Considering that the Charter of the United Nations is based on the principles of the
dignity and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all Member States have pledged
themselves to take joint and separate action, in co-operation with the Organization, for
the achievement of one of the purposes of the United Nations which is to promote and
encourage universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms
for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that all human
beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all
the rights and freedoms set out therein, without distinction of any kind, in particular as
to race, colour or national origin,
Considering that all human beings are equal before the law and are entitled to equal
protection of the law against any discrimination and against any incitement to
Considering that the United Nations has condemned colonialism and all practices of
segregation and discrimination associated therewith, in whatever form and wherever they
exist, and that the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and
Peoples of 14 December 1960 (General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV)) has affirmed and
solemnly proclaimed the necessity of bringing them to a speedy and unconditional end,
Considering that the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
Racial Discrimination of 20 November 1963 (General Assembly resolution 1904 (XVIII) )
solemnly affirms the necessity of speedily eliminating racial discrimination throughout
the world in all its forms and manifestations and of securing understanding of and respect
for the dignity of the human person,
Convinced that any doctrine of superiority based on racial differentiation is
scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous, and that there
is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere,
Reaffirming that discrimination between human beings on the grounds of race, colour or
ethnic origin in an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations among nations and is
capable of disturbing peace and security among peoples and the harmony of persons living
side by side even within one and the same State,
Convinced that the existence of racial barriers is repugnant to the ideals of any human
Alarmed by manifestations of racial discrimination still in evidence in some areas of
the world and by governmental policies based on racial superiority or hatred, such as
policies of apartheid, segregation or separation,
Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for speedily eliminating racial discrimination
in all its forms and manifestations, and to prevent and combat racist doctrines and
practices in order to promote understanding between races and to build an international
community free from all forms of racial segregation and racial discrimination,
Bearing in mind the Convention concerning Discrimination in respect of Employment and
Occupation adopted by the International Labour Organisation in 1958, and the Convention
against Discrimination in Education adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization in 1960,
Desiring to implement the principles embodied in the United Nations Declaration on the
Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to secure the earliest adoption of
practical measures to that end,
Have agreed as follows:
In this Convention, the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any
distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or
national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the
recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.
This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences
made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens.
Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as affecting in any way the legal
provisions of States Parties concerning nationality, citizenship or naturalization,
provided that such provisions do not discriminate against any particular nationality.
Special measures taken for the sole purpose of securing adequate advancement of certain
racial or ethnic groups or individuals requiring such protection as may be necessary in
order to ensure such groups or individuals equal enjoyment or exercise of human rights and
fundamental freedoms shall not be deemed racial discrimination, provided, however, that
such measures do not, as a consequence, lead to the maintenance of separate rights for
different racial groups and that they shall not be continued after the objectives for
which they were taken have been achieved.
States Parties condemn racial discrimination and undertake to pursue by all appropriate
means and without delay a policy of eliminating racial discrimination in all its forms and
promoting understanding among all races, and, to this end:
(a) Each State Party undertakes to engage in no act or practice of racial discrimination
against persons, groups of persons or institutions and to ensure that all public
authorities and public institutions, national and local, shall act in conformity with this
(b) Each State Party undertakes not to sponsor, defend or support racial discrimination
by any persons or organizations;
(c) Each State Party shall take effective measures to review governmental, national and
local policies, and to amend, rescind or nullify any laws and regulations which have the
effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination wherever it exists;
(d) Each State Party shall prohibit and bring to an end, by all appropriate means,
including legislation as required by circumstances, racial discrimination by any persons,
group or organization;
(e) Each State Party undertakes to encourage, where appropriate, integrationist
multi-racial organizations and movements and other means of eliminating barriers between
races, and to discourage anything which tends to strengthen racial division.
States Parties shall, when the circumstances so warrant, take, in the social, economic,
cultural and other fields, special and concrete measures to ensure the adequate
development and protection of certain racial groups or individuals belonging to them, for
the purpose of guaranteeing them the full and equal enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms. These measures shall in no case entail as a consequence the
maintenance of unequal or separate rights for different racial groups after the objectives
for which they were taken have been achieved.
