Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
5–29 August 2019
Item 4 of the provisional agenda
Consideratio n of reports, comments and information submitted by States parties under article 9 of the Convention
List of themes in relation to the combined twenty-first to twenty-third periodic reports of Iceland
Note by the Country Rapporteur
1.The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination decided at its seventy-sixth session (A/65/18, para. 85) that the Country Rapporteur would send to the State party concerned a short list of themes with a view to guiding and focusing the dialogue between the State party’s delegation and the Committee during the consideration of the State party’s report. The present document contains a list of such themes. It is not an exhaustive list; other issues may also be raised in the course of the dialogue. No written replies are required.
The Convention in domestic law and the institutional and policy framework for its implementation (arts. 1, 2, 4 and 6)
2.Further measures taken to ensure that all the grounds specified in article 1 of the Convention are covered by the anti-discrimination legal framework, and that it provides, inter alia, for effective remedies in civil and administrative proceedings (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 12). Implementation and impact of the Act on Foreigners No. 80/2016, since its entry into force on 1 January 2017, and of the two laws regarding equal treatment in employment and equal treatment regardless of race or ethnic origin, since their entry into force on 1 September 2018 (CERD/C/ISL/21-23, paras. 26 and 32).
3.Measures to include racist motivation as an aggravating circumstance for all offences in the Criminal Code.
4.Update on the establishment of an independent national human rights institution with a broad mandate to promote and protect human rights, including with regard to racial discrimination, in accordance with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles) (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 13).
5.Measures to raise awareness about anti-discrimination legislation, in particular among persons of foreign origin, and measures to facilitate their access to justice and all remedies available. Statistics on complaints lodged alleging racial discrimination, investigations carried out, penalties imposed and reparations provided to victims (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 15).
6.Further measures to counter and prevent acts of racism, including hate speech. Measures to raise awareness among the population on the possibility of submitting complaints concerning hate speech in the media to the Media Commission. Funding allocated to the Media Commission to monitor the media and take action against violations of the Act on Media No. 38/2011 (CERD/C/ISL/21-23, para. 82). Complaints and investigations regarding individuals and groups that promote or incite racial hatred and racist hate speech in the media, including on the Internet, and penalties imposed (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 14).
Situation of non-citizens, including migrants, asylum seekers and refugees (arts. 5–7)
7.Development of a national action plan for equality and a national integration policy for refugees. Results of the implementation of the action plan on immigrant issues for the years 2016–2019 (CERD/C/ISL/21-23, paras. 30–31). Improvements in integration measures and services for refugees from the asylum system, as compared with those for quota refugees, in particular access to housing, employment and Icelandic language classes.
8.Update on the adoption of a new action plan against human trafficking, including measures to address the specific needs and vulnerabilities of immigrant women (CERD/C/ISL/21-23, para. 48).
9.Progress made on the development of a national action plan against sexual and domestic violence that takes into account the specific needs and vulnerabilities of immigrant women (CEDAW/C/ISL/CO/7-8, para. 19 (c)). Update on measures taken to raise awareness among immigrant women of their rights and available remedies, including legislative changes, such as amendments to the Act on Foreigners allowing an extension of a family reunification permit when a marriage or cohabitation ends due to domestic violence (A/HRC/WG.6/26/ISL/2, para. 30; and CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 16).
10.Update on the establishment of a working group to conduct research on violence against and among immigrants in Iceland (CERD/C/ISL/21-23, para. 88).
11.Update on changes in 2017 to the Foreign Nationals’ Right to Work Act, No. 97/2002 and other measures taken to grant foreign workers treatment not less favourable than that which applies to nationals of the State party in respect of working conditions, restrictions and requirements. Measures to address the disproportionate percentage of foreigners who are unemployed. Issuance of work permits with specific employers (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 18).
12.Further improvement of the situation of students from an immigrant background in secondary education in order to increase enrolment and school attendance and to avoid dropout. Impact of the 2014 white paper on education reform (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 19).
13.Results of the measures taken to fully integrate refugees into society. Update on the activities of the Refugee Committee (CERD/C/ISL/21-23, para. 38). Establishment of multicultural information centres with services in multiple languages.
Education to combat prejudices and promote understanding (art. 7)
14.Measures to raise public awareness about racial discrimination and tolerance with a view to combating prejudice and racial stereotypes. Promotion of human rights and understanding between different groups in school curricula and vocational training programmes, including training of teachers (CERD/C/ISL/CO/19-20, para. 14). Results of the awareness-raising and capacity-building programmes for law enforcement officials on hate crime in Iceland, in cooperation with experts from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (A/HRC/WG.6/26/ISL/1, para. 95).