Distr.

GENERAL

CERD/C/60/CO/7
21 May 2002


Original: ENGLISH
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination : Liechtenstein. 05/21/2002.
CERD/C/60/CO/7. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CERD
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Sixtieth session
4-22 March 2002


CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION

Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Liechtenstein

1. The Committee considered the initial report of Liechtenstein (CERD/C/394/Add.1) at its 1515th and 1516th meetings (CERD/C/SR.1515 and 1516), on 18 and 19 March 2002, and at its 1520th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1520), on 22 March 2002, adopted the following concluding observations.

A. Introduction

2. The Committee welcomes the initial report presented by the Government of Liechtenstein, which is in general conformity with the requirements of the Convention. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the open and frank dialogue with the delegation of the State party, as well as for the detailed answers to questions raised and concerns expressed during the consideration of the report.
B. Positive aspects

3. The Committee welcomes the submission by the State party of its initial report within the established timetable, namely the period of one year after entry into force of the Convention for Liechtenstein.

4. The Committee also expresses appreciation for the fact that the State party amended relevant national legislation to be in line with the Convention before proceeding with its ratification.

5. The Committee notes with interest that an amendment to the law on the Supreme Court will be introduced in the near future, aimed at extending the Supreme Court’s competence to hear cases of alleged violations of the rights guaranteed in the Convention. In this connection, the Committee further notes with satisfaction the State party’s intention to make the declaration under article 14.

6. The Committee expresses satisfaction with measures undertaken by the State party to address the phenomenon of right-wing extremism, which was reported to be on the increase in Liechtenstein. Those measures include the establishment of an expert group within the police force and the creation of an inter-agency coordinating group (KOR) for this phenomenon.

7. The Committee notes the efforts undertaken by the State party to ensure the integration of refugees and asylum-seekers in society, inter alia through access to the labour market, as well as through the admission of children of refugees and asylum-seekers to public schools, complemented by intensive German language courses.

8. The Committee notes with appreciation that civil servants in Liechtenstein are not necessarily required to have Liechtenstein citizenship.

C. Concerns and recommendations

9. The Committee notes that, while a police treaty between the State party and its neighbouring countries (Austria and Switzerland) provides for police cooperation concerning right-wing groups which may promote racial discrimination and xenophobia and their activities, there does not seem to be particular training of law enforcement officers in this field. The Committee recommends that the State party attempt to develop such training courses for law enforcement officers, as this would increase the State party’s capacity to combat all forms of racial discrimination effectively.

10. The Committee notes that the State party is supporting efforts made by non-governmental organizations to help foreigners to integrate into society. The Committee recommends that the State party continue to lend its support to such organizations in this work which includes providing German language courses, counselling services and information. The Committee recommends that such activities be expanded, with a view to raising multicultural awareness and enhancing mutual understanding. To that end, the State party might consider ensuring adequate financial support on a continuing basis.

11. The Committee further notes that the State party provides facilities to foreign associations organizing mother-tongue language courses and courses on the culture of countries of origin, but that it does not provide financial support for teachers or educational material. The Committee therefore recommends that the State party consider providing funding for associations that organize such courses

12 The Committee regrets the absence of statistical data on the number of children of refugees and asylum-seekers attending public school and intensive German language courses. The Committee requests that the State party provide statistical data in that respect in its next periodic report.

13. With regard to the right to adequate housing, the Committee is concerned that discrimination on racial grounds in the allocation of housing is said to occur, albeit infrequently. The Committee invites the State party to provide in its next report information on occurrences of discrimination in the housing sector.

14. The Committee requests the State party to provide in its next periodic report information on access to social security and health care by non-nationals.

15. The Committee recommends that the State party take into account the relevant parts of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action when implementing the Convention in the domestic legal order, in particular in respect of articles 2 to 7 of the Convention, and that it include in its next periodic report information on action plans or other measures taken to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the national level.

16. The Committee invites the State party to undertake specific efforts to disseminate the Convention in German so that the population can become more aware of issues of racial discrimination, racism and xenophobia.

17. The Committee requests the State party to disseminate its report and the Committee’s concluding observations widely among all levels of society, and in particular State officials and the judiciary, and to inform the Committee on steps taken to implement them in its next periodic report. It also encourages the State party to continue to involve non-governmental organizations and other members of civil society in the preparation of the next periodic report.

18. The Committee recommends that the State party’s next periodic report, due on 22 March 2003, be an updating report and that it address, inter alia, the points raised in the present observations.


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