Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination : Italy. 08/08/2001.
A/56/18,paras.298-320. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CERD
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Fifty-ninth session
30 July – 17 August 2001


ITALY

298. The Committee considered the thirteenth periodic report of Italy CERD/C/406/Add.1) at its 1466th and 1467th meetings, on 30 and 31 July 2001 (CERD/C/SR.1466 and 1467), and at its 1479th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1479), on 8 August 2001, adopted the following concluding observations.



A. Introduction

299. The Committee welcomes the very detailed report presented by the Government of Italy, which focuses on the recommendations made by the Committee in its previous concluding observations (CERD/C/304/Add.68) and contains relevant information about the implementation of the provisions of the Convention in the State party. The Committee also notes the State party’s regularity in its submission of periodic reports.

300. While the Committee welcomes the detailed information on issues related to immigration, most of the report deals with the situation of foreigners, while racial discrimination in the sense of the Convention embraces discrimination against all persons on grounds of race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, irrespective of whether they are Italian citizens or foreigners.



B. Positive aspects

301. The Committee is satisfied that its previous recommendations have been widely disseminated and communicated among all relevant administrations.

302. The Committee notes with satisfaction that new courses on human rights implementation and principles have been set up for the police, the carabinieri and for the personnel of detention facilities.

303. The Committee welcomes the establishment of cultural mediators who are expected to contribute to a constructive and successful dialogue with foreigners present in the country and between individuals of different communities. The Committee also notes with satisfaction that these cultural mediators, currently 75 in number, are properly trained and are mostly recruited among persons of foreign origin.

304. The Committee welcomes the fact that the Testo Unico, the State party’s unified legislation on the status of foreigners, creates an obligation for employers to ensure, by means of their own resources, appropriate housing facilities for immigrants and their families for a certain period of time.

305. The Committee welcomes the particularly detailed statistical information on foreigners and criminality and on illegal immigration.

306. The Committee welcomes the fact that the State party’s legislation provides for the right to education for all minors, irrespective of the existence of a valid residence permit, and the role played in this regard by the recently created Permanent Territorial Centres (Centri Territoriali Permanenti).

307. The Committee welcomes the imminent adoption of the draft law on “Measures against trafficking in persons” that has already been adopted by one chamber of the State party’s legislature.



C. Concerns and recommendations

308. The Committee notes that foreigners residing regularly on the territory of the State party account for 2.2 per cent of its total population. In view of the difficulties resulting from its particular geographical location and the specific shape of its territory which lead to a high influx of illegal immigrants, the Committee recommends that the State party take active measures to promote racial tolerance among all individuals and especially among law enforcement authorities.

309. The Committee reiterates its encouragement to the State party to consider recognizing the status of minority to Roma populations who have resided in Italy for an extended period of time and who have become sedentary. In this respect, the Committee recommends that the State party consult effectively with representatives of the Roma population. The Committee also expresses its concern with regard to the possible inappropriate consequences of the State party’s policy of encouraging Roma to apply for stateless status.

310. The Committee recommends the State party to ensure that the local authorities take more resolute action to prevent and punish racially motivated acts of violence against Roma and other persons of foreign origin.

311. The Committee considers that the education of Roma children is one of the priorities for the integration of their community in Italian society. In this respect, the Committee notes that the State party has chosen to integrate Roma children into the regular Italian schooling system, but suggests that the State party continue to make every effort to respect and accommodate the specific cultural background of these children.

312. While noting that the legislation adopted by the State party regarding article 4 of the Convention is appropriate and contains a comprehensive definition of racial discrimination, the Committee, concerned about allegations that racist organizations were not properly punished, requests the State party to examine thoroughly such allegations.

313. While noting the State party’s indication in its report that the number of incidents of racist violence has decreased, the Committee is concerned about incidents of this nature, in particular those that have recently occurred during football matches. The Committee supports, in this respect, the efforts made by the State party and urges it to maintain a firm policy towards the perpetrators of such violence.

314. Taking note of the information provided by the State party that women represent 58.8 per cent of the immigrant labour force in domestic work, and aware of the possibility that they may easily be exploited, the Committee recommends that the State party take all appropriate measures to reduce this risk.

315. The Committee notes that the increase in the percentage of foreigners accused of crimes (from 4.2 per cent in 1991 to 9.8 per cent in 1997) is largely due to foreigners staying illegally in Italy (84.95 per cent of the persons denounced and 88.77 per cent of the persons arrested). As this development can have an important effect on tolerance and peaceful coexistence between Italian citizens and foreigners, as acknowledged by the State party, the Committee encourages the State party to stress that there is no correlation between the increase of criminality and the presence of migrants and other foreigners staying legally in the country.

316. The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts and its cooperation with other countries, including the countries of origin, in order to reduce illegal immigration, criminal trafficking and commercial exploitation of human beings. Noting that foreign employees regularly resident on the territory are guaranteed equality of treatment with Italian employees while irregular workers, who make up 30 per cent of the entire non-EU labour force (and even up to 50 per cent in northern Italy), are subjected to different forms of exploitation, the Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to put an end to those illegal practices.

317. In accordance with previous requests made by the Committee * the State party is invited in its next report to provide further information on the implementation of article 6 of the Convention, and particularly on the numbers of persons who have been convicted following racist incidents, on the different forms of such incidents and on the response provided by Italian courts. In this regard, the Committee would welcome updated information on the incidents that occurred in 1998 and 1999 in Venice, Milan, Rome, Barletta, Turin and Bologna referred to in the present periodic report.

318. While recognizing that the State party has made the declaration provided for under article 14 of the Convention in 1978, the Committee notes that it has not yet received any individual communications from persons under the jurisdiction of the State party. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the public is well informed of the possibility of submitting such communications to the Committee.

319. The Committee recommends that the State party’s reports be made readily available to the public from the time they are submitted and that the Committee’s concluding observations on them be similarly publicized. It encourages the State party to insert the Committee’s concluding observations on the appropriate ministry’s Web site.

320. The Committee recommends that the State party submit its fourteenth periodic report jointly with its fifteenth periodic report, due on 4 February 2005, and that it address the points raised in the present observations.

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*
Ibid., Fiftieth Session, Supplement No. 18 (A/50/18), para. 104; see also document CERD/C/304/Add.68.


1996-2001
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
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