MONTREAL, May 11, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The Commission des droits de la
personne et des droits de la jeunesse has issued a wake-up call to the
government to seriously tackle racial profiling and ensure social peace
"The government must adopt a policy aimed at fighting racism and a real
action plan to prevent and put a stop to racial profiling," today said,
the president of the Commission, Gaétan Cousineau, at a news conference
during which the Report of the consultation on racial profiling and its
consequences was released. "Québec cannot allow some of its citizens to
lose their trust in its institutions and to feel like foreigners in
their own society. Social peace depends on it," he said.
The report entitled: Racial profiling and systemic discrimination of racialized youth invites Québec to mobilize to end racial profiling and systemic
discrimination that threatens the future of youth from minority groups.
"The situation must change. It is not a choice, but rather an obligation
in order to uphold the right to equality of racialized minorities as
guaranteed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms," added the
president of the Commission.
To that end, the Commission has addressed more than 90 detailed
recommendations to all levels of governments, to public institutions
and organizations which can ensure better social cohesion, in
particular, police, schools, social services and the youth protection
system. The Commission has also undertaken to improve its own practices
as they relate to racial profiling complaints and its judicial
More particularly, the Commission recommends that the government adopt
an official definition of discriminatory profiling and that it be
included in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. As well, racial
profiling should be prohibited in the Police Act and in the Code of
Ethics of Police Officers of Québec, and that offences be sanctioned.
Mr. Cousineau insisted on the importance of restoring the confidence of
members of racialized groups in Québec, who, too often feel excluded
and marginalized. It is up to elected officials and decision-makers to
review the laws, standards and organizational policies, whose effect,
though often subtle or unconsciously, reinforces these feelings of
The Commission recommends a review of practices and regulations in the
three key sectors which were the focus of the consultation: public
security, education and the youth protection system, including tangible
measures to improve the representation of ethnic and racialized
minorities at all levels of the public administration.
Moreover, antiracist and intercultural training should be given to all
employees working in these sectors, while data analysis and collection
mechanisms should be put in place as well as solid accountability
procedures with a view to detecting racial profiling.
Mr. Cousineau acknowledged that the Commission has submitted an
ambitious program that will not become reality without the active
participation and support of community groups representing minority
groups. During the public hearings the Commission was heartened to hear
of the existence of interesting initiatives, as well as successful
projects and partnerships which have made a difference despite the fact
that these were generally the result of isolated acts rather than
The Commission's consultation process
The Commission launched its consultation in September 2009 in order to
find possible solutions to counter racial profiling and systemic
discrimination, as the complaints handling process and judicial
representation offered limited opportunity for fundamental change. It
chose to focus on the experiences of 14 to 25-year olds from racialized
In the first phase it collected more than 150 submissions from youth,
their parents, experts and community organization representatives who
all agreed to share their experiences of racial profiling whether in
the education sector, the youth protection system or in the public
Based on these submissions as well as the data and research analysis,
the Commission made public in March 2010 its Consultation Document to
guide discussion and public exchanges during its public hearings which
were held in Montreal and in Québec City last spring. The Commission
received 54 written presentations, and approximately 75 persons,
including academics, community or public institution representatives as
well as engaged citizens, took part.
The report: Racial profiling and systemic discrimination of racialized youth is the result of this process.
To find out more about the report and the recommendations please see
detailed news releases focusing on public security, the education
sector, the youth protection system as well as the Commission's
commitments at www.cdpdj.qc.ca.
SOURCE Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
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