States Parties particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to
prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their
States Parties condemn all propaganda and all organizations which are based on ideas or
theories of superiority of one race or group of persons of one colour or ethnic origin, or
which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination in any form, and
undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures designed to eradicate all incitement
to, or acts of, such discrimination and, to this end, with due regard to the principles
embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights expressly set forth
in article 5 of this Convention, inter alia:
(a) Shall declare an offence punishable by law all dissemination of ideas based on
racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination, as well as all acts of
violence or incitement to such acts against any race or group of persons of another colour
or ethnic origin, and also the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including
the financing thereof;
(b) Shall declare illegal and prohibit organizations, and also organized and all other
propaganda activities, which promote and incite racial discrimination, and shall recognize
participation in such organizations or activities as an offence punishable by law;
(c) Shall not permit public authorities or public institutions, national or local, to
promote or incite racial discrimination.
In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2
of this Convention, States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial
discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without
distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law,
notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:
(a) The right to equal treatment before the tribunals and all other organs administering
(b) The right to security of person and protection by the State against violence or
bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual, group or
(c) Political rights, in particular the rights to participate in elections--to vote and
to stand for election--on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, to take part in the
Government as well as in the conduct of public affairs at any level and to have equal
access to public service;
(d) Other civil rights, in particular:
(i) The right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State;
(ii) The right to leave any country, including one's own, and to return to one's
(iii) The right to nationality;
(iv) The right to marriage and choice of spouse;
(v) The right to own property alone as well as in association with others;
(vi) The right to inherit;
(vii) The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
(viii) The right to freedom of opinion and expression;
(ix) The right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;
(e) Economic, social and cultural rights, in particular:
(i) The rights to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions
of work, to protection against unemployment, to equal pay for equal work, to just and
(ii) The right to form and join trade unions;
(iii) The right to housing;
(iv) The right to public health, medical care, social security and social services;
(v) The right to education and training;
(vi) The right to equal participation in cultural activities;
(f) The right of access to any place or service intended for use by the general public,
such as transport, hotels, restaurants, cafes, theatres and parks.
States Parties shall assure to everyone within their jurisdiction effective protection
and remedies, through the competent national tribunals and other State institutions,
against any acts of racial discrimination which violate his human rights and fundamental
freedoms contrary to this Convention, as well as the right to seek from such tribunals
just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such
States Parties undertake to adopt immediate and effective measures, particularly in the
fields of teaching, education, culture and information, with a view to combating
prejudices which lead to racial discrimination and to promoting understanding, tolerance
and friendship among nations and racial or ethnical groups, as well as to propagating the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination, and this Convention.
There shall be established a Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) consisting of eighteen
experts of high moral standing and acknowledged impartiality elected by States Parties
from among their nationals, who shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration
being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the representation of the
different forms of civilization as well as of the principal legal systems.
The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons
nominated by the States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its
The initial election shall be held six months after the date of the entry into force of
this Convention. At least three months before the date of each election the
Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties
inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The Secretary-General shall
prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the States
Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties.
Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of States Parties
convened by the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At that meeting, for
which two-thirds of the States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to
the Committee shall be those nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an
absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and
(a) The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. However, the
terms of nine of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two
years; immediately after the first election the names of these nine members shall be
chosen by lot by the Chairman of the Committee.
(b) For the filling of casual vacancies, the State Party whose expert has ceased to
function as a member of the Committee shall appoint another expert from among its
nationals, subject to the approval of the Committee.
States Parties shall be responsible for the expenses of the members of the Committee
while they are in performance of Committee duties.
States Parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for
consideration by the Committee, a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or
other measures which they have adopted and which give effect to the provisions of this
Convention: (a) within one year after the entry into force of the Convention for the State
concerned; and (b) thereafter every two years and whenever the Committee so requests. The
Committee may request further information from the States Parties.
The Committee shall report annually, through the Secretary-General, to the General
Assembly of the United Nations on its activities and may make suggestions and general
recommendations based on the examination of the reports and information received from the
States Parties. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be reported to the
General Assembly together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
The Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years.
