Thursday, March 22, 2018


Sexual Slavery in Japan During WWII

 Mary De Ming Fan

excerpted from: Mary De Ming Fan, The Fallacy of the Sovereign Prerogative to Set De Minimis Liability Rules for Sexual Slavery, 27 Yale Journal of International Law 395-420, 395-399 (Summer 2002)(169 Footnotes)

Tomasa Salinog remembers her rape at thirteen and her initiation into Imperial Japan's system of 'comfort stations.' Japanese soldiers burst into her home in the middle of the night, soon after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1942. They decapitated her father and removed her to a garrison where two soldiers raped her and then beat her unconscious. After this initiation, she served as a 'comfort woman' in the garrison, used by Japanese soldiers from the afternoon until late into the night, her body priced in blocks of time allocated to each soldier. Hwang Geum Joo, who grew up in Japanese-occupied Korea, remembers her 'recruitment' differently. When she was nineteen, Emperor Hirohito purported to order all unmarried girls to work in Japanese military factories. She reported to the train station where she was packed into a Japanese military train carrying about fifty girls per car, and taken to a troop station. There she was repeatedly raped for two weeks. Then she was installed in a commodified rape center, euphemistically misnomered a 'comfort station,' where she served thirty to forty soldiers on the average day. She was also beaten daily. Like more than 200,000 other human commodities in Imperial Japan's system of pay-to- rape centers, both girls were priced according to perceived racial inferiority. As a Korean, Hwang Geum Joo fetched a higher price than Filipina Tomasa Salinog. The payments that the soldiers made rarely went to the women, but were retained to pay for the purported costs of cosmetics, housing, or 'national security.'

Decades later, these women have yet to receive an admission or finding of legal responsibility from the Japanese government, much less reparations. In 2001, the women and other survivors brought suit in U.S. District Court against Japan under, inter alia, the commercial activity waiver to modify foreign sovereign immunity in 28 U.S.C. � 1605(a)(2). The decision in Hwang Geum Joo v. Japan derailed their effort, holding, inter alia, that state-sponsored commodified rape and sexual slavery failed to qualify for the commercial activity waiver of foreign sovereign immunity. This ruling is an anomaly in light of the tests prescribed for commercial activity cases. This Comment argues that the opinion's reasoning that forced prostitution is an exercise of sovereign power rather than a brutal commodification of women's bodies legitimizes an historial inequity in the proscription of slavery in international law that U.S. courts today should not recognize.

Although multiple treaties prohibited slavery by the early twentieth century, separate conventions treated forced prostitution as distinct from 'slavery' and considered it a 'domestic' issue on which each sovereign state could legislate individually. Forced prostitution was defined in the 1910 International Convention for the Suppression of the White Slave Traffic as '[t]he case of the retention, against her will, of a woman or girl in a house of prostitution.' This is essentially the commodification of repeated rape and sexual slavery. The resemblance of the condition to slavery is emphasized by the term 'White Slave' in the title of the Convention. This Comment therefore uses the terms 'forced prostitution,' 'commodified sexual slavery,' and 'commodified rape' interchangeably, though preferring as more accurate the latter two terms over the former when not discussing treaties employing the former term. This Comment explains that the relegation of commodified sexual slavery to the 'domestic' sphere created a liability rule exception to the property rule governing human bodies that disproportionately affected women and girls. Couched in terms of Calabresi and Melamed's seminal formulation of the property/liability rule framework, a liability rule provides that bodies may be taken by force with compensation set ex post by the state. In contrast, a property rule bars taking without ex ante bargaining. This Comment also uses the term 'de minimis liability rule' to signify the situation wherein no bargaining leading to agreement occurs before a forcible taking of an initial entitlement, and the compensation--if any--is set at a value so low in comparison to the value of the resource as to effectively value the initial entitlement at zero.

This Comment argues that the commercial activity reasoning in Hwang Geum Joo v. Japan recharacterizes Japan's act of commodified mass rape as an act that usurps the power of conquered states to set liability rules for sexually enslaved bodies in their territory. Essentially, the idea of commodified sexual slavery as an activity akin to commercial activities in which private parties often engage vanished from the court's analysis. This also explains the anomolous contrast between the Hwang Geum Joo court's commercial activity ruling, and the D.C. Circuit's decision in Princz v. Federal Republic of Germany declining to rule that the leasing of Holocaust-era Jewish slaves to industrial concerns by Germany was not a commercial activity.

Part II describes the events leading up to Hwang Geum Joo, and the strong case for holding that commodified sexual slavery and rape constitute a 'commercial activity' within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. �� 1605(a)(2) and 1603(d). This Part also argues that the district court's ruling raises the question of whether U.S. courts may recognize, from the Hwang Geum Joo court's extreme statist perspective, a purported sovereign prerogative to sanction or induce forced prostitution.

Part III describes the embodiment of the notion of the sovereign prerogative to set liability and property rules for victims of forced prostitution in pre-World War II-era treaties.

