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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Historias y componentes discutidos en las áreas detalladas

Artículo
3 October 2009

El Grupo Siro apuesta por la integración de los gitanos en sus fábricas mediante contratos de trabajo [España]

Autor(a): Norte Castilla [España]

El director de Recursos Humanos del Grupo Siro, Francisco Hevia, y el presidente de la Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Pedro Puente García, firmaron ayer un convenio en Venta de Baños por el que la compañía de alimentación contratará a trabajadores de...

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Artículo
15 April 2009
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Autor(a): UNICEF

The IKEA Social Initiative uses proceeds from the holiday season sale of IKEA soft toys to help finance education projects run by UNICEF and Save the Children...the IKEA Soft Toy Campaign supports 22 projects in 17 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe....

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Artículo
1 April 2009
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Autor(a): Intl. Dalit Solidarity Network

DSN-UK held a high level meeting with Shell at which they agreed to engage with HSBC on how they have made recruitment policies. Shell further agreed to put a statement on their website saying that Shell does not want to discriminate on the basis of...

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Artículo
13 March 2009
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Artículo
7 July 2008
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Autor(a): Vanessa O'Connell, Wall Street Journal

When Gareth Penny became De Beers Group's chief executive in 2006, the world's biggest diamond producer was mired in some of the worst crises… Rapper Kanye West's "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" in 2005 and the movie "Blood Diamond" in 2006 were...

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Artículo
25 March 2008
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Autor(a): Ron Derby, Bloomberg

Sasol Ltd., the oil company that helped shield the apartheid regime from sanctions, will sell $3.2 billion of shares to black investors in South Africa's largest redistribution of wealth since the end of white-minority rule. Sasol, meeting a government...

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Artículo
15 August 2007
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Autor(a): Johann Earle, Stabroek News [Guyana]

Poor working conditions and breaches of safety and health regulations were complained about yesterday at Bai Shan Lin's wood processing operations at Coomacka in Region Ten...During a visit by the media, workers bitterly complained of harsh treatment...

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Artículo
30 October 2006
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Autor(a): Caboodle News

Discrimination in the workplace in Hungary is among the highest in Europe, and mainly the older generations have to face serious problems, writes a recent report by human resources consulting firm Kelly Services...On February 1, 2005, the Equal...

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Artículo
5 September 2006
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Autor(a): BBC

South African bank Old Mutual is to sell $42.8m (£22.6m) worth of assets to black Namibians in the country's largest economic empowerment deal. The finance firm will transfer shares in insurance and banking operations to employees, business consortia,...

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Artículo
18 August 2006
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Autor(a): Katrin Bennhold, International Herald Tribune

…members of ethnic minorities…are still a rare sight in [French] management positions and higher-profile jobs that routinely bring them into contact with customers. But now something is happening in the whitest of white-collar sectors: the largest...

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