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Communication No. 34/2004: Denmark, CERD/C/68/D/34/2004, March 15, 2006

7.2 The issue before the Committee is whether the State party fulfilled its positive obligation to take effective action against reported incidents of racial discrimination, having regard to the extent to which it investigated the petitioner’s complaint under section 266 (b) of the Criminal Code. This provision criminalizes public statements by which a group of people are threatened, insulted or degraded on account of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual inclination.

7.3 The Committee observes that it does not suffice, for purposes of article 4 of the Convention, merely to declare acts of racial discrimination punishable on paper. Rather, criminal laws and other legal provisions prohibiting racial discrimination must also be effectively implemented by the competent national tribunals and other State institutions. This obligation is implicit in article 4 of the Convention, under which State parties “undertake to adopt immediate and positive measures” to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, racial discrimination. It is also reflected in other provisions of the Convention, such as article 2, paragraph 1(d), which requires States to “prohibit and bring to an end, by all appropriate means,” racial discrimination, and article 6, guaranteeing to everyone “effective protection and remedies” against acts of racial discrimination.

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