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School of Law

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination at 50: Achievements and Prospects

2 May 2017

Time: 1:30 - 7:00pm
Venue: Collette Bowe Room, Queens' Building, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS

Hosted by Centre for European and International Legal Affairs (CEILA).

This event marks the recent 50th anniversary of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). Adopted in 1965, ICERD is the oldest of the ‘core’ international human rights treaties; it has been ratified by 178 States. Moreover, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), established in 1970, was the first international treaty-monitoring body of its kind. Initially CERD was widely perceived as an international statement against apartheid and colonialism. But, since its inception, the Convention’s meaning and reach has evolved to engage a broad range of groups as well as enhancing the effectiveness of its mechanisms. Today it encompasses a host of issues involving racial, ethnic or linguistic groups, minorities, indigenous peoples, caste/descent-based groups, migrants, refugees, as well as engaging hate speech, ethnic conflict and other racially-motivated acts.

The event, the first to be held on ICERD in the UK, will engage with the treaty’s history and origins, as well as its contemporary scope involving a broad range of themes. It will reflect on how the treaty can respond to current challenges and provide a voice and remedy for the victims of racial discrimination in the 21st century. To this end, it will bring together CERD members, academics and campaigners in order to explore the achievements and prospects of this groundbreaking instrument. The event also marks the publication of two important books on the Convention: Patrick Thornberry, ICERD: A Commentary (Oxford University Press, 2016); and David Keane and Annapurna Waughray (eds.) 50 Years of ICERD: A Living Instrument (Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2017).


Organizer: Dr Stephen Allen (QMUL)


For directions to the venue, please refer to the map.

How to book

This event is free but prior booking is required. Register online via Eventbrite.


For more information, please contact the CCLS Events Team on

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