ERC received 61 reports of discrimination in 2019


The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) says that it received a total of 61 reports of discrimination last year.

Chairman for the Commission, John Smith told a news conference Friday that 44 of the cases were resolved through mutual agreement, while 12 is currently being reviewed and five are still active.

“The complaints received were of racial, ethnic and religious discrimination,” the Chairman said.

These cases were in violation of the Representation of the People Act and the Racial Hostility Act.

Commissioner of the ERC Norman McLean noted that while the ERC promotes harmony and peace, they will not evade the opportunity to prosecute persons in the courts. If taken to the courts, persons can be fined or face jail time.

“We don’t want prosecution as the main course of action, we are looking to find peace, good order and harmony,” McLean said.

Another ERC Commissioner Ashton Simon highlighted that there are cases before the Director of Public Prosecution.

“We don’t work independently, we have to work within the law, we need support from other institutions, there are cases that we have in front of other Organisations and I mentioned the DPP,” Commissioner Simon said.

For 2020, the ERC will be embarking on educational initiatives to examine inherent challenges to racist, ethnic and religious discrimination.

The Commission also plans to host national symposium with experts after which a report will be presented to the National Assembly.



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