Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Information received from Iceland on follow-up to the concluding observations on its combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports *
[Date received: 20 October 2020]
1.Reference is made to the Concluding observations from the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination from 18 September 2019 on the combined twenty-first and twenty-third periodic report of Iceland to the Committee (CERD/C/ISL/CO/21-23). In paragraph 29 the Committee requests that Iceland provides information within one year of the adoption of the concluding observations on its implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 10 and 12. The Government’s responses to these recommendations are set out below.
Follow-up to paragraph 10 of the concluding observations (CERD/C/ISL/CO/21-23)
2.The Committee recommended that Iceland amends its Penal Code to include racist motives as an aggravating circumstance for criminal offences and to set out appropriate penalties, in line with article 4 of the Convention.
3.The Icelandic Penal Code Committee has in the recent months worked actively on the preparation of a draft bill proposing the introduction of racist motives as a factor to be taken particularly into consideration by a judge when deciding on an appropriate punishment for a criminal offence. In more detail, the draft bill proposes that racist motives be added in this regard to the General Penal Code as a new Art. 70, para. 1 (10). The bill is scheduled to be introduced to parliament in either October or November 2020.
Follow-up to paragraph 12 of the concluding observations
4.The Committee urged Iceland to expedite the establishment of an independent national human rights institution, with a broad mandate to promote and protect human rights and allocate to it adequate human and financial resources to carry out such a mandate, in accordance with the Paris Principles. The Committee encouraged Iceland to invest such an institution with a mandate to address individual complaints regarding racial discrimination, as set out in article 14 (2) of the Convention.
5.There have been no new developments when it comes to the establishment of an independent national human rights institution.