Part IV describes two prominent treaties in the post-World War II era that eliminate the sovereign prerogative to set property and liability rules for women's bodies, bringing about a convergence in an international property rule for all human bodies. This Part argues that three sources of law render erroneous the Hwang Geum Joo court's implicit recognition of the sovereign prerogative to set liability rules for women and girls forced into prostitution: Japan's ratification of treaties eliminating the sovereign prerogative to set property and liability rules for women's bodies; the United States' signing of the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; and the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Methodologically, this Comment aims to deliver an objective analysis, aided by some terms associated with economic analysis. While this goal diverges from the feminist belief in 'permanent partiality,' this paper does embrace the melding of techniques and readiness to recognize gendered inequalities in purportedly neutral bodies of law that distinguish feminist analyses. Though acknowledging that economic analysis is vulnerable to many of the critiques employed by feminist authors towards international law's institutions and elites, this Comment finds a male-shaped lense useful to explain male-shaped international law and analysis. While law is not neutral, objective or rational, the description and understanding of its impact may be based on rational, objective inquiries and modes of analysis.

United States Report on the Status of Minorities in East Asia and the Pacific

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
United States Department of State
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011

 [ProfRandall's note: This report was generated using a tool provided by the State Department. Interestingly, the state department did not exercise its responsibility to assess the human rights status of the United States. It also did not include North Africa as a part of Africa; rather including it in the Near East. Furthermore, it identified the Americas as the Western Hemisphere rather than North, Central and South America. ]


According to the HRC's July 2010 to June 2011 annual report, it received 422 complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act, citing 826 alleged grounds of discrimination. Of these, 35 percent involved employment, 27 percent involved provision of goods and services, and 16 percent alleged "racial hatred." Persons born outside the country filed 44 percent of the complaints, and Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders filed 34 percent. During this period the HRC resolved 472 complaints, 208 through conciliation.


Government policy provides for preferential programs designed to boost the economic position of ethnic Malays, who constitute approximately two-thirds of the population.


Ethnic minorities constitute an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the population, and the seven ethnic minority states make up approximately 60 percent of the national territory. Wide-ranging governmental and societal discrimination against minorities persisted. Tension between the government army and ethnic populations remained high; the army stationed forces in some ethnic groups' areas and controlled certain cities, towns, and highways. Abuses included reported killings, beatings, torture, forced labor, forced relocations, and rapes of members of ethnic groups by government soldiers. Some armed ethnic groups also committed abuses (see sections 1.g. and 2.d.).

At year's end the government had reached preliminary cease-fire agreements with three armed ethnic groups: the United Wa State Army, the National Democratic Alliance Army, and the Shan State Army-South. Fighting continued in Karen, Kachin, Shan, and Mon states (see sections 1 .g. and 2.d.).

Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State were discriminated against because of their ethnicity. Most faced severe restrictions on their ability to travel, engage in economic activity, obtain an education, and register births, deaths, and marriages (see section 2.d.).

Ethnic minority groups generally used their own languages at home. However, throughout all parts of the country controlled by the government, including ethnic minority areas, Burmese remained the mandatory language of instruction in state schools, and teaching in local languages was not offered. In ethnic minority areas most primary and secondary state schools did not offer instruction in the local ethnic minority language. There were very few domestic publications in indigenous minority languages. The government tightly controlled the limited number of Buddhist monastery-based schools, Christian seminaries, and Muslim madrassahs.

During the year there were several reports of ethnic villages being displaced for economic development, such as those around the Myitsone Dam project-- subsequently suspended by presidential order--in Kachin State.


The rights of minorities under the nationality law are not explicit; constitutional protections are extended only to "Khmer people." Citizens of Chinese and Vietnamese ethnicity constituted the largest ethnic minorities. Ethnic Chinese citizens were accepted in society, but animosity continued toward ethnic Vietnamese, who were seen as a threat to the country and culture. Some groups, including political groups, continued to make strong anti-Vietnamese statements. They complained of political control of the CPP by the Vietnamese government, border encroachment, and other problems for which they held ethnic Vietnamese at least partially responsible.

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau)

Most minority groups resided in areas they traditionally inhabited. Government policy calls for members of recognized minorities to receive preferential treatment in birth planning, university admission, access to loans, and employment. However, the substance and implementation of ethnic minority policies remained poor, and discrimination against minorities remained widespread.

Minority groups in border and other regions had less access to education than their Han counterparts, faced job discrimination in favor of Han migrants, and earned incomes well below those in other parts of the country. Government development programs often disrupted traditional living patterns of minority groups and included, in some cases, the forced relocation of persons. Han Chinese benefited disproportionately from government programs and economic growth. As part of its emphasis on building a "harmonious society," the government downplayed racism and institutional discrimination against minorities, which remained the source of deep resentment in the XUAR, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and Tibetan areas.