The secretariat of the Committee shall be provided by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters.
If a State Party considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the
provisions of this Convention, it may bring the matter to the attention of the Committee.
The Committee shall then transmit the communication to the State Party concerned. Within
three months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations or
statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that
If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both
parties, either by bilateral negotiations or by any other procedure open to them, within
six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either
State shall have the right to refer the matter again to the Committee by notifying the
Committee and also the other State.
The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article after it has ascertained that all
available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the case, in conformity
with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule
where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
In any matter referred to it, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned
to supply any other relevant information.
When any matter arising out of this article is being considered by the Committee, the
States Parties concerned shall be entitled to send a representative to take part in the
proceedings of the Committee, without voting rights, while the matter is under
(a) After the Committee has obtained and collated all the information it deems
necessary, the Chairman shall appoint an ad hoc Conciliation Commission (hereinafter
referred to as the Commission) comprising five persons who may or may not be members of
the Committee. The members of the Commission shall be appointed with the unanimous consent
of the parties to the dispute, and its good offices shall be made available to the States
concerned with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for
(b) If the States parties to the dispute fail to reach agreement within three months on
all or part of the composition of the Commission, the members of the Commission not agreed
upon by the States parties to the dispute shall be elected by secret ballot by a
two-thirds majority vote of the Committee from among its own members.
The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity. They shall not be
nationals of the States parties to the dispute or of a State not Party to this Convention.
The Commission shall elect its own Chairman and adopt its own rules of procedure.
The meetings of the Commission shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or
at any other convenient place as determined by the Commission.
The secretariat provided in accordance with article 10, paragraph 3, of this Convention shall also service the Commission
whenever a dispute among States Parties brings the Commission into being.
The States parties to the dispute shall share equally all the
expenses of the members of the Commission in accordance with estimates to be provided by
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The Secretary-General shall be empowered to pay the expenses of the members of the
Commission, if necessary, before reimbursement by the States parties to the dispute in
accordance with paragraph 6 of this article.
The information obtained and collated by the Committee shall be made available to the
Commission, and the Commission may call upon the States concerned to supply any other
When the Commission has fully considered the matter, it shall prepare and submit to the
Chairman of the Committee a report embodying its findings on all questions of fact
relevant to the issue between the parties and containing such recommendations as it may
think proper for the amicable solution of the dispute.
The Chairman of the Committee shall communicate the report of
the Commission to each of the States parties to the dispute. These States shall, within
three months, inform the Chairman of the Committee whether or not they accept the
recommendations contained in the report of the Commission.
After the period provided for in paragraph 2 of this article,
the Chairman of the Committee shall communicate the report of the Commission and the
declarations of the States Parties concerned to the other States Parties to this
A State Party may at any time declare that it recognizes the
competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals or
groups of individuals within its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by
that State Party of any of the rights set forth in this Convention. No communication shall
be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a
Any State Party which makes a declaration as provided for in paragraph 1 of this article may establish or indicate a body within
its national legal order which shall be competent to receive and consider petitions from
individuals and groups of individuals within its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a
violation of any of the rights set forth in this Convention and who have exhausted other
available local remedies.
A declaration made in accordance with paragraph 1 of this
article and the name of any body established or indicated in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article shall be deposited by the State Party
concerned with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies
thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by
notification to the Secretary-General, but such a withdrawal shall not affect
communications pending before the Committee.
A register of petitions shall be kept by the body established or indicated in accordance
with paragraph 2 of this article, and certified copies of the
register shall be filed annually through appropriate channels with the Secretary-General
on the understanding that the contents shall not be publicly disclosed.
In the event of failure to obtain satisfaction from the body established or indicated in
accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the petitioner shall
have the right to communicate the matter to the Committee within six months.
(a) The Committee shall confidentially bring any communication referred to it to the
attention of the State Party alleged to be violating any provision of this Convention, but
the identity of the individual or groups of individuals concerned shall not be revealed
without his or their express consent. The Committee shall not receive anonymous
(b) Within three months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written
explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have
been taken by that State.
