Friday, 15 June 2012

India: Mining Industry Out Of Control, Says HRW

June 15, 2012

India’s government has failed to enforce key human rights and environmental safeguards in the country’s mining industry, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 70-page report, “Out of Control: Mining, Regulatory Failure and Human Rights in India,” finds that deep-rooted shortcomings in the design and implementation of key policies have effectively left mine operators to supervise themselves. This has fueled pervasive lawlessness in India’s scandal-ridden mining industry and threatens serious harm to mining-affected communities. Human Rights Watch documented allegations that irresponsible mining operations have damaged the health, water, environment, and livelihoods of these communities.

“Mining operations often cause immense destruction when government doesn’t exercise proper oversight,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “India has laws on the books to protect mining-affected communities from harm, but their enforcement has essentially collapsed.”

India’s government has systemically failed to ensure that the country’s 2,600 authorized mining operations adhere to key human rights and environmental protections under Indian law, Human Rights Watch found. These problems are related to and have facilitated a series of high-profile corruption allegations in the mining industry that have rocked India in recent years. Illegality in the mining sector has deprived state governments of badly needed revenues, threatened the industry with costly and unpredictable shutdowns, and generated political chaos that helped bring down two state governments in 2011 and 2012.

The Human Rights Watch report is based in part on interviews with more than 80 people in Goa and Karnataka states, as well as in New Delhi, including residents in affected communities, activists, and mining company and government officials.

Farmers in Goa and Karnataka told Human Rights Watch that mining operations have destroyed or polluted vital springs and groundwater supplies. Overladen ore trucks throw off clouds of iron-rich dust as they pass through rural communities, destroying crops and potentially damaging the health of nearby families. In some cases, people who speak out about these problems have been threatened, harassed, or physically attacked, while government authorities failed to address their grievances.

These and other human rights problems in the mining industry are linked to deep-rooted government failures of oversight and regulation, Human Rights Watch said. Some key regulatory safeguards are virtually set up to fail because of poor design. But in many cases, the problem is that implementation is so shoddy that it renders relatively good laws ineffective, Human Rights Watch found.

“Mining scandals may grab headlines, but the root causes of India’s mining problems are more basic,” Ganguly said. “The government has encouraged lawlessness by failing to enforce the law or even monitor whether mine operators are complying with it.”

Indian law, like that of many other countries, situates core human rights protections somewhat awkwardly within regulatory frameworks designed primarily to mitigate the environmental impacts of mining operations. This places much of the responsibility for monitoring and enforcement with India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The government has sufficient authority to correct the serious flaws in the existing regulatory framework, Human Rights Watch said. For instance, the government relies on mining companies to commission and produce the “independent” Environmental Impact Assessments that are used to gauge a proposed mining project’s likely environmental, social, and human rights impacts. This creates an unnecessary conflict of interest that could be solved by giving regulators the central role in commissioning those studies. The assessments also tend to give short shrift to human rights issues, focusing overwhelmingly on purely environmental concerns.

Enforcement is an even bigger problem, Human Rights Watch found. Regulatory institutions are hopelessly overstretched. A few dozen central government officials are tasked with overseeing the environmental and human rights impacts of every mine in India – and many other industries as well. This makes in-field monitoring a practical impossibility, forcing the government to rely almost exclusively on information provided by mine operators themselves. Many state government oversight bodies have even less capacity to implement their challenging mandates. As a result, government regulators have no idea how many mining firms are complying with the law or how many communities have been harmed by illegal practices.

Similar problems pervade the process for approving new mining operations. Regulators often rely exclusively on the Environmental Impact Assessments commissioned by mining firms to determine whether to allow a project to go forward. Field visits are rare and projects are considered and approved at such a rapid pace that there is no time for serious scrutiny of the conclusions of the environmental impact reports.

Yet the evidence shows that those reports are often rife with incorrect or deliberately misleading information. Under this framework, approval for new mining and other industrial projects is almost never denied. Many currently operational mines may have been given approval to proceed on the basis of false information about potential harm to neighboring communities.