Ethnic minorities represented approximately 14 percent of delegates to the NPC and more than 15 percent of NPC standing committee members, according to an official report issued in July. A November 19 article in the official online news source for overseas readers stated that ethnic minorities comprised 41.3 percent of cadres in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, 25.4 percent of cadres in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, and 51 percent of cadres in the XUAR. During the year all five of the country's ethnic minority autonomous regions had chairmen (the chairman in an autonomous region is equivalent to the governor of a province) from minority groups. The CCP secretaries of these five autonomous regions were all Han. Han officials continued to hold the majority of the most powerful CCP and government positions in minority autonomous regions, particularly the XUAR.

The government's policy to encourage Han Chinese migration into minority areas significantly increased the population of Han in the XUAR. In recent decades the Han-Uighur ratio in the capital of Urumqi has reversed from 20/ 80 to 80/20 and continued to be a source of Uighur resentment. Discriminatory hiring practices gave preference to Han and discouraged job prospects for ethnic minorities. According to 2005 statistics published by XUAR officials, eight million of the XUAR's 20 million official residents were Han. Hui, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uighur, and other ethnic minorities constituted approximately 12 million XUAR residents. Official statistics understated the Han population, because they did not count the tens of thousands of Han Chinese who were long-term "temporary workers." While the government continued to promote Han migration into the XUAR and filled local jobs with migrant labor, overseas human rights organizations reported that local officials under direction from higher levels of government deceived and pressured young Uighur women to participate in a government-sponsored labor transfer program.

The XUAR government took measures to dilute expressions of Uighur identity, including reduction of education in ethnic minority languages in XUAR schools and the institution of language requirements that disadvantaged ethnic minority teachers. The government continued to apply policies thatprioritized standard Chinese for instruction in school, thereby reducing or eliminating ethnic-language instruction. Graduates of minority-language schools typically needed intensive Chinese study before they could handle Chinese-language course work at a university. The dominant position of standard Chinese in government, commerce, and academia put graduates of minority-language schools who lacked standard Chinese proficiency at a disadvantage.

During the year authorities continued to implement repressive policies in the XUAR and targeted the region's ethnic Uighur population. Officials in the XUAR continued to implement a pledge to crack down on the government-designated "three forces" of religious extremism, ethnic separatism, and terrorism and outlined efforts to launch a concentrated antiseparatist reeducation campaign.

It was sometimes difficult to determine whether raids, detentions, and judicial punishments directed at individuals or organizations suspected of promoting the three forces were actually used to target those peacefully seeking to express their political or religious views. The government continued to repress Uighurs expressing peaceful political dissent and independent Muslim religious leaders, often citing counterterrorism as the reason for taking action.

Uighurs continued to be sentenced to long prison terms, and in some cases executed without due process, on charges of separatism and endangering state security. The government reportedly pressured third countries to return Uighurs outside the country, who faced the risk of persecution if repatriated.

Freedom of assembly was severely limited during the year in the XUAR.

According to state official media accounts, on July 18, a group of Uighurs attacked a police station in Hotan, XUAR, killing two security guards and taking eight hostages. Police killed 14 of the attackers, captured four, and rescued six hostages; two hostages died in the rescue attempt. On July 30 and 31, through stabbings and bombings, Uighur men in Kashgar, XUAR, killed 13 persons. In the July30 incident, the civilians killed one of the Uighur attackers and took another into custody. In the July 31 incident, police shot and killed five of the suspects, took four into custody, and subsequently killed two suspects who had initially escaped. Four of the detained Uighurs were subsequently given death sentences for their involvement in the violence.

State media reported that on December 28, security forces in Hotan Prefecture, XUAR, killed seven persons and injured four others while rescuing hostages. Two police officers reportedly were killed in the incident.

In 2009 the government announced it would demolish three buildings owned by the family of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, president of the World Uighur Conference. The government blamed Kadeer, a Uighur businesswoman in exile, for orchestrating the 2009 riots in Urumqi. At year's end the buildings had not been demolished but remained vacant and condemned. Two of Kadeer's sons also remained in prison.

Possession of publications or audiovisual materials discussing independence or other sensitive subjects was not permitted. Uighurs who remained in prison at year's end for their peaceful expression of ideas the government found objectionable included Abdulla Jamal, Adduhelil Zunun, and Nurmuhemmet Yasin.

During the year XUAR and national-level officials defended the campaign against the three forces of religious extremism, splittism, and terrorism and other emergency measures taken as necessary to maintain public order. Officials continued to use the threat of violence as justification for extreme security measures directed at the local population, journalists, and visiting foreigners.

In 2009 state media reported that XUAR authorities approved the Information Promotion Bill, making it a criminal offense to discuss separatism on the Internet and prohibiting use of the Internet in any way that undermines national unity. The regulation further bans inciting ethnic separatism or harming social stability. It requires Internet service providers and network operators to set up monitoring systems or strengthen existing ones and report transgressions of the law.

