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The Petition System Under Icerd: An Unfulfilled Promise

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Chapter Summary

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1965, was the first human rights treaty approved by the United Nations that provided for its own mechanism of international supervision. This chapter uncovers some of the largely hidden features of Article 14, but it certainly cannot transform a dwarf into a giant. The right of petition was regarded as an important device in the international trusteeship system and in decolonisation procedures, and it was against this background that this device found its logical place in the ICERD. The overall picture regarding Article 14 is not satisfactory. While there are indications of progress, the overall statistics as regards acceptances of the petition procedure by States Parties and the number of communications submitted under this procedure speak for themselves.

Keywords: ICERD; petition system; social discrimination; United Nations (UN) general assembly



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