The central government has taken some tentative steps toward improving oversight – like requiring companies to choose from a list of accredited firms to carry out Environmental Impact Assessments. But the reforms have not gone nearly far enough. Human Rights Watch urged the government to adopt a number of pragmatic policy recommendations to narrow some of the most important regulatory gaps.

“Mining is an important part of India’s economy, but that does not mean the industry should be allowed to write its own rules,” Ganguly said. “The government can and should empower regulators to do their jobs more effectively than they can today.”

Poll Claims India Worst Place To Be A Woman, Canada Best
June 14, 2012

India is the worst place to be a woman among the world’s biggest economies, according to a global poll of experts released by Trust Law, a Thomson Reuters Foundation service, on Wednesday.

According to the same poll, Canada is the best place to be a woman, while even Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey fared better than India. “Infanticide, child marriage and slavery make India the worst”, the poll concluded.

“In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour,” one of those polled was quoted as saying.

The Gender Inequality Index has also reportedly ranked India among the worst places for women.

India ranked at 141 among 165 countries analyzed by Newsweek magazine in the treatment of women, which was published in September.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, argued that India was on track to become a global power, but her new power and prosperity had remained evasive for many, especially women. Despite the economic growth, women in India continued to face inequalities in opportunities which blocked them from fully participating in the growth process. It was blight on a country, which prided herself on having joined the league of hottest growth economies.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed: We needed to empower our women in India; provide them better treatment under the law, better access to health-education-politics, and more opportunities for workplace participation; and open up more economic potentials for them.

Quoting scriptures, Rajan Zed pointed out that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.” Number of Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of Hinduism) hymns were said to be composed by women, and Aditi, who was sometimes referred as “mother of the gods”, found mention in Rig-Veda as a goddess.

TrustLaw reportedly asked aid professionals, academics, health workers, policymakers, journalists and development specialists with expertise in gender issues to rank the 19 countries of the G20 in terms of the overall best and worst to be a woman.

TrustLaw is a core program of Thomson Reuters Foundation, a registered charity in the United States and United Kingdom established in 1982. David W. Binet and Monique Villa are Trustees Chairman and CEO respectively of the London headquartered Foundation.

India: Dark ages not yet over for women

NEW DELHI: The birth of a girl, so goes a popular Hindu saying, is akin to the arrival of Lakshmi - the four-armed goddess of wealth, often depicted holding lotus flowers and an overflowing pot of gold.
That should assure pride of place for women in Indian society, especially now the country is growing both in global influence and affluence.
In reality, India’s women are discriminated against, abused and even killed on a scale unparalleled in the top 19 economies of the world, according to a new poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The survey, polling 370 gender specialists, found Canada to be the best place to be a woman amongst G20 nations, excluding the European Union economic grouping. Saudi Arabia was the second worst, after India.
“It’s a miracle a woman survives in India. Even before she is born, she is at risk of being aborted due to our obsession for sons,” said Shemeer Padinzjharedil, who runs, a website which maps and documents crimes against women.
“As a child, she faces abuse, rape and early marriage and even when she marries, she is killed for dowry. If she survives all of this, as a widow she is discriminated against and given no rights over inheritance or property.”
Many of the crimes against women are in India’s heavily populated northern plains, where, in parts, there is a deep-rooted mindset that women are inferior and must be restricted to being homemakers and child bearers.
In addition, age-old customs such as payment of hefty dowries at the time of marriage and beliefs linking a female’s sexual behaviour to family honour have made girls seem a burden.
The poll results - based on parameters such as quality of health services, threat of physical and sexual violence, level of political voice, and access to property and land rights - jars with the modern-day image of India.
India had a female prime minister, or head of government, as long ago as 1966. Well-dressed women in Western attire driving scooters or cars to work is now an everyday sight in cities. Women doctors, lawyers, police officers and bureaucrats are common.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Let's stop pretending there's no racism in India

Yengkhom Jilangamba
May 29, 2012

The mysterious death of Loitam Richard in Bangalore, the murder of Ramchanphy Hongray in New Delhi, the suicide by Dana Sangma and other such incidents serve as reminders of the insecure conditions under which people, particularly the young, from the north-east of India have to live with in the metros of this country. What these deaths have in common is that the three individuals were all from a certain part of the country, had a “particular” physical appearance, and were seen as outsiders in the places they died. These incidents have been read as a symptom of the pervasive racial discrimination that people from the region face in metropolitan India.

