Public Consultation On Singapore’s Draft State Party Report On The International Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) invites the public to provide feedback on the draft first State Party Report on the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
2 The ICERD is a United Nations Convention that outlines specific standards and steps that countries should take to condemn racial discrimination, which is defined as distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.
3 States Parties are also required to pursue a policy of eliminating racial discrimination via legislative, judicial, administrative or institutional measures. These relate to preventing racial segregation and incitement to racial discrimination, ensuring equal rights and freedoms, providing remedies for victims of racial discrimination, as well as measures to combat prejudice and promote inter-racial understanding.
4 Singapore signed the ICERD on 19 October 2015 and ratified it on 27 November 2017 (www.mccy.gov.sg/icerd). The Convention requires States Parties to submit periodic reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, on measures they have adopted and which give effect to the provisions of the Convention, and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights.
RACIAL HARMONY IN SINGAPORE
5 Three principles guide Government policies and ensure a fair and balanced approach towards all communities:
a. Meritocracy: aims to provide equal opportunity by ensuring that all Singaporeans can progress on individual merit regardless of race.
b. Secular Government: separates Government policy decisions from religious priorities.
c. Multiracialism: recognises the diversity of our society while maximising the common space among the different groups by fostering shared identity and experiences.
6 The Government’s approach to strengthening social cohesion is built on three pillars:
a. Legislative safeguards for racial harmony;
b. Policies and institutions that foster social integration and protect the interests of minorities; and
c. Programmes that mobilise the community to work together for the common good.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DRAFT REPORT
7 The draft Report starts with general information about Singapore. It then provides information on Articles 1 to 7 of the Convention, highlighting the key measures we have taken to address our obligations in these Articles. Some of these measures to eliminate racial discrimination and strengthen racial harmony include the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, Self-Help Groups, and the Ethnic Integration Policy.
INVITATION FOR FEEDBACK
8 Members of the public are welcome to submit:
(a) feedback on the draft Report; as well as
(b) suggestions to strengthen racial harmony and/or address racial discrimination,
via the following channels by 5 October 2018:
(i) Email to: MCCY_ICERD@mccy.gov.sg
(ii) Post to: Attn: Community Relations and Engagement Division, MCCY
140 Hill Street, #02-00
Old Hill Street Police Station
Re: ICERD Consultation