United Nations


International Convention on the Elimination of A ll Forms of Racial Discrimination

Distr.: General

19 July 2010


Original: French

Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Seventy-sixth session

Summary record of the 1978th meeting

Held at the Palais Wilson, Geneva, on Thursday, 18 February 2010, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson:Mr. Kemal


Consideration of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention (continued)

Nineteenth and twentieth periodic reports of Argentina (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.

Consideration of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention (continued)

Nineteenth and twentieth periodic reports of Argentina (continued) (CERD/C/ARG/19-20; CERD/C/ARG/Q/19-20 and Add.1; HRI/CORE/1/Add.74)

1. At the invitation of the Chairperson, the members of the delegation of Argentina took places at the Committee table.

2.Mr. Peter asked whether all Argentine citizens had equal access to justice, regardless of their social background and whether they lived in rural or urban areas. Referring to paragraphs 59 to 68 of the periodic report, which covered the Free Legal Advice service (Guardia Jurídica Gratuita) offered by the National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (INADI), he sought details on the number of legal opinions requested of that body since August 2007 and statistics disaggregated by region, in order to evaluate how successfully the service had been established at the national level. He would also like to know whether any of the complaints came from members of disadvantaged communities, including indigenous communities, and what the criteria were for receiving free legal aid. He further wished to know whether the State party had enough qualified lawyers to cover the whole territory and to meet the needs of over 40 million inhabitants. Were the services of legal assistants ever called upon in rural areas? Was the legal advice helpline adapted to those living in rural areas who did not necessarily have access to a telephone, and could they receive assistance by other means?

3.Noting the large number of institutions that the central Government had created to guarantee the protection of fundamental rights throughout the territory, such as INADI, the National Institute of Indigenous Affairs (INAI), the National Women’s Council, the National Advisory Commission for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS) and the Office of the Secretary for Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Security and Human Rights (CERD/C/ARG/19-20, paras. 15 ff.), he asked whether those different bodies’ activities were coordinated at the central level in order to avoid duplication and, if so, whether the provincial authorities welcomed their presence at the local level or felt that they were imposed on them by the Government. Did those bodies have constitutional status? Or would their continued existence be threatened in case of change of the political majority?

4.Mr. Thornberry welcomed the fact that the periodic report offered several examples of case law, including those relating to individual and collective rights.

5.Noting that Argentina was often viewed globally as a country of European immigration with a very small indigenous population, he wished to know whether that description corresponded to the country’s own view of itself.

6.He sought information as to how INADI had followed up a complaint submitted to it by a group of Roma — who made up a large population in Argentina — about a television series entitled “Soy Gitano”, on the grounds that it was discriminatory against their community, noting that INADI had spent 10 months examining the complaint in 2005.

7.In order to truly encourage intercultural dialogue and promote mutual respect, members of the majority group should have the opportunity to learn minority languages in the same way that indigenous pupils or those from minority groups learned Spanish. That was how the foundations for intercultural bilingual education should be laid.

8.Commending the State party on having made the declaration provided for in article 14 of the Convention, he would like to know whether civil society was aware of the existence of the individual communications procedure that had been established for its use.

9.He requested details on the effects in the State party of ratification of International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries and on its position with respect to the question of the right to self-determination. He would also like to know whether sanctions had been established in case of illegal trespass on or usurpation of indigenous lands.

10.Mr. Morgado (Argentina) said that although his delegation comprised men only, women were widely represented in the political life of the State party, as demonstrated by the fact that Ms. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was currently its President.

11.What mattered most to the Government was to combat all forms of discrimination without exception, including racism and racial discrimination, at the national and international levels. It therefore strove to take measures and formulate policies that were global and inclusive, without denying the specific nature of each population group.

12.Mr. Fernández (Argentina) said that the collapse of the neoliberal system in 2001 had led to a period of deep crisis in Argentina, during which the State party had been unable to repay its external debt, and unemployment had reached unprecedented levels. The Government had then opted for a new economic model aimed at rebuilding its capacity for production and enabling sovereign exploitation of its resources, which had yielded fruit: between 2003 and 2008, growth had reached 8 per cent, the poverty rate had fallen from 53 per cent to 20 per cent, unemployment had fallen from 20 per cent to approximately 9 per cent, while the minimum wage had risen from 300 to 1,500 pesos. Retirement pensions would henceforth be indexed to the cost of living and families could claim family allowances of about 180 pesos per month per child. The Government aimed to establish a united, multiracial society in which there was no distinction on grounds of race or colour.