Han control of the region's political and economic institutions also contributed to heightened tension. Although government policies continued to allot economic investment in, and brought economic improvements to the XUAR, Han residents received a disproportionate share of the benefits.

(For specific information on Tibet, please see the Tibet addendum.)

China - Tibet

No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

China - Hong Kong

- China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) - Hong Kong

Although 95 percent ethnic Chinese, the SAR is a multiethnic society with persons from a number of ethnic groups recognized as permanent residents with full rights under the law. Discrimination based on race is prohibited by law, and the EOC oversees implementation and enforcement of the law. The Race Relations Unit, which is subordinate to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, served as secretariat to the Committee on the Promotion of Racial Harmony and implemented the committee's programs. The unit also maintained a hotline for inquiries and complaints concerning racial discrimination. The code of practice (along with selected other EOC materials) was available in Hindi, Thai, Urdu, Nepali, Indonesian, and Tagalog, in addition to Chinese and English. As of July 31, the EOC received 49 complaints and handled 63 cases.

The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau sponsored a cross-cultural learning program for non-Chinese speaking youth through grants to NGOs.

The government had a policy to integrate non-Chinese students into Hong Kong's schools. The government also provided a special grant for designated schools with a critical mass of non-Chinese students to develop their own programs, share best practices with other schools, develop supplementary curriculum materials, and set up the Chinese-language support centers to provide after-school programs. However, activists expressed concern that there

was no formal government-provided course to prepare students for the General Certificate for Secondary Education exam in Chinese, a passing grade from which is required for most civil service employment. Activists also noted that government programs encouraging predominantly Chinese schools to welcome minority students backfired, turning whole schools into segregated institutions." These schools did not teach Chinese to the non-ethnically Chinese students. Students who did not learn Chinese had significant difficulty entering the labor market, leading to a cycle of problems including unemployment and poverty, according to reports from the government and nongovernmental organizations.

The EOC established a working group on Education for Ethnic Minorities in July 2010, which presented a set of recommendations to the Education Bureau in March and July. According to activists and the EOC, the Education Bureau has not responded to the recommendations.

Minority group leaders and activists complained that government requirements that all job applicants speak Chinese kept nonnative Chinese speakers out of civil service and law enforcement positions. Despite the fact that both English and Chinese were official languages, reports indicated that little more than one third of government departments regularly issued their press releases in both.

Following Chief Executive Tsang's calls for support to ethnic minorities in the October policy address, the government's Community Care Fund endorsed a new program to support minorities and new arrivals with Chinese language training.

Activists and the government disputed whether new immigrants from the mainland should be considered as a population of concern under antidiscrimination legislation. While concerns were raised that new immigrants do not qualify to receive social welfare benefits until they have resided in the SAR for seven years, the courts upheld this legal standard. Such immigrants can apply on a case-specific basis for assistance.

China - Macau

China (includes Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau) - Macau

Although the government made efforts to address the complaints of individuals of Portuguese descent and the Macanese minority, members of these two groups continued to claim they were not treated equally by the Chinese majority. While they participated in political and cultural circles, some activists claimed businesses refused to hire employees who are not ethnically Chinese.


Tension between ethnic Fijians and Indian-Fijians has been a longstanding problem. Indigenous Fijians make up 57 percent of the population, Indian-Fijians comprise 37 percent, and the remaining 6 percent is composed of Europeans, Chinese, and Rotuman and other Pacific Islander communities. The abrogated constitution notes that the composition of state services at all levels must be based on the principle of reflecting as closely as possible the ethnic composition of the population," but a nonjusticiable compact in the constitution also cites the paramountcy" of Fijian interests as a guiding principle.

The compact also provides for affirmative action and social justice" programs to secure effective equality" for ethnic Fijians and Rotumans, as well as for other communities." The compact chiefly benefited the indigenous Fijian majority, although Indian-Fijians dominated the commercial sector. Indigenous Fijians dominated the civil service, including senior positions.

The government publicly stated its opposition to such policies, which it characterized as racist, and called for the elimination of discriminatory laws and practices that favor one race over another; however, as of year's end, most remained in place. The government's reform priorities, including reform of discriminatory laws and practices, were part of a political dialogue process with political parties that stalled and was not reconvened after the constitution's abrogation.

In an effort to address the sensitive question of ethnic and national identity, in 2010 the government decreed that the country's citizens would henceforth be known as Fijians," a term that previously was understood to refer only to the ethnic indigenous population. Indigenous Fiji Islanders would become known as iTaukei (literally, owners in the Fijian language). The decree requires that anywhere the word indigenous or native appears in the law and in government publications and communications, it is to be replaced by the term iTaukei. Some commentators, writing in blogs or overseas publications, observed that the lack of prior consultations with the indigenous community about the change and its promulgation by decree could complicate its implementation, given the historical opposition by indigenous Fijians to making Fijian the common name for all citizens. (The 1997 constitution used the term Fiji Islander to refer to all citizens.)

