Racial/ethnic/caste/origin discrimination - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on racial, ethnic, caste and origin discrimination.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Racial/ethnic/caste/origin discrimination" section of our site.

Key reports & guidance

Equality at work: Tackling the challenges - Global Report under the follow-up to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work [PDF], International Labour Organization, 2007

Race to the top: the place of ethnic minority groups within the UK workforce [PDF], Business in the Community, Dec 2008

The Glass Box: Exclusion of Roma from Employment [PDF], European Roma Rights Centre, Feb 2007 (see in particular chapter 2.2, pgs. 26-28, "Employers")

Subtle Yet Significant: The Existence and Impact of Everyday Racial Discrimination in the Workplace, Loyola University in New Orleans, 2003

Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide [PDF], OHCHR, IBLF, UN Global Compact & Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Faculty of Law, Monash University, Dec 2008 (scroll down to page 77: “Article 26: Right to equality before the law, equal protection of the law, and rights of non-discrimination”)

The Ambedkar Principles: Principles and Guidelines to address Caste Discrimination in the Private Sector, IDSN (International Dalit Solidarity Network), Sep 2009

Concerns, company responses & non-responses

The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct.  Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding racial/ethnic/caste/origin discrimination.  We also indicate when a company has not responded.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Amnesty International report finds employment discrimination, raises concerns about access to mass grave sites, Feb 2006. Responses from Aluminij, Mittal Steel.

Bosnia & Herzegovina: Amnesty Intl. writes follow-up letter to Aluminij, regarding Aluminij’s response to Amnesty’s report on ethnic discrimination in employment, Jun 2006. No response received from Aluminij.

France: Lawsuit alleges that Disneyland Paris set limits on number of black employees it accepted from employment agency, Jan 2006. Response from Walt Disney.

Guyana: Report on poor health & safety standards at a wood processing plant operated by Chinese company Baishanlin. The Guyanese workers said they were restrained in ways that the Chinese workers were not, Aug 2007.  Response from Baishanlin.

Haiti: Report raises concerns about treatment of Haitian sugar cane workers at Grupo Vicini's plantations, including "atmosphere of racism, ongoing child labour", Sep 2009. Response from Grupo Vicini.

Hungary: Fines issued against 3 companies because they rejected Roma (Gypsies) applicants for a position after "interviews" that lasted only 30 seconds, Oct 2006.  No response from the companies.

Positive steps by companies

Africa: Interview with De Beers CEO, highlighting efforts to combat conflict diamonds, poverty, black empowerment in Africa.

France: Financial firms including BNP Paribas, Société Général take steps to diversify workforce.

India: Intl. Dalit Solidarity Network Annual Report 2008 - with section on private sector developments - refers to initiatives by Daimler, HSBC, Shell.

Namibia: Old Mutual in Namibia's largest black economic empowerment deal.

South Africa: Sasol to sell $3.2 billion of shares to black investors, in largest deal of its kind to help compensate for apartheid discrimination.

Spain: Grupo Siro signs agreement to hire workers from the ethnic gypsy minority. [Spanish only]

USA: Companies support renewal of voting rights law for minorities - including CBS.

USA: DiversityInc announces "Top 50 companies for diversity" – top 5 companies include Johnson & Johnson, AT&T.

Vietnam: UNICEF and IKEA project supports education for ethnic minorities.

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