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The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination - A Commentary by Thornberry, Patrick (14th July 2016)

9 Special Measures under the Convention: Definitions and Obligations

From: The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: A Commentary

Patrick Thornberry

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 July 2020

Subject(s):
Religion — Ethnicity — Minorities — Race

This chapter discusses the ICERD’s provisions on special measures in Articles 1(4) and 2(2). Through these, the Convention connects with contemporary discussions of ‘affirmative action’ and ‘positive action’, though the concepts underlying such terms vary with institutional context. Special measures are also understood as key contributors to the overall Convention project of fighting racial discrimination. They may operate in any field of human rights deprivation including the rights listed or intimated in Article 5. This generic linkage gives rise to the problem of identifying conceptual boundaries between the general obligations of States under a span of Convention articles and the particular obligation to take special measures.

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