Land tenure remained a highly sensitive and politicized issue. Ethnic Fijians communally held approximately 87 percent of all land, the government held approximately 4 percent, and the remainder was freehold land, which private individuals or companies held. Most cash-crop farmers were Indian-Fijians, the majority of whom are descendants of indentured laborers who came to the country during the British colonial era. Virtually all Indian-Fijian farmers were obliged to lease land from ethnic Fijian landowners. Many Indian-Fijians believed that their very limited ability to own land and their consequent dependency on leased land from indigenous Fijians constituted de facto discrimination against them. A pattern of refusals by ethnic Fijian landowners to renew expiring leases continued to result in evictions of Indian-Fijians from their farms and their displacement to squatter settlements. Many indigenous Fijian landowners in turn believed that the rental formulas prescribed in the national land tenure legislation discriminated against them as the resource owners. This situation contributed significantly to communal tensions.

In 2010 the government promulgated the Land Use Decree to improve access to land. The decree establishes a land bank in the Ministry of Lands for the purpose of leasing land from indigenous landowning units through the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB, formerly the Native Land Trust Board) and subleasing the land to individual tenants for lease periods of up to 99 years. The TLTB is the legal custodian of indigenous lands under the iTaukei Land Trust Act and holds all indigenous land in trust for the benefit of indigenous landowning units. In practice, however, the Land Bank began leasing land directly to tenants, without any involvement of the TLTB. The first lease by the Land Bank was granted to Xinfa Aurum, a Chinese mining company, for a bauxite mine in Vanua Levu. Beginning in January the government changed the existing formula for distributing lease proceeds to indigenous landowners, under which 35 percent of revenues had gone to chiefs and 15 percent was deducted by the TLTB for administrative expenses. The new process abolishes the system of chiefly privilege in land lease income distribution and provides for a one person, one share system. This change contributed to an increase in lease renewals, as individual members of landowning units receive a greater share of lease monies than under the previous system.


The government officially promotes racial and ethnic tolerance. Ethnic Chinese, which accounted for approximately 3 percent of the population, played a major role in the economy, and increasingly participated in politics. However, some ethnic Chinese noted that, despite recent reforms, public servants still discriminated against them when issuing marriage licenses and in other services. Some activists assert that most cases of discrimination against ethnic Chinese persons go unreported. Some public officials made public statements that government officials of Chinese ethnicity made decisions based on their heritage and not based on national interest. Discussions of corruption on local blogs at times degenerated into racial diatribes.


Ethnic minorities experienced varying degrees of societal discrimination.

Although not subject to governmental discrimination, Buraku (the descendants of feudal era outcasts ) frequently were victims of entrenched societal discrimination. Buraku advocacy groups reported that despite the socioeconomic improvements achieved by many Buraku, widespread discrimination

persisted in employment, marriage, housing, and property assessments. While the Buraku label is no longer officially used to identify people, the family registry system can be used to identify them and facilitate discriminatory practices. Buraku advocates expressed concern that employers, including many government agencies, which require family registry information from job applicants for background checks, may use this information to identify and discriminate against Buraku applicants.

Despite legal safeguards against discrimination, the country's populations of Korean, Chinese, Brazilian, and Filipino permanent residents--many of whom were born, raised, and educated in Japan--were subjected to various forms of entrenched societal discrimination, including restricted access to housing, education, health care, and employment opportunities. Other foreign nationals resident in Japan as well as foreign-looking Japanese citizens reported similar discrimination and also said they were prohibited entry, sometimes by signs reading Japanese Only, to privately owned facilities serving the public, including hotels and restaurants. Noting that the discrimination is usually open and direct, respected NGOs complained of government inaction in prohibiting it. In addition, the March21 report on the March 2010 visit by the UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants criticized Japan for lacking legislation to protect migrant rights and prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or nationality and for inadequately addressing the persistence of racial discrimination and xenophobia regarding migrants.

In general, societal acceptance of ethnic Koreans who were permanent residents or citizens continued to improve steadily. In 2010, 6,668 ethnic Koreans naturalized as Japanese citizens. Although authorities approved most naturalization applications, advocacy groups complained of excessive bureaucratic loopholes that complicated the naturalization process and a lack of transparent criteria for approval. Ethnic Koreans who chose not to naturalize faced difficulties in terms of civil and political rights, and according to Japan's periodic submissions to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, regularly encountered discrimination in access to housing, education, government pensions, and other benefits.

A Japanese Social Insurance Agency enforcement directive explicitly makes it easier for employers to avoid paying pension and insurance contributions on behalf of their foreign employees who teach languages as compared with Japanese employees in similar positions. A labor union representing the teachers stated during the year that the directive provides impunity to employers who illegally fail to enroll foreign teachers in the system.