13.The main problem that the State party faced was that of returning land to indigenous peoples. INAI was the body in charge of that issue, and its duties included conducting surveys of the land concerned, launching economic development projects for the benefit of indigenous peoples, promoting the historical and cultural heritage of indigenous peoples and ensuring that they were entered on the National Registry of Indigenous Communities. Under article 75 of the Constitution, INAI coordinated all available mechanisms in order to comply with the constitutional requirement to recognize the indigenous communities’ possession and ownership of the lands that they traditionally occupied. That new right established by the Constitution recognized the legal personality of indigenous communities, enabling them to resolve their own affairs without recourse to an intermediary. Furthermore, the sole requirement for entry on the National Registry of Indigenous Communities was that the indigenous community concerned should submit evidence in support of its declaration. A signed request sufficed, in which the families within the community declared that they belonged to a given ethnic group or people and that they came from a particular ancestral land and stated their place of residence and type of representation, such as chief or council of elders. A member of INAI then visited the community to confirm those details and to carry out the registration. There were over 1,000 indigenous communities in the State party.

14.The history of indigenous peoples in Argentina was tragic and was marked, for example, by denial of their cultural identity in the nineteenth century. A new era was beginning in Latin America, in which, in the words of President Kirchner, the leaders were beginning to look like their people. Populations had been displaced many times in the past, when members of the persecuted indigenous peoples, such as the Mapuche, had been forced to flee rural areas and take refuge in large cities, which explained the fact that 90 per cent lived in conurbations. City policies must therefore take account of all those factors.

15.A National Population and Housing Census had been conducted in 2001 by the National Statistical and Census Institute (INDEC) but had not at that time included a question on ethnic origin, so that the results, which had been published only in 2004, did not give an exact picture of the true demographic situation in Argentina. However, a new population census was planned for October 2010 and the form would include a question inviting the respondents to indicate whether they considered themselves to belong to an ethnic minority, whether indigenous or other, or to be of African descent. INADI had taken steps to enable the Council on Indigenous Participation and intercultural mentors to contribute to the October 2010 census by visiting indigenous minority groups living in remote areas of the country to help them to complete their forms, the aim being to perform a full census of the country’s entire population.

16.Regarding indigenous property rights, thanks to efforts made in the State party to promote their recognition, 4 million hectares of the national territory now belonged to indigenous minorities. In particular, in Jujuy province, local indigenous minorities had obtained communal property rights over a large portion of the land. The process of recognizing indigenous property rights had begun with the adoption of the law on indigenous communities (Act No. 26160), under which a team comprising specialists and representatives of the local administration and of the Council on Indigenous Participation were surveying and delimiting indigenous ancestral lands in consultation and cooperation with the communities concerned. Geographical plans and maps prepared under that project were drawn up, completed and corrected in the light of information provided by the indigenous communities concerned, until they approved them, at which point those documents and any other relevant information were submitted to INADI. Lastly, Act No. 26160 provided that the cadastral survey must include a historical and anthropological report and a report on the economic and social situation of all indigenous minorities living on the land in question.

17.Within the framework of its Community Strengthening Programme, INADI offered assistance to indigenous minorities in regularizing communal property and claiming property rights. Over 80 indigenous communities benefited from that programme and 1,000 communities were listed on the National Registry of Indigenous Communities, which was compulsory in order to obtain communal property rights. Indigenous communities not on the National Registry had access to individual property only. The procedure was not a pretext for the State to exert control over those communities, but rather a formality aimed at facilitating their access to specific property rights. In addition, INADI offered indigenous communities specialized legal assistance through lawyers competent in indigenous law, especially when the communities were under threat of eviction. It was particularly difficult for such communities to produce proof of property rights when they had been forcibly displaced and had not lived on their ancestral lands for generations. Peoples displaced against their will were not entitled to financial compensation; owners of property on indigenous lands, however, were entitled to such compensation in case of restitution to the communities concerned following a court decision.

