Update: 19.08.2011

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance was established in 1993 and took up work in March of 1994. In 2002, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe redrafted the statute of the ECRI and strengthened its role as a independent human rights monitoring mechanism. 

Mandate

The task of the ECRI is to combat racism, xenophobia and intolerance while focusing on the human rights perspective. To this end, the ECRI reviews legislature as well as political and other means to fight racism, xenophobia, anti-semitism and intolerance as well as their effectiveness within member states. The Commission initializes events on local and national levels and at the Council of Europe and authors general recommendations for the member states (Article 1 of the Statute). 

Composition of the Commission 

Every member state of the Council of Europe dispatches one member to the ECRI. They are independent experts that are chosen for their knowledge in the field of combating racism. They are elected for a period of five years and may also be re-elected.

Modus operandi 

The main task of the ECRI is to draft country reports («country-by-country approach»), work in general areas and organize activities for civil society:

Country Reports 

These country reports are inventories of the current status of racism and discrimination in member states. Based on these reports, the ECRI authors recommendations on how to handle located weaknesses. A first draft is delivered to the state in question and discussed in a confidential dialogue. The content of the report is then revised, adopted by the Commission and is once more delivered to the state in question by the Committee of Ministers. The report is then published if the government of the state in question does not explicitly refuse.

The country report system encompasses all countries of the Council of Europe. Every year, between ten and twelve countries are addressed – one cycle takes four to five years. The first cycle ended in 1998, the second in 2002 and the third in 2008.

General policy recommendations

To date, the ECRI has authored nine recommendations on combating discrimination in different political, societal and institutional areas. General Policy Recommendation No. 3 is regarding racism and intolerance against the Roma, Recommendation no. 5 relates to racism against Muslims, Recommendation no. 4 relates to the situation of victims, Recommendation no. 6 relates to measures to combat racist materials in the internet, Recommendation no. 7 relates to national legislature on combating racism and racial discrimination, Recommendation no. 8 relates to combating racism in the context of terrorism and Recommendation no. 9 relates to combating anti-semitism.  

Examples of «good practices»

The Commission gathers imitable examples of combating racism and intolerance, for example regarding institutions on the national level, in the media or in practice against the Roma. 

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