Many foreign university professors, especially women, were hired on short-term contracts without the possibility of tenure.

There was a widespread perception among citizens that "foreigners," including members of Japan-born ethnic minorities, were responsible for most crimes committed in the country. The media fostered this perception by heavily reporting crimes committed by non-Japanese citizens, although Justice Ministry statistics showed that the crime rate for foreigners, excepting immigration violations, was lower than that for citizens.

Many immigrants struggled to overcome obstacles to naturalization, including the broad discretion available to adjudicating officers and the great emphasis on Japanese-language ability. Aliens with five years of continuous residence are eligible for naturalization and citizenship rights. Naturalization procedures also require an extensive background check, which includes inquiries into the applicant's economic status and assimilation into society. The government defended its naturalization procedures as necessary to ensure the smooth assimilation of foreigners into society.

Representatives of some ethnic schools continued to press the government to have their schools recognized as educational foundations and to accept the graduates of their high schools as qualified to take university and vocational school entrance exams. The Ministry of Education stated that the graduates of ethnic schools certified by international school associations as being equivalent to a 12-year program could take the entrance exam.

Marches by nativist groups declined in frequency and intensity during the year compared with 2010, and there were fewer significant incidents.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Korea, Republic of

Essentially racially homogeneous, the country's growing ethnic minority population passed the 1.2 million mark in 2010. To meet the projected growth in ethnic minorities due to the increasing number of migrant workers and foreign brides, the Ministries of Gender Equality and Family and of Employment and Labor continued programs to increase public awareness of cultural diversity and to assist foreign workers, wives, and multicultural families to adjust to life in the country.


The law provides for equal rights for all minority citizens and bars discrimination against them. Nonetheless, some societal discrimination persisted. Moreover, some critics charged that the government's resettlement program for ending slash-and-burn agriculture and opium production adversely affected many ethnic minority groups, particularly in the North. The program requires that resettled persons adopt paddy rice farming and live in large communities, ignoring the traditional livelihoods and community structures of these minority groups. International observers questioned whether the benefits promoted by the government--access to markets, schools, and medical care for resettled persons--outweighed the negative impact on traditional cultural practices. Some minority groups not involved in resettlement, notably those in remote locations, believed they had little voice in government decisions affecting their lands and the allocation of natural resources from their areas.

Of the 49 official ethnic groups in the country, the Hmong are one of the largest and most prominent. There were a number of Hmong officials in the senior ranks of the government and the LPRP, including one Politburo member and five members of the LPRP Central Committee. However, some Hmong believed their ethnic group could not coexist with ethnic Lao. This belief fanned separatist or irredentist beliefs among some Hmong. The government focused limited assistance projects in Hmong areas to address regional and ethnic disparities in income, which helped ameliorate conditions in the poorest districts.

Although there were no reports of attacks by the few remaining Hmong insurgent groups during the year, the government leadership maintained its suspicion of Hmong political objectives. Residual, small, scattered pockets of insurgents and their families remained in remote jungle areas. The government continued to reduce its efforts to combat them actively and continued to offer "amnesty" to insurgents who surrender, but because of their past activities, amnestied insurgents continued to be the focus of official suspicion and scrutiny. The government continued to refuse most international community offers to assist surrendered insurgents directly but allowed some aid from the UN and international agencies as part of larger assistance programs.


Government regulations and policy provide for extensive preferential programs designed to boost the economic position of ethnic Malays or bumiputra, who constitute a majority of the population. Such programs limited opportunities for non-bumiputra in higher education, government employment, and ownership of businesses. Many industries were subject to race-based requirements that mandated bumiputra ownership levels, limiting economic opportunities for non-bumiputra citizens. According to the government, these policies were necessary to ensure ethnic harmony and political stability.

Despite the government's stated goal of poverty alleviation, these race-based policies were not subject to upper income limitations and appeared to contribute to the widening economic disparity within the bumiputra community. Ethnic Indian citizens, who did not receive such privileges, remained among the country's poorest groups. Another goal of this policy is for bumiputra to hold 30 percent of the nation's wealth. According to several studies, the program reached or exceeded this target; however, official government figures placed bumiputra equity at 18.9 percent. The government did not respond to public requests to make its methodology available.

In 2010 the prime minister unveiled a New Economic Model that called for restructuring the country's system of bumiputra ethnic preferences to reduce unequal treatment of different ethnicities by the government and to better target subsidies and preferences to the poorest citizens, regardless of ethnicity. Conservative bumiputra-rights groups raised strong objections to any changes that could threaten ethnic preference programs. On February 8, Prime Minister Najib launched Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputra (Teraju) to strengthen further the bumiputra development agenda and boost its economic participation. Critics expressed concerns that Teraju would undermine the New Economic Model and failed to focus on merit-based affirmative action policies. The government claimed that it was necessary because bumiputra equity in the economy remained low.