18.Act No. 26160, whose provisions included a moratorium on eviction of indigenous communities, had been in force since 2006, but had only been enforced since 2008 because of lack of resources. It protected 35,000 indigenous families, but it was applied in only two thirds of the country since six provinces had failed to approve it, which partly explained why several indigenous communities had nevertheless been evicted.

19.With respect to the murder in October 2009 of the leader of an indigenous minority in Tucumán province who had opposed his community’s eviction, the three persons accused had not been members of the local police and had been arrested immediately after the event. Following that incident, the Supreme Court of Tucumán province had organized training seminars on indigenous law for justices of the peace in small rural districts, who often had no knowledge of indigenous law and based their decisions exclusively on the Civil Code in disputes over indigenous lands.

20.INADI had created the Directorate for the Development of Indigenous Communities, which worked closely with the Ministry of Social Development and its regional offices in all provinces. The Directorate was working in conjunction with the Council on Indigenous Participation to improve the socio-economic situation of indigenous communities. A programme currently under way entitled “Plan AHÍ” targeted the population of the 500 localities in remote areas with fewer than 30,000 inhabitants and aimed to meet the needs of the local, mainly indigenous population with respect to infrastructure and social benefits. In addition, 7 million pesos in grants had been awarded in those regions to support indigenous crafts and to promote their commercialization.

21.In connection with the definition of intercultural bilingual education given in paragraph 222 of the report, the Directorate for the Development of Indigenous Communities had adopted measures aimed at realizing the right of indigenous peoples to an intercultural bilingual education, such as the award of scholarships to students and support for intercultural mentors, who currently numbered 323. Efforts to preserve indigenous languages and promote bilingual education were in the early stages in Argentina, but it was encouraging to note that in Corrientes province the Constitution had been reviewed so that Guarani was considered to be the province’s second language and that in Chaco province three indigenous languages had been recognized. In order to discourage indigenous children from dropping out of secondary school, the Ministry of Education had awarded nearly 10,000 bursaries over the period 2008–2009 and planned to award 15,000 in 2010. In addition, 2,000 young persons who had dropped out of school were following a literacy programme.

22.As indicated in paragraphs 133–139 of the report, the mechanisms enabling indigenous peoples to participate in the development and implementation of public policies that affected them were the Council on Indigenous Participation, which currently included 82 representatives of indigenous minorities, and the Coordinating Council, a mixed body comprising representatives of several ministries, provincial administration bodies and indigenous minorities. Members of the Council on Indigenous Participation were to meet at the end of February 2010 in Córdoba province to debate the issue of entering indigenous minorities on the National Registry of Indigenous Communities and the need to ensure recognition of organizations that represented indigenous communities with a presence in more than one province.

23.With respect to the violence in Neuquén province against members of the Mapuche minority, INADI was striving to find peaceful ways of resolving that serious problem and to defend the rights of the Mapuche people to be recognized as a pre-existing community as covered by article 1 of Act No. 26160 and to push forward with surveying the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples in Neuquén province, despite reluctance from some government quarters.

24.The State authorities were perfectly aware of the plight of certain indigenous minorities in Chaco province, who had been deprived of their means of subsistence during the dictatorship because of intensive deforestation activities, particularly in the El Impenetrable region. The current Government had adopted various measures to distribute food to those minorities and had established three health centres and was building a hospital in the region in order to ensure their access to health care.

25.While ILO Convention No. 169 had not yet been fully implemented, it had been with the intention of respecting it that the authorities had ratified it. It had inspired the land survey process and served as a reference tool of the Government, in the same way as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Unlike the previous Constitution, which had required indigenous peoples to convert to Catholicism, the 1994 Constitution made no distinction between citizens. The State party had matured and now even recognized that the 30 indigenous peoples on Argentine soil had existed before the country’s creation.

