Update: 27.05.2014

Convention against racism: procedure of individual communication

The dispatch of 29 August 2001 by the Federal Council (BBl 2001 5927 in German / FF 2001 5649 in French) introduced the ratification process to the procedure of individual communication as in article 14. The project of law was sent to the Parliament: the House of Representatives openly supported the project, and, after some debate with its Commission of External Affairs, the House of State finally agreed to the article 14 in March 2003. The procedure of individual communication entered into force in Switzerland on 19 June 2003.


The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, according to its article 8, by its State parties. It meets in Geneva and normally holds two sessions per year consisting of three weeks each. The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as general recommendations (or general comments).

Obligations by the States

All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. States must report initially one year after acceding to the Convention and then every two years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”. In addition to the reporting procedure, the Convention establishes three other mechanisms through which the Committee performs its monitoring functions: the early-warning procedure, the examination of inter-state complaints and the examination of individual complaints.

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