Marshall Islands

As in some previous years, the authorities appeared to selectively enforce immigration laws against migrants, particularly from the People's Republic of China. Some ethnic Chinese reported being threatened or attacked based on their race and receiving regular racial slurs. Other ethnic Chinese stated that taxi drivers commonly refused to stop for Chinese passengers, although most taxis were owned by Chinese businessmen. The local press reported that attacks on Chinese sailors by youth gangs were common. The government did not take any steps to address this problem.

A law requires that employers who hire foreign workers make monetary contributions into a fund that provides job training for citizens. While manyconsidered the law discriminatory against foreign workers, employers willingly paid the fee to hire technically skilled labor, which was not widely available in the country.

Micronesia, Federated States of

Each of the country's four states has a different language and culture. Traditionally the state of Yap had a caste-like social system with high-status

villages, each of which had an affiliated low-status village. In the past those who came from low-status villages worked without pay for those with higher status. In exchange, those with higher status offered care and protection to those subservient to them. The traditional hierarchical social system has been

gradually breaking down, and capable people from low-status villages can rise to senior positions in society. Nonetheless, the traditional system affected contemporary life. Persons from low-status backgrounds tended to be less assertive in advocating for their communities' needs, and low-status communities sometimes continued to be underserved.

The national and state constitutions prohibit noncitizens from purchasing land, and foreign investment laws limit the types of businesses noncitizens can own and operate. The national Congress granted citizenship to non-Micronesians only in rare cases. There is no permanent residency status. For the most part, however, noncitizens shared fully in the social and cultural life of the country.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


More than 95 percent of the population report their ethnicity as Nauruan. Persons of Chinese and other Asian backgrounds constituted slightly more than 3 percent of heads of households, and i-Kiribati made up 1.5 percent. Unlike in some previous years, there were no reports during the year of violence targeting minorities.

New Zealand

Pacific Islanders, who made up 7 percent of the population, experienced societal discrimination. The Ministries of Justice and Pacific Island Affairs had a program to identify gaps in delivery of government services to Pacific Islanders.

Asians, who made up 10 percent of the population, also reported some societal discrimination. The government mandates a race relations commissioner who developed a Diversity Action Program aimed at the Maori, Pacific Islander, and Asian communities. The program includes an annual Diversity Forum to eliminate race-based discrimination. It was widely attended and considered effective.

The Office of Ethnic Affairs within the Department of Internal Affairs focuses on improving dialogue and understanding about minority communities among the wider population.


The law prohibits noncitizens from purchasing land or obtaining citizenship. The only legal mechanism to obtain a citizenship is by blood, meaning that one of the parents must be Palauan. Children born to noncitizens inherit their parents' citizenship. Foreign workers constituted approximately 55 percent of the workforce. A majority of citizens viewed the recent rapid increase in foreign workers negatively. Foreign workers and their dependents, both documented and undocumented, accounted for nearly a third of the population. Foreign residents were subject to discrimination and were targets of petty and sometimes violent crimes, as well as other harmful acts against the persons and property. Foreign residents made credible complaints that the authorities did not pursue or prosecute crimes committed against noncitizens with the same vigor as crimes against citizens.

In addition some foreign nationals experienced discrimination in employment, pay, housing, education, and access to social services, although the law prohibits such discrimination.

The Division of Labor handles cases of workplace discrimination against foreign workers.

Papua New Guinea

Centuries-old animosities among isolated tribes, a persistent cultural tradition of revenge for perceived wrongs, and the lack of police enforcement sometimes resulted in violent tribal conflict in the highland areas. During the year tribal fighting continued in the highlands provinces. The number of deaths resulting from such conflicts continued to rise due to the increased availability of modern weapons.

On September 30, 15 people were killed during a tribal clash between the Agarabi and Kamano tribes of the Eastern Highlands Province. Police said guns and knives were used in the fighting and a whole settlement was burned to the ground. On October 19 police reported that seven people had been gunned down and several others wounded in a tribal fight in Enga province as a result of an ongoing conflict between two tribes from the Porgera area, which has claimed numerous lives and lead to the destruction of property over the last few years.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


Ethnic Malays constituted approximately 13 percent of the population. The constitution acknowledges them as the indigenous people of the country and charges the government to support and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social, cultural, and language interests. The government took steps to encourage greater educational achievement among Malay students. However, ethnic Malays have not reached the educational or socioeconomic levels achieved by the ethnic Chinese majority, the ethnic Indian minority, or the Eurasian community. Malays remained underrepresented at senior corporate levels and, some asserted, in certain sectors of the government and the military. This reflected their historically lower educational and economic levels, but some argued that it also was a result of employment discrimination. Some ethnic Indians also reported that discrimination limited their employment and promotion opportunities. Government guidelines called for eliminating language referring to age, gender, or ethnicity in employment advertisements; restrictive language pertinent to job requirements, such as "Chinese speaker" remained acceptable. These guidelines were generally followed.