26.The number of indigenous students receiving scholarships stood at 15,000 at secondary level and 222 in higher education. The network of Provincial Institutes of Indigenous Affairs needed to be further extended to cover the six provinces that did not yet have them. There was generally some delay between the central Government’s decisions and their implementation by all provinces. The same was true with respect to entering indigenous communities on the National Registry of Indigenous Communities, and INAI was in the process of concluding agreements with the various provinces with a view to ensuring their support and cooperation while monitoring the coherence of the records. As a last resort, INAI could, by law, undertake the land survey without the participation of a recalcitrant province; however, that situation had arisen only once to date, and the objective was still consensus.

27.Mr. Mouratian (Argentina) noted that despite the international crisis in 2008, Argentina had not entered a recession and had increased its social spending, including the INADI budget, which for that year had been increased from 2 million to 3 million dollars.

28.In the Julio Héctor Simón case, the Supreme Court of Justice had concluded that the Clean Slate Act and the Due Obedience Act were unconstitutional, which had led to the reopening of over 1,000 cases and to the imprisonment of hundreds of people.

29.With respect to the case of the clandestine detention centre at the Naval Mechanics School (ESMA) and the murder of French nuns from Santa Cruz church, trials were continuing against 12 defendants, including Alfredo Ignacio Astiz and new judgements were to be handed down in June 2010.

30.The Argentine State was very active in its fight against anti-Semitism at both the national and international levels. Indeed, INADI had been created following an attack on the Israeli embassy. The Board of that public-law institution had the special feature of including three representatives of civil society, one of which represented the Jewish community. Argentina had distinguished itself with its decision to expel Bishop Williamson for his Holocaust revisionist stance. It was the only country in Latin America to be a member of the international action group for the memory of the Shoah, and in 1997 had created a committee charged with bringing the truth about Nazi activities in Argentina to light. The committee came under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked in close cooperation with other ministries and with academics, and its mandate had been extended each year until 2005 when it had published a report, which could be freely consulted on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, national and provincial Offices of the Ombudsman had concluded agreements with INADI whereby they could refer to it any complaints they received.

31.Mr. Morgado (Argentina) said that copies of each of the agreements concluded between the Offices of the Ombudsman and INADI were at the Committee’s disposal. He noted that the post of national mediator had been vacant for about a year and that INADI was independent of the executive power, its members being appointed by Parliament. Currently, on receipt of complaints of discrimination, INADI could only act as mediator between the parties or as amicus curiae before the courts. However, a bill was expected to be adopted shortly in order to broaden its powers and enable it to take binding decisions.

32.Mr. Rapisardi (Argentina) said that the bill had been drafted by INADI and was also aimed at defining new discrimination offences, including on the ground of sex, and to reverse the burden of proof so that persons claiming to be the victims of discrimination would no longer have to support their allegation: it would be for the accused to prove his or her innocence.

33.Mr. Morgado (Argentina) said he would send the Committee a detailed study of calls to the telephone helpline received since 2008, including statistics disaggregated by caller and by type of violation reported.

34.Under the new act on audio-visual communication services, one third of radio frequencies would be reserved for private organizations and associations, many of which had members from indigenous communities, giving indigenous communities the opportunity to express themselves freely in their indigenous languages on the air. Argentina was the first country in the continent to introduce such an initiative.

35.The State party’s commitment to multiculturalism was also demonstrated in its bill to officially recognize sign language alongside Spanish, the de facto official language. In order to preserve the vitality of other spoken languages, an important stage would be to grant them legal status, which would have specific consequences. Thus, for instance, if Guarani became an official national language, all Guarani speakers would be entitled to request the services of an interpreter during administrative procedures. The next stage would be to teach those languages in schools in order to give everyone access to them.

36.Mr. Rapisardi (Argentina) read out the names of 21 civil society organizations that had been involved in preparing the report that had been submitted to the Committee.

37.After having participated in a regional meeting in Brasilia in 2009 that had led to a regional programme of work for communities of African descent, Argentina had pursued the proposal to declare 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent and intended to use the Brazil experience to quantify them and the inequalities that they suffered. The questionnaire for the census to be conducted in 2010 would include a question on possible African descent of household members. The expression “African descent” had been chosen rather than the term “black” and the self-identification strategy employed because the multiracial nature of Argentine society tended to make origins invisible and in order to prevent endogenous racism.