An institutionalised form

Quite expectedly, such an assertion about the existence of racism in India will not be taken seriously; the response will be to either remain silent and refuse to acknowledge this form of racism or, fiercely, to reject it.

Ironically, most Indians see racism as a phenomenon that exists in other countries, particularly in the West, and without fail, see themselves as victims. They do not see themselves harbouring (potentially) racist attitudes and behaviour towards others whom they see as inferior.

But time and again, various groups of people, particularly from the north-east have experienced forms of racial discrimination and highlighted the practice of racism in India.

In fact, institutionalised racism has been as much on the rise as cases of everyday racism in society.

In a case of racial profiling, the University of Hyderabad chose to launch its 2011 “initiative” to curb drinking and drug use on campus by working with students from the north-east. In 2007, the Delhi Police decided to solve the problems of security faced by the north-easterners in Delhi, particularly women, by coming up with a booklet entitled Security Tips for North East Students asking north-eastern women not to wear “revealing dresses” and gave kitchen tips on preparing bamboo shoot, akhuni, and “other smelly dishes” without “creating ruckus in neighbourhood.”

BRICS summit

Very recently, in the run-up to the BRICS summit in New Delhi, the Delhi Police's motto of “citizens first” was on full display, when they arrested or put under preventive detention the non-citizens — the Tibetan refugees. But the real problem for the security personnel cropped up when they had to identity Tibetans on the streets of Delhi. This problem for the state forces was compounded by the fact that Delhi now has a substantial migrant population from the north-east whose physical features could be quite similar to those of Tibetans. So, the forces went about raiding random places in Delhi, questioning and detaining people from the region. North-eastern individuals travelling in vehicles, public transport, others at their workplaces, and so on all became suspects.

Many were asked to produce their passports or other documents to prove that, indeed, they were Indian citizens and not refugee Tibetans. In some cases, “authentic” Indians had to intervene in order to endorse and become guarantors of the authenticity of the nationality of these north-easterners. The situation became farcical and caught the attention of the judiciary reportedly after two lawyers from the region were interrogated and harassed. The Delhi High Court directed the Delhi police not to harass people from the north-east and Ladakh. How much easier it would have been for the Delhi Police, if only citizenship and physiognomy matched perfectly.

But should one expect otherwise from these state and public institutions, given the fact that racism is rampant at the level of societal everyday experiences? For north-easterners who look in a particular manner, everyday living in Indian cities can be a gruelling experience. Be it the mundane overcharging of fares by autoricksaw-wallahs, shopkeepers and landlords, the verbal abuse on the streets and the snide remarks of colleagues, friends, teachers, or the more extreme experiences of physical and sexual assaults. It is often a never-ending nightmare, a chronicle of repetitive experience.

One also wonders if racial attitudes, if not outright racism, influence many more aspects of life than one imagines. For instance, whether there is any racial profiling of employment opportunities, given the concentration of jobs for north-easterners mostly in the hospitality sector, young women in beauty salons, restaurants and as shop assistants.

Visible and unseen

Of course, racism is difficult to prove — whether in the death of Richard or in the case of harassment of a woman from the north-east. And it should not surprise us if racism cannot be clearly established in either of these cases because that's how racism works — both the visible, explicit manifestations as well as the insidious, unseen machinations. Quite often, one can't even recount exactly what was wrong about the way in which a co-passenger behaved, difficult to articulate a sneer, a tone of voice that threatened or taunted, the cultural connotations that can infuriate.

How does one prove that when an autorickshaw driver asks a north-easterner on the streets of Delhi if he or she is going to Majnu ka Tila, a Tibetan refugee colony, that the former is reproducing a common practice of racial profiling?