The Presidential Council on Minority Rights examined all pending bills to ensure that they were not disadvantageous to a particular group. It also reported to the government on matters that affected any racial or religious community.

Government policy enforced ethnic ratios, applicable for all ethnic groups, for publicly subsidized housing.

Solomon Islands

The country comprises more than 27 islands with approximately 70 language groups. Many islanders see themselves first as members of a clan, next as inhabitants of their natal island, and only third as citizens of their nation. Tensions and resentment between the Guadalcanalese and the Malaitans on

Guadalcanal culminated in violence beginning in 1998. The presence of RAMSI greatly reduced ethnic tension between the two groups, and in previous years the Peace and Reconciliation Ministry organized reconciliation ceremonies. However, underlying problems between the two groups remained, including issues related to jobs and land rights.


As of 2010, foreign-born spouses, primarily from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, or Thailand, accounted for 3 percent of the population, and an estimated 8.7 percent of all births were to foreign-born mothers. Foreign spouses were targets of discrimination both inside and outside the home.

In May the National Immigration Agency extended the permitted length of stay for parents of Chinese spouses from two to six months if the purpose of the visit is to take care of pregnant Chinese spouses or those who have suffered a miscarriage.

The authorities offered free Chinese-language and child-raising classes and counseling services at community outreach centers to assist foreign-born spouses' integration into society. The Legal Aid Foundation provided legal services to foreign spouses and operated a hotline to receive complaints. The MOI also operated its own hotline with staff conversant in Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Indonesian, English, and Chinese.

PRC-born spouses must wait six years to apply for Taiwan residency, whereas non-PRC spouses may apply after only three years. PRC spouses are also permitted to work in Taiwan immediately on arrival.


Two groups--former belligerents in the Chinese civil war and their descendants living in the country since the end of the civil war, and children of Vietnamese immigrants who resided in 13 northeastern provinces--continued to live under laws and regulations that could restrict their movement,  residence, education, and occupation. The Chinese are confined to living in the three northern provinces of Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son. According to the Interior Ministry, none were granted citizenship during the year.

Ti mor-Leste

Tensions between persons from the eastern districts (Lorosae) and persons from the western districts (Loromonu) appeared to be greatly reduced, and no specific incidents were observed during the year.


According to the Ministry of Labor, Commerce, and Industries, ownership and operation of food retail stores in the country has been legally restricted to citizens since 1978. Despite this policy the retail sector in many towns was dominated by Chinese nationals, who also moved into unrestricted sectors of the economy. There were reports of crime and societal discrimination targeted at members of the Chinese minority.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


Most of the population is Melanesian. Small minorities of Chinese, Fijians, Vietnamese, Tongans, and Europeans generally were concentrated in two towns and on a few plantations. Most of the land belongs to indigenous tribes and cannot be sold, although prime real estate was increasingly leased to others. Within the limits of this system of land tenure, there generally were no reports of discrimination against ethnic minorities; however, only indigenous farmers may legally grow kava, a native herb, for export.


Although the government officially prohibits discrimination against ethnic minorities, longstanding societal discrimination against ethnic minorities persisted. Despite the country's significant economic growth, some ethnic minority communities benefited little from improved economic conditions. In certain areas, including the Northwest and Central Highlands and portions of the Mekong Delta, ethnic minority groups made up the majority of the population.

Some members of ethnic minority groups continued to leave for Cambodia and Thailand, reportedly to seek greater economic opportunity or shortcuts to migration to other countries. The government monitored certain highland minorities closely, particularly several ethnic groups in the Central and Northwest Highlands, where it continued to be concerned that the religion they practice encouraged ethnic minority separatism.

The government imposed increased security measures in the Central and Northwest Highlands in response to concerns over possible ethnic minority separatist activity. There were reports that ethnic minority individuals who telephoned ethnic minority community members abroad were a special target of police attention. Authorities arrested and convicted several individuals connected to overseas separatist organizations and sentenced them to lengthy prison terms in 2011. During the period around sensitive occasions and holidays, an increased security presence was reported throughout the region. There were a few reports that Vietnamese police operating on both sides of the border returned members of ethnic minorities seeking to enter Cambodia and sometimes beat and detained them.

In late April and early May, 5,000 ethnic Hmong in Dien Bien Province gathered in Muong Nhe District as part of a millennium movement. Security personnel dispersed the crowd and arrested 150 individuals. According to the government, seven detainees (among them were Thao A Lao, Mu A Thang, Trang A Do, and Giang A Xi from Dien Bien Province) remained in police custody at year's end, charged with preventing government officials from performing official duties, and an investigation continued.

The government continued to address the causes of ethnic minority discontent through special programs to improve education and health facilities and expand road access and electrification of rural communities and villages. The government continued to allocate land to ethnic minorities in the Central Highlands through a special program, but there were valid complaints that implementation was uneven.

The government maintained a program to conduct classes in some local ethnic minority languages in elementary and secondary schