Reporting to International Human Rights Bodies

“While taking note of the State party’s reluctance based on its particular history, to categorize its population on ethnicity, the Committee reiterates the concerns which were raised in its previous concluding observations (para. 14) that no adequate and accurate criteria have been put in place to enable the production of reliable statistics on the composition of the population in Germany and recalls the importance of reliable data for identifying and addressing racial discrimination”, CERD/C/DEU/CO/19-22, page 2.

Member States of the United Nations and the Council of Europe have committed themselves to complying with reporting mechanisms by signing important human rights conventions. These reports require background information on the countries’ composition. This may include equality and participation data.

Germany is a signatory to the UN Anti-Racism Convention (ICERD). It must therefore submit a comprehensive report on the the current state of racism in Germany every five years.

In 2001, the United Nations held its third ‘World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” in Durban, South Africa. A declaration was adopted, which called on signatory States to develop national action plans, as well as to implement the recommendations included in the declaration. Without supporting data it would not (or not sufficiently) be possible to monitor the implementation of these commitments.

During its assessment of a country context, the committee also considers ‘shadow reports’ by civil society organizations. So far Germany has provided insufficient data on the ‘ethnic composition’ of its population. For that reason, in 2015, Germany was yet again criticized by the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Based on the general principles for the collection of sensitive data, as elaborated on further on in this dossier, the CERD Committee recommends to the German authorities to collect differentiated equality and participation data.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2018