This remark could be doubly interpreted if made to a woman from the region — both racial and gendered. How do I prove racism when a young co-passenger on the Delhi Metro plays “Chinese” sounding music on his mobile, telling his friend that he is providing, “background music,” sneering and laughing in my direction? And what one cannot retell in the language of evidence, becomes difficult to prove. Racism is most often felt, perceived, like an invisible wound, difficult to articulate or recall in the language of the law or evidence. In that sense, everyday forms of racism are more experiential rather than an objectively identifiable situation.

Of course, every once in a while, there will be an incident of extreme, outrageous violence that is transparently racial in nature and we will rally around and voice our anger but it is these insidious, everyday forms of racial discrimination that bruise the body and the mind, build up anger and frustration. Fighting these everyday humiliations exhausts our attempts at expression.

If one is serious about fighting racial discrimination, this is where rules must change — by proving to us that in Richard's death there was no element of racism. Given the pervasiveness of racism in everyday life, why should we listen when we are told that those who fought with him over a
TV remote were immune to it?

To recognise that racism exists in this country and that many unintended actions might emanate from racism can be a good place to start fighting the problem. To be oblivious of these issues or to deny its existence is to be complicit in the discriminatory regime. Also, the reason for fighting against racism is not because it is practised against “our” own citizens but because it is wrong regardless of whether the victims of racism are citizens of the country or not. One way to be critical of racism is to recognise and make visible the presence of racism rather than merely resorting to legalistic means to curb this discrimination.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 - 6

VI. On U.S. Violations of Human Rights against Other Nations

The United States has been pursuing hegemony in the world, grossly trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and capriciously violating human rights against other nations. It "appears more and more to be contributing to international disorder" ("After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order," by Emmanuel Todd).

The revelation of the history of human experiments conducted in the United States is yet another scandal sparking public outcry around the world after the prisoner abuse scandal.

The British newspaper The Telegraph reported on August 30, 2011, that from 1946-1948, a U.S. government-paid medical experiment program had made nearly 5,500 people in Guatemala subjected to diagnostic testing, and the researchers deliberately exposed more than 1,300 people, including soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and mental patients, to syphilis and other venereal diseases. Seven women with epilepsy were injected with syphilis below the back of the skull, and a female syphilis patient with a terminal illness was infected with gonorrhea in her eyes and elsewhere.

These experiments had caused over 80 deaths.

An article on a U.S.-based journalistic website said that "these revelations are only the latest in an ongoing series of scandals regarding government illegal and unethical experimentation" and that "there are plenty of other underreported and important stories out there on the terrible scandal that has been U.S. illegal experimentation.

 "The article said that the list of such illegal experiments is quite long, including government radiation experiments, human mind control (also known as MKULTRA) experiments and the CIA and DoD (Department of Defense) experiments on "enemy combatants" in the "war on terror" (

Newspaper The Hindu reported on August 30, 2011, that in 1932, the U.S. public health service agency started a study of untreated syphilis in the human body in Alabama. The researchers told the subjects that they were being treated for some ailments, and nearly 400 African-American men were infected with syphilis without informed consent. In fact, the men infected did not receive proper treatment needed. The study lasted until 1972 after media disclosures. Austrian national TV commented that this was a disgraceful event in the U.S. history and a dark period in U.S. medical ethics.

The U.S.-led wars, albeit alleged to be "humanitarian intervention" efforts and for "the rise of a new democratic nation," created humanitarian disasters instead. For Iraqis, the death toll in the U.S.-initiated Iraq war stands at 655,000 (Tribune Business News, December 15, 2011).

According to figures released by the Iraq Body Count, at least 103,536 civilians were killed in the Iraq war (Reuters, December 18, 2011).

In 2011, there were an average of 6.5 deaths per day from suicide attacks and vehicle bombs (

It is estimated that civilian casualties in the military campaign in Afghanistan could exceed 31,000 (Tribune Business News, October 17, 2011).

According to a news report, on May 28, 2011, a U.S.-led NATO airstrike killed 14 civilians and wounded six others in the southern region of Afghanistan (The New York Times, May 29, 2011).

Separately, on May 25, a total of 18 Afghan civilians and 20 police were killed in a NATO airstrike in the province of Nuristan (BBC News, May 29, 2011).

The British newspaper The Guardian reported on March 11, 2012, that an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan burst into three civilian homes in two villages in the small hours of March 11, shot dead 16 sleeping Afghan villagers, injured five others, and burned the dead bodies. The victims included nine children and three women. According to a Reuters report, witness accounts said there were several U.S. soldiers involved (Reuters, March 11, 2012).

Another dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) report quoted a member of the Afghan parliamentary investigative team as saying that there were 15 to 20 soldiers who had conducted the night raid operation in several areas in the village. The source also told dpa that some of the Afghan women who were killed were sexually assaulted, according to the findings (dpa, March 18, 2012).

Such "American-style massacre" against innocent civilians has once again pierced the veil of the United States proclaiming itself "a country under the rule of law" and "a human rights defender."

Incomplete statistics revealed that the United States has launched more than 60 drone attacks in Pakistan in 2011, killing at least 378 people (USA Today, January 11, 2012;

The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan increased 15 percent in the first half of 2011 over the same period of 2010 (The New York Times, August 6, 2011).

According to media reports, on the night of February 20, 2012, some American soldiers of the NATO troops at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan transported copies of Koran and other religious books to a rubbish pit and burnt them (BBC News, February 23, 2012).

 The acts of desecration of Koran have sparked strong protests and large-scale demonstration activities among the people across Afghanistan as well as in countries of Pakistan and Bengal (;

The United States does not support the right to development, which is a concern of most of the developing countries. In September 2011, the 18th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on "the right to development." Except an abstention vote from the United States, all the HRC members voted for the resolution.

The United States continues its conducts that seriously violate the right of subsistence and right of development of Cuban people. On October 26, 2011, the 66th session of the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution titled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba," the 20th such resolution in a row. A total of 186 countries voted in favor of the resolution, three countries abstained, and only the United States and Israel voted against the resolution. The resolution urged the United States to repeal or invalid the almost 50-year-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba as soon as possible (

The United States, however, continues to defy the resolution. The blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba qualifies as an act of genocide under Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which was adopted in 1948.

The above-mentioned facts are but a small yet illustrative enough fraction of the United States' dismal record on its human rights situation. The United States' own tarnished human rights record has made it in no condition, on moral, political or legal basis, to act as the world's "human rights justice," to place itself above other countries and release the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries. We hereby advise the U.S. government once again to look squarely at its own grave human rights problems, to stop the unpopular practices of taking human rights as a political instrument for interference in other countries' internal affairs, smearing other nations'images and seeking its own strategic interests, and to cease using double standards on human rights and pursuing hegemony under the pretext of human rights.

Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 - 5

V. On the rights of women and children
To date, the United States has ratified neither the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, nor the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As the United States neglects the rights of women and children, their situation deteriorates.
Gender discrimination against women widely exists in the United States. According to statistics, women are not fully represented in governments at all levels in the United States, as women hold only 17 percent of the seats in Congress (
Women doing the same work as men often get less payment in the United States, and the wage gap has narrowed by only 18 cents in the past half century (
According to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union, in 2009, women working full-time, year-round were paid 77 cents on average for every dollar paid to men (
Women in the United States widely suffer discrimination in terms of employment, promotion and work. A new study confirms that American tech companies are woefully behind in including women among their board members and highest-paid executives.
On average, fewer than one in 28 of the highest-paid tech executives is woman.
At California's biggest public companies, only about 10 percent of the board members and top executives are women (The New York Times, December 9, 2011).
Poverty rate among American women reached new record high. According to data from the United States Census Bureau,
over 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010, including more than 7.5 million in extreme poverty and
4.7 million single mothers in poverty.
The poverty rate among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009, the highest in 17 years;
the extreme poverty rate among women climbed to 6.3 percent in 2010 from 5.9 percent in 2009, the highest rate ever recorded (
According to a report of the Associated Press on April 12, 2011, a single mother named Lashanda Armstrong drove her four kids in a minivan into the Hudson river in Newburgh, New York due to the unbearable burden of raising the kids. Only her 10-year-old boy survived.
Women in the United States often experience discrimination, violence and sexual assault. Ethnic minority women face discrimination during pregnancy.
According to a report provided by the LAMB (The Los Angeles Mommy and Baby Project), 32.4 percent of Asian-American mothers felt discriminated against during pregnancy, second only to African-American mothers among whom the ratio amounts to 47.9 percent, while the ratio among Latin American mothers is 31.1 percent (The China Press, June 1, 2011).
According to statistics from the website of the Los Angeles Police Department, more than 2 million American women are victims of domestic violence annually.
The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey shows nearly one in five women has been raped in her lifetime, and one in four has experienced serious physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in her life (Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2011).
Throughout the military, sexual assault affects about 19 percent of female troops but most of them choose to keep silent, according to a survey of sexual assault conducted by the US military (
From March to October in 2011, a string of 20 sexual assaults happened in Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope and the victims were all young women (The New York Times, October 19, 2011).
Reports say many of the 1 million women in prison in the United States experienced harsh treatment and even had their arms and legs chained when they were giving birth (
Poverty rate for children in the United States reached record high. According to the report released by the US Census Bureau, more than 1 million children were added to the poverty population between 2009 and 2010, making the total number of children living below the poverty line reach more than 15 million, the greatest since 2001.
The poverty rate for children in 2010 climbed to 21.6 percent in 2010 from 20 percent in 2009, with 653 counties seeing a significant increase in poverty rate for children aging 5 to 17 and about one third of counties having school-age poverty rates above the national poverty rate (
The Daily Mail reported on August 17, 2011, that child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009 and Mississippi is the state with the highest level of 31 percent.
The U.S. Census Bureau said that children living in poverty, especially small children, are more likely to develop cognitive and behavioral difficulties and may have a shorter education time and a longer time being unemployed when they grow up (The China Press, November 21, 2011).
The number of homeless children has surged. In 2010, 1.6 million children in the United States were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, up 33 percent from that in 2007, according to the National Center on Family
Homelessness (USA Today, December 15, 2011). According to the Education Department of New York, there are 53,503 homeless students and children of 3 to 21 years old in New York, and the Homeless Service Department's count also shows an average of 6,902 children of 6 to 17 years old a month are homeless in the city (The New York Times, November 14, 2011).
Nearly 17,000 children slept in the municipal shelters in New York on the Halloween night in 2011. From May 2011 to November 2011, children in shelters rose 10 percent (The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2011).
Children are severely exposed to violence and pornography. BBC reported on October 17, 2011, that over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children were believed to have been killed by their family members. More than 1 million children are confirmed each year as victims of child abuse (, and one of every two families in the U. S. is involved in domestic violence at some time (www.
The Wall Street Journal reported on November 14, 2011, that roughly 120,000 calls were made to the state hot line for child abuse calls administrated by the state Department of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania, but only about 24,000 cases were investigated.
A 13-year-old boy named Christian Choate was allegedly beaten to death in 2009 by his father. The report said prosecutors had alleged that the boy endured beating daily and was kept locked in a 3-foot-high dog cage, where he had little to eat and often soiled himself (Chicago Tribune, June 24, 2011).
Campus violence and cyber bullying are growing more malicious in the U. S. According to a report of the US News & World Report on June 3, 2011, at least 40 percent of high school students have been bullied by cyber bullies (
The Women's Enews reported on May 23 last year, the sex-trafficking problem is acute in the state of Georgia, with an estimated 250 to 300 underage teens and girls being sexually exploited each month there (womensenews. org).
According to a report published by the Stanford University, the number of reports of sexual assaults received in its campus in 2010 rose by 75 percent over that in 2009 (CBS, September 30, 2011).
Infant mortality rate remains high in the United States. According to a report of The New York Times on October 15, 2011, the infant mortality rate in the United States is 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate among the African-Americans is 13.3 deaths per thousand, while the rates among the whites, Hispanics and Asian-Americans are respectively 5.6, 5.5 and 4.8 per thousand. In Pittsburgh, the infant mortality rate for black residents of Allegheny County was 20.7 per thousand in 2009, while the rate among whites in the county was only 4 per thousand in the same period. Nationally, black babies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die before the age of 1.

Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 - 4

IV. On Racial Discrimination

Ethnic minorities in the United States have long been suffering systemic, widespread and institutional discrimination. And racial discrimination has become an indelible characteristic and symbol of American values.

Ethnic minorities have low political, economic and social positions due to discrimination. The number of ethnic people in civil service is not proportional to their population.

New York Times reported on June 23, 2011, that the number of Asian Americans in New York City has topped one million, nearly 1 in 8 New Yorkers, but only one Asian-American serves in the State Legislature, two on the City Council and one in a citywide post of the New York City.

 According to the annual report released by the National Urban League of the U.S., African-Americans' 2011 Equality Index is currently 71.5 percent, compared to 2010's 72.1 percent, among which the economic equality index declined from 57.9 percent to 56.9 percent, and the health index, from 76.6 percent to 75 percent, and the index in the area of social justice, from 57.9 percent to 56.9 percent.

Ethnic Americans are badly discriminated against when it comes to employment. It was reported that the unemployment rate of Hispanics rose to 11 percent in 2010 from 5.7 percent in 2007 (The New York Times, September 28, 2011).

The unemployment rate of African Americans was 16.2 percent. For black males, it's at 17.5 percent; and for black youth, it's nearly 41 percent, 4.5 times the national average unemployment rate (CBS News, June 19, 2011).

Nationally, black joblessness stands at 21 percent, rising to as high as 40 percent in major urban centers like Detroit (The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2011).

 In Ziebach County of South Dakota, a community mainly composed of native-Americans, more than 60 percent of the residents live at or below the poverty line, and unemployment rate hits 90 percent in the winter (The Daily Mail, February 15, 2011).

A study shows that of the seven occupations with the highest salaries, six are overrepresented by whites (Washington Post, October 21, 2011).

The poverty rate of African Americans doubles that of whites, and the ethnic minority groups suffer severe social inequalities. According to a report by the Pew Research Center released in June 2011, the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households (

In 2010, poverty among blacks rose to 27.4 percent, and poverty among Hispanics increased to 26.6 percent, much higher than the 9.9-percent poverty rate among whites (

A Pew Research Center report says the lopsided wealth ratios among whites, Hispanics and African-Americans in 2009 were the largest in the past 25 years (

 According to an investigation done by the Washington-based Bread for the World, "black children are suffering from poverty at a rate of nearly 40 percent, and over a quarter of Blacks reported going hungry in 2010." "The figures are both startling and very telling," said the Rev. Derrick Boykin (

Ethnic minorities are denied equal education opportunities, and ethnic minority kids are discriminated against and bullied at schools. According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau on June 8, 2011, in 2008, among 18-to 24-year-olds, 22 percent were not enrolled in high schools for Hispanics, 13 percent for African-Americans, whereas only 6 percent for whites (

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on October 28, 2011, one third of American students are bullied at schools, and Asian American children bear the brunt. The teases and insults they get in cyber space are three times more compared to kids from other ethnic groups. A research finds 54 percent of Asian-American students have been bullied at schools, 38.4 percent for African-Americans and 34.3 percent for Hispanics (World Journal October 29, 2011).

Ethnic minorities and non-Christians are also badly discriminated against in the fields like law enforcement, justice and religion, rendering the so-claimed ethnic equality and religious freedom nothing but self-glorifying forged labels.

