and freedoms referred to
in article 5 of the Convention one by one.
5. The rights and freedoms referred to in article 5 of
the Convention and any similar rights shall be protected by a State Party. Such
protection may be achieved in different ways, be it by the use of public
institutions or through the activities of private institutions. In any case, it
is the obligation of the State Party concerned to ensure the effective
implementation of the Convention and to report thereon under article 9 of the
Convention. To the extent that private institutions influence the exercise of
rights or the availability of opportunities, the State Party must ensure that
the result has neither the purpose nor the effect of creating or perpetuating
** Contained in document A/51/18.
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for Human Rights