38.The visibility of communities of African descent had increased considerably over recent years, including through theme days that highlighted the fact that all Argentines were of African descent. In March 2010, new textbooks would be issued for use in primary and secondary schools and had been revised with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and included photographs and drawings provided by families of African descent, as well as recent photos of indigenous peoples, to replace old drawings.

39.Mr. Morgado (Argentina) announced that a television programme on the subject of human rights, and in particular on discrimination, would be broadcast from November 2010 in Argentina. The programme, which would run for a total of 24 hours, would cover all communities and all types of discrimination and would raise awareness of the international treaties to which Argentina was party.

40.Mr. Acevedo Díaz (Argentina) said that the State party was not planning to revise the National Migration Act (Act No. 25871) but that a new regulation was currently being drafted. The National Directorate of Migration had adopted a series of measures on application of the Act, which would under no circumstances constitute an administrative obstacle to the formalities applicable to migrants in Argentina.

41.With respect to regularizing the situation of migrant children who had only one parent, whose origin was more difficult to determine, the National Directorate of Migration had decided in 1999 that only the link between the child and the present parent would be taken into account in the case of single-parent families. Even if not all of the documents required for regularizing the situation of a child were available, the authorities were nevertheless required to protect the child’s rights in accordance with the international instruments to which Argentina was party.

42.With respect to the possible expulsion of the parents of migrant children who were not Argentine citizens, the regulation took account of the demands of humanitarian law and the imperatives of family reunification. The National Migration Act guaranteed exercise of the right to family reunification. In cases where parents were not sufficiently informed of rights relating to the best interests of the child or to family reunification, a department of the Directorate was responsible for providing personal advice and information about those rights. It was incumbent upon the Directorate to regularize the situation of such migrants. Any expulsion orders could be suspended. A judge must rule swiftly on whether to order administrative arrest and expulsion.

43.Migrants and members of their families could not be subject to measures of collective expulsion, and each case needed to be examined individually. In case of expulsion, all the rights acquired by the migrant under domestic legislation were taken into account, including with respect to salaries and related benefits. The National Directorate of Migration had signed a cooperation agreement with the Office of the Ombudsman with a view to establishing cooperation mechanisms for the benefit of migrants with insufficient means to undertake the necessary procedures, including the provision of free legal aid.

44.In order to address the delay in regularization of persons who had been living in Argentina for a long time, the Patria Grande programme had been launched in 2005 to regularize the situation of migrants. It was directed at citizens of countries of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) and aimed to facilitate the administrative process by which they were granted residency status. The programme targeted citizens of MERCOSUR countries who had entered Argentina before 17 April 2007 and who had a clean criminal record, and it simplified to the extent possible the documentation necessary for the process. While nationality was a criterion for regularization under the programme and it therefore discriminated positively in favour of citizens of MERCOSUR countries, the principle of equality of treatment was not undermined since the State could, under the Constitution, sign bilateral agreements in order to address specific phenomena such as economic migration from countries in the same region. The ultimate objective of the Patria Grande programme, which had already benefited over 600,000 individuals, was the free movement of persons within the MERCOSUR region.

45.Migrants from outside the MERCOSUR region, in order to be regularized, must prove that they had a legal means of livelihood and obtain a certificate of their means of support, unless they were applying for a temporary two-year residence permit. However, in order to apply for a new temporary residence permit after two years, an income certificate was required. Such requirements were not intended to create administrative obstacles but to avoid illegal work and to protect the social rights of migrants.

46.The General Refugee Recognition and Protection Act, adopted in 2006, had marked an improvement in the protection of refugees and crystallized good practices in the area. The Act provided for a highly comprehensive system of protection, in accordance with the international instruments in force. All refugees had access to all public services, including health and education, and the State party respected its duty of non-refoulement and did not return refugees to countries where they risked being subjected to torture, the death penalty, discrimination, domestic violence or trafficking. The Act provided for the accountability of all officials who, in full knowledge of a given situation, did not respect applicable legislation on non-refoulement.