(a) The Committee shall consider communications in the light of all information made
available to it by the State Party concerned and by the petitioner. The Committee shall
not consider any communication from a petitioner unless it has ascertained that the
petitioner has exhausted all available domestic remedies. However, this shall not be the
rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
(b) The Committee shall forward its suggestions and recommendations, if any, to the
State Party concerned and to the petitioner.
The Committee shall include in its annual report a summary of such communications and,
where appropriate, a summary of the explanations and statements of the States Parties
concerned and of its own suggestions and recommendations.
The Committee shall be competent to exercise the functions provided for in this article
only when at least ten States Parties to this Convention are bound by declarations in
accordance with paragraph 1 of this article.
Pending the achievement of the objectives of the Declaration on the Granting of
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution
1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, the provisions of this Convention shall in no way limit the
right of petition granted to these peoples by other international instruments or by the
United Nations and its specialized agencies.
(a) The Committee established under article
8, paragraph 1, of this Convention shall receive copies of the
petitions from, and submit expressions of opinion and recommendations on these petitions
to, the bodies of the United Nations which deal with matters directly related to the
principles and objectives of this Convention in their consideration of petitions from the
inhabitants of Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories and all other territories to which
General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) applies, relating to matters covered by this
Convention which are before these bodies.
(b) The Committee shall receive from the competent bodies of the United Nations copies
of the reports concerning the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures
directly related to the principles and objectives of this Convention applied by the
administering Powers within the Territories mentioned in sub-paragraph
(a) of this paragraph, and shall express opinions and make
recommendations to these bodies.
The Committee shall include in its report to the General Assembly a summary of the
petitions and reports it has received from United Nations bodies, and the expressions of
opinion and recommendations of the Committee relating to the said petitions and reports.
The Committee shall request from the Secretary-General of the United Nations all
information relevant to the objectives of this Convention and available to him regarding
the Territories mentioned in paragraph 2 (a) of this article.
The provisions of this Convention concerning the settlement of disputes or complaints
shall be applied without prejudice to other procedures for settling disputes or complaints
in the field of discrimination laid down in the constituent instruments of, or in
conventions adopted by, the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and shall not
prevent the States Parties from having recourse to other procedures for settling a dispute
in accordance with general or special international agreements in force between them.
This Convention is open for signature by any State Member of the
United Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to the
Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State which has been
invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party to this
This Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This Convention shall be open to accession by any State referred to in article
17, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the
deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twenty-seventh instrument
of ratification or instrument of accession.
For each State ratifying this Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the
twenty-seventh instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the Convention shall
enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument
of ratification or instrument of accession.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States
which are or may become Parties to this Convention reservations made by States at the time
of ratification or accession. Any State which objects to the reservation shall, within a
period of ninety days from the date of the said communication, notify the
Secretary-General that it does not accept it.
A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of this Convention shall not be
permitted, nor shall a reservation the effect of which would inhibit the operation of any
of the bodies established by this Convention be allowed. A reservation shall be considered
incompatible or inhibitive if at least two-thirds of the States Parties to this Convention
object to it.
Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to this effect addressed to
the Secretary-General. Such notification shall take effect on the date on which it is
A State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one year after the
date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
Any dispute between two or more States Parties with respect to the interpretation or
application of this Convention, which is not settled by negotiation or by the procedures
expressly provided for in this Convention, shall, at the request of any of the parties to
the dispute, be referred to the International Court of Justice for decision, unless the
disputants agree to another mode of settlement.
A request for the revision of this Convention may be made at any time by any State Party
by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the United
The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be
taken in respect of such a request.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in article 17, paragraph 1, of this Convention of
the following particulars
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles 17 and 18;
(b) The date of entry into force of this Convention under article 19;
(c) Communications and declarations received under articles 14, 20 and 23;
This Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are
equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of this
Convention to all States belonging to any of the categories mentioned in article
17, paragraph 1, of the Convention.
IN FAITH WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their respective
Governments, have signed the present Convention, opened for signature at New York, on the
seventh day of March, one thousand nine hundred and sixty-six.