A New York Times story (December 17, 2011) says the New York Police Department recorded more than 600,000 stops in 2010 and 84 percent of those stopped were blacks or Latinos. It was reported that black non-Hispanic males are incarcerated at a rate more than six times that of white non-Hispanic males (World Report 2011: United States,

On December 1, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union said that "the FBI is using its extensive community outreach to Muslims and other groups to secretly gather intelligence in violation of federal law." (Washington Post, December 2, 2011)

A survey by Pew Research Center finds that 52 percent of Muslim-Americans surveyed said their group is under government's surveillance, about 28 percent said they had been treated or viewed with suspicion and 21 percent said they were singled out by airport security (

More than half of Muslim-Americans in a new poll said government anti-terrorism policies single them out for increased surveillance and monitoring, and many reported increased cases of name-calling, threats and harassment by airport security, law enforcement officers and others (Washington Times, August 30, 2011).

Illegal immigrants also live under legal and systematic discrimination. It was reported that after Arizona passed its anti-illegal immigration bill, the State of Alabama began implementing its immigration law on September 28, 2011. The Alabama immigration law provides differentiated treatments to illegal immigrants in each of its term, rendering their daily lives rather difficult. Critics argued that the law runs counter to the U.S. Constitution and to certain terms in relevant international human rights law regarding granting equal protections to illegal immigrants (

 The New York Times reported on May 13, 2011, that the State of Georgia passed an anti-illegal immigration law which outlaws illegal immigrants working in the state and empowers local police officers to question certain suspects about their immigration status. Illegal immigrants suffer ferocious maltreatments. Internal reports from the Office of Detention Oversight of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed grave problems in many U.S. detention facilities for immigrants, including lack of medical care, the use of excessive force and "abusive treatment" of detainees (The Houston Chronicle, October 10, 2011). A report released on September 21, 2011, by an Arizona-based non-profit organization revealed that thousands of illegal immigrants detained across the border between Mexico and Arizona are generally maltreated by U.S. border police, being denied enough food, water , medical care and sleep, even beaten up and confined in extreme coldness or heat, suffering both psychological abuse and threats of death (The World Journal, September 24, 2011).

Native Americans are denied their due rights. From January to February 2011, UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya lodged two accusations against the United States, including accusing the Arizona State government of approving the use of recycled wastewater for commercial ski operations on the San Francisco Peaks, a site considered sacred by several Native American tribes (, as well as the case of imprisoned indigenous activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier was sentenced to life in prison in 1977 for alleged murder of two FBI agents. However Peltier has been claiming he is innocent and persecuted by the U.S. government for participating in the American Indian Movement (

On April 26, 2011, Ms. Farida Shaheed, independent expert in the field of cultural rights, Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt, special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, and Mr. James Anaya, special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, of the UN Human Rights Council, jointly lodged accusations against the U.S, claiming that the city of Vallejo, California, is planning to level and pave over the Sogorea Te, held sacred to indigenous people in northern California, in order to construct a parking lot and public restrooms (

Race-motivated hate crimes occur frequently. According to an FBI report, 6,628 hate crime incidents were reported in 2010, 2,201 of which were against African Americans, 534 against Hispanics, and 575 against whites. And 47.3 percent of all were motivated by racial bias, 20 percent by religion, and 12.8 percent by an ethnicity/national origin bias (

 According to a report released by the Center for American Progress in August 2011, seven American charitable groups, over the past decade, had spent 42.6 million U.S. dollars on inciting hatred against Islam communities (The New York Times, November 13, 2011).

There are three active white supremacy groups in the city of San Francisco, which focus on attacking ethnic minorities and immigrants ( On November 10, 2010, two Mexican Nationals were beaten by a group of whites who were members of these organizations ( According to investigation, black men aged 15 to 29 years old were most likely to be victims of murders. In New York City, they make up less than 3 percent of the city's population but in 2010 represented 33 percent of all homicide victims (The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2011).

The sufferings of civil rights activists who oppose racial discriminations arouse attention. The Huffington Post reported on May 31, 2011, Catrina Wallace, a civil rights activist in Jena, Louisiana, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by authorities only based on a drug dealer's accusation. Previously, Wallace had taken part in organizing a 50,000-people protest against racial discrimination that won freedom for six Black high school students. The article deemed the sentence was revenge taken by authorities on Wallace's human rights activism. "I am a freedom fighter," she says. "I fight for people's rights."