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The Ad Hoc Committee on the elaboration of complementary standards


In 2007, the Human Rights Council established the Ad Hoc Committee of the Human Rights Council on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards through resolution 6/21. Its mandate is to:

  • elaborate, as a matter of priority and necessity, complementary standards in the form of either a convention or additional protocol(s) to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, filling the existing gaps in the Convention; and
  • to provide new normative standards aimed at combating all forms of contemporary racism, including incitement to racial and religious hatred.

The Ad Hoc Committee for the Elaboration of Complementary Standards held its first session in February of 2008 and has met annually ever since. The sessions are attended by representatives of Member States, regional groups, national institutions, specialized agencies, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

The Ad Hoc Committee has engaged with numerous experts in the fields of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and contemporary issues of racism in different contexts.

Read more on the background of the Ad Hoc Committee.

The Chairperson-Rapporteur

H.E. Ambassador Taonga Mushayavanhu (Zimbabwe), Chairperson-Rapporteur © OHCHR

Ambassador Taonga Mushayavanhu is part of Zimbabwe's permanent mission to the UN. He has been Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of Complementary Standards since its 8th session in 2016.

Thematic focus areas

The Committee’s thematic areas of focus have included:

  • Xenophobia
  • Procedural gaps with regard to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • National mechanisms
  • Special measures, including affirmative or positive measures
  • Prevention and awareness-raising, including through human rights education and training, in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
  • Racism in sport
  • Effective and adequate remedies for victims
  • Protection of migrants against racist, discriminatory and xenophobic practices
  • Protection of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons against racism and discriminatory practices
  • Racism cybercrime: racism in modern information and communication technologies

Following each annual session, the Ad Hoc Committee submits its report to the Human Rights Council pursuant to decision 3/103 and resolutions 6/21 and 10/30. View the report of the latest session.

Key documents

Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (2001): This is the outcome document of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, the landmark event which took place in Durban, South Africa.

Report on substantive gaps: Fully titled "Report on the study by the five experts on the content and scope of substantive gaps in the existing international instruments to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance" (A/HRC/4/WG.3/6) (2007), this document served as a foundation for the initial work of the Ad Hoc Committee.

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination: The Convention is one of ten core human rights instruments.

Latest reports

2 November 2020: The Chairperson-Rapporteur presented his third progress report to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

9 July 2020: The Ad Hoc Committee submitted its report of the 11th session (A/HRC/45/46) at the 45th session of the Human Rights Council.

August 2019: The Ad Hoc Committee submitted its report of the 10th session (A/HRC/52/48) at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council.