The government of Madagascar was examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in August 2004. On 17 August 2004, the Committee issued its Concluding Observations (CERD/C/65/CO/4):

  • 12. The Committee notes that there is no definition of racial discrimination in the legal domestic order.  It also notes that several laws contain provisions concerning non-discrimination which do not expressly specify race, colour and descent as prohibited grounds.

The Committee recommends that the State party should include a definition of racial discrimination in its legislation, drawing upon the elements contained in article 1 of the Convention.  The State party should complete its legislation in order to prohibit racial discrimination in the same way as other forms of discrimination.

  • 17. The Committee regrets that despite the abolition of slavery and the caste system in 1896, discrimination against the descendants of slaves persists. The Committee recommends that the State party take the necessary steps to put an end to discrimination based on descent, including the steps enumerated in its general recommendation XXIX.  Detailed information on the situation of descendants of slaves, and of the persistence of the caste system in general, should be included in the next periodic report.

The Committee recommends that the State party submit its nineteenth and twentieth periodic reports as one document due on 9 March 2008, and respond therein to all the points raised in the present concluding observations.