U.S. Statement at the HRC Item 9 General Debate

Item 9 General Debate

Statement by the United States of America
As delivered by Shubha Sastry
UN Human Rights Council 32nd Session
June 28, 2016

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States firmly believes that discrimination in all its forms, including racial discrimination, impedes the full enjoyment of human rights.  But discriminatory laws and practices grounded in racism do not impact all individuals in exactly the same way.  For women of color, for example, racial discrimination can have a compounding effect on a range of concerns, including participation and protection in the workplace.

Between 2010 and 2015, the United States saw an increase in the employment of women of color in management occupations:  the representation of Hispanic women and African-American women increased by 47 and 28 percent, respectively.  Despite this progress, women of color continue to face discrimination in the workplace.  In 2015, African-American women earned 61 cents and Hispanic women earned 56 cents for every dollar earned by a white, non-Hispanic man.

Agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, have vigorously pursued legal recourse in instances of employment discrimination.  In April 2016, the EEOC settled a claim with County Fair Farm in the State of Maine over the sexual harassment of migrant women field workers. The consent decree requires the farm to take remedial action, including posting notices – in both English and Spanish – of workplace rights to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. The decree also creates a $120,000 fund for affected workers.

No country is free from the scourge of discrimination, the United States included.  We are, however, proud of the robust protections we have now and continue to develop to ensure that justice is served to those whose rights have been violated.

(end statement)

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