The International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) commits member countries to eliminate racial discrimination and promote equal access to rights, regardless of race, ethnicity, or nationality. 

ICERD was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1965. The UK ratified it in 1969.


The UK’s progress on implementing ICERD was last reviewed by the Committee on the Elimination on Racial Discrimination in 2016.  

The Committee's Concluding Observations (recommendations) included various issues relevant to children, including discriminatory counter-terrorism measures that the UK Government had implemented and the use of immigration detention with no statutory time limit.

The impact of counter-terrorism measures, particularly the Prevent Strategy, on children was also highlighted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in their 2016 Concluding Observations.

The UK Government was due to submit its latest report in April 2020 but this was delayed due to COVID-19 and is still outstanding. As such, no timeline has been confirmed for the reporting cycle.

Together's work

2018: Together submitted written evidence to inform a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance to the UK in May 2018. Her final report highlighted the disproportionate number of children from Black and Asian households living in poverty, as well as issues faced by Gypsy/Traveller children.

2021: Together launched its Anti-Racism Action Plan, a living document setting out the steps Together will take as part of its commitment to become an anti-racist organisation.

2022: Together published research on ICERD incorporation completed by Judi Martin, an LLM student on the University of Edinburgh Human Rights programme. This explored experience in other countries and learning for Scotland as it moves to incorporate ICERD through the proposed Human Rights Bill.