Concern over racial profiling

Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director Ashwin Raj. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FILE

THE Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission (FHRADC) is concerned that various private and public institutions, through their representative bodies, continue profiling along racial lines.

FHRADC director Ashwin Raj said this continued to happen despite the strong and salutary non-discriminatory provisions in the Fijian Constitution.

“Student bodies in institutions of higher learning such as ‘Indian Students Association’ have an explicit racial tag, select employee representations through unions such as teachers unions are still premised along racial lines as well as religious denominations that are still divided along racial lines,” Mr Raj said.

He said the commission was in receipt of numerous complaints from concerned members of the public in relation to racial profiling.

“The Constitution under section 26 (7) states that treating someone differently from another on any of the prohibited grounds is discriminatory unless it can be established that the differences in treatment is not unfair in the circumstances,” he said.

He questioned, while these institutions by virtue of who they were (student associations, unions and religious bodies) should be at the forefront of creating an equal and inclusive Fiji, could they explain why their continued existence was so dependent on racial profiling.

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