47.The protracted nature of the new administrative procedure for refugees did not compromise its quality. Under the Act, the National Commission for Refugees (CONARE) must guarantee the provision of free legal aid, even for children, in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and general comment No. 6 (2005) of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the treatment of unaccompanied children and separated children, and all children under the age of 18 years were assisted by a guardian. The Act provided that refugees were entitled to the services of a qualified interpreter or translator, and the CONARE secretariat was able in most cases to meet translation needs. The number of pending cases at the secretariat had decreased and the processing of applications had been accelerated without compromising quality, while continuing to ensure analysis of the substance of cases. A cooperation agreement had been concluded with the regional office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with a view to improving care of asylum-seekers and strengthening capacity for processing asylum applications while responding to specific protection needs.

48.Early the previous decade, CONARE had granted asylum to Senegalese citizens because it had taken the view that there were reasons to fear for their safety if they returned to their country of origin. The applications submitted by the Senegalese citizens had been considered according to objective circumstances and one by one had been refused. From 2004, the applications had been considered to be unfounded and not relevant to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951). The cases had nevertheless been processed within the framework of ordinary procedures, with each file being examined separately.

49.Cooperation measures agreed with neighbouring countries had enabled the justice system to combat potential cases of human trafficking linked to such migration. Argentina was party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Optional Protocols and was therefore among those countries that provided the highest levels of protection to asylum-seekers and refugees.

50.Mr. Mouratian (Argentina) said that information about all the activities of the Discrimination in Radio and Television Observatory were published on its website. A recently published government report described action taken against that form of discrimination and the results achieved between 2005 and 2007, including under the National Plan against Discrimination.

51.Mr. Avtonomov requested the State party to provide further details in its next report on the role of justices of the peace in processing cases relating to indigenous lands. Noting that justices of the peace had full authority in processing that type of case, he wondered whether their decisions could be appealed against.

52.Noting that Guarani had been recognized as an official language in one of the State party’s provinces, he would like to know whether the same was true for other provinces, as could be inferred from the delegation’s observations that any Guarani speaker was entitled to request an interpreter in certain provinces. There was a difference between the right to request an interpreter and the prospect of recognizing a language as official.

53.He would like to know whether Argentina planned to ratify the amendment to article 8 of the Convention.

54.Mr. Cali Tzay, noting that indigenous peoples had not been compensated for the loss of lands of which they had been despoiled by private companies or landowners, asked what measures had been taken to investigate such cases and to punish those responsible who, despite the current moratorium, had continued their violent evictions.

55.With respect to intercultural bilingual education, he wished to know how many non-indigenous Argentines were following a bilingual, multicultural course of study. He requested details of measures that the State party intended to take in order to ensure that domestic legislation was applied in all provinces and to bring such legislation into line with its obligations under international instruments.

56.Mr. de Gouttes (Country Rapporteur) said that he welcomed the fact that Argentina had accepted the individual communications procedure as provided for in article 14 of the Convention and that a package of institutions, bodies and programmes had been established in the State party with a view to combating discrimination.

57.The State party should in its next report focus more on racial and ethnic discrimination as targeted by the Convention and not on other types of discrimination and should strive for greater involvement of non-governmental organizations in the preparation of its reports. The next report should also give the full results of the population census to be conducted in 2010, if possible indicating the exact number of indigenous persons, Afro-descendants and persons belonging to the Roma community.

58.Regarding the substantive recommendations, the federal State of Argentina should ensure that the provinces applied the international instruments and that they implemented provisions to protect human rights in accordance with international law, in particular with respect to guaranteeing the rights of indigenous peoples, in particular the right to justice, to social protection, to food and to consultation and involvement in decision-making, and the suspension of irregular eviction from and expropriation of indigenous lands, which continued despite the fact that emergency legislation in that respect had been extended.

59.Fuller information would be useful with respect to complaints, prosecutions and convictions relating to acts of racial discrimination, in particular proceedings initiated following the violence and illegal forced evictions that indigenous communities in certain provinces had suffered. He would also like further information on monitoring of implementation of the National Migration Act and on programmes to regularize the situation of migrants in accordance with international law. He requested further details on implementation of the 2006 act concerning refugees and asylum-seekers and about the performance of CONARE, in particular with respect to protection of the rights of refugees in the event of return to the border or refoulement. Finally, he requested information about implementation of article 7 of the Convention, in particular with respect to intercultural bilingual education and ensuring that no messages of a racist nature appeared in the media or political speeches.

The meeting rose at 1 p.m.