Distr.

GENERAL

CERD/C/65/CO/3
10 December 2004


Original: ENGLISH
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination : Kazakhstan. 12/10/2004.
CERD/C/65/CO/3. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CERD
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Sixty-fifth session
2-20 August 2004

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES
UNDER ARTICLE 9 OF THE CONVENTION
Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
KAZAKHSTAN

1. The Committee considered the initial to third periodic reports of Kazakhstan, which were due on 25 September 1999, 2001 and 2003, respectively, submitted as one document (CERD/C/439/Add.2), at its 1662nd and 1663rd meetings (CERD/C/SR.1662 and 1663), held on 13 and 16 August 2004. At its 1670th meeting (CERD/C/SR.1670), held on 19 August 2004, it adopted the following concluding observations.

A. Introduction

2. The Committee welcomes the initial report submitted by the State party and the additional information provided by the delegation. The Committee also appreciates the presence of a high-ranking delegation representing the State organs responsible for the elimination of racial discrimination and the opportunity thus afforded to enter into a dialogue with the State party in a constructive manner.

3. Noting that the initial report was submitted five years after the ratification of the Convention, the Committee invites the State party to take due account, in the submission of its future reports, of the timetable provided for by the Committee.

B. Positive aspects

4. The Committee notes that the State party is a multi-ethnic country, with numerous very different and significant communities representing more than 40 per cent of the total population, and appreciates the efforts made by the State party to provide information relating to the ethnic composition of the population as well as other statistical data.

5. The Committee appreciates the efforts of the State party to establish and improve human rights organs.

6. The Committee notes with satisfaction the information provided on the economic improvement of the country, especially the reduction of unemployment.

7. The Committee also notes with satisfaction that the State party has ratified the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol as well as the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) of ILO.

C. Concerns and recommendations

8. The Committee notes that there is no specific legislation in the State party regarding racial discrimination.
9. While taking note of the constitutional and other provisions prohibiting propaganda regarding racial or ethnic superiority, the Committee is concerned about the insufficiency of specific penal provisions concerning article 4 (a) of the Convention in the domestic legislation of the State party. 10. While acknowledging that since independence the State party has opened its borders, the Committee also notes that there is a high level of emigration amongst particular ethnic or national groups. 11. While welcoming the information provided on several minorities in the State party, the Committee regrets the lack of information on the situation of certain minority groups, in particular the Roma, and their enjoyment of all human rights. 12. The Committee notes the absence of legislation regarding the status of languages and that little information has been provided by the State party on the participation of minorities in the elaboration of cultural and educational policies. The Committee is concerned that minority languages are not used in the educational system to an extent commensurate to the proportion of the different ethnic communities represented in the student body. 13. The Committee notes that the ethnic representation in State institutions does not correspond to the proportion of the different ethnic communities represented in the population of the State party. 14. The Committee regrets the lack of information in the State party’s report on the fundamental rights of non-citizens temporarily or permanently settled in Kazakhstan, including migrant workers. 15. The Committee is concerned that some refugees have been forcibly returned to their countries when there were substantial grounds for believing that they might suffer serious human rights violations. 16. While acknowledging that the State party has developed a governmental work plan to combat human trafficking, the Committee notes with concern that there is ongoing trafficking of women and children, particularly affecting non-citizens and ethnic minorities. 17. While acknowledging the efforts made by the State party to confront the scourge of terrorism with a national counter-terrorism programme, the Committee is concerned about the lack of information on the impact of this programme on the principle of non-discrimination. 18. The Committee notes with concern that, with the exception of the judges of the Supreme Court, all the judges are appointed by the President, who also determines the organization of the work of the courts. 19. The Committee notes the absence of court cases regarding racial discrimination in the State party and that only two complaints of racial discrimination were brought before the Commission on Human Rights in 2000 and 2001. 20. While noting the existence of the Commission on Human Rights, which has a primarily consultative function, as well as the recent nomination of an Ombudsman, the Committee regrets the insufficiency of detailed information regarding their independence and effectiveness. 21. The Committee notes the insufficient information on efforts undertaken by the State party to involve non-governmental organizations in the preparation of the periodic report and expresses concern over the restrictions placed by the authorities on civil society organizations, including organizations working to combat racial discrimination. 22. 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. It further recommends that it include in its next periodic report information on measures taken to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the national level.

23. The Committee also recommends that the State party’s reports be made readily available to the public from the time they are submitted and that the observations of the Committee on these reports be similarly publicized.

24. The Committee notes that the State party has not made the optional declaration provided for in article 14 of the Convention and recommends that it consider so doing.

25. The Committee strongly recommends that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention, adopted on 15 January 1992 at the Fourteenth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention and endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 47/111. In this connection, the Committee refers to General Assembly resolution 57/194, in which the Assembly strongly urged States parties to accelerate their domestic ratification procedures with regard to the amendment and to notify the Secretary-General expeditiously in writing of their agreement to the amendment. A similar appeal was reiterated by the Assembly in resolution 58/160.

26. The Committee recommends that the State party submit its fourth periodic report jointly with its fifth periodic report on 25 September 2007, and that it address in that report all points raised in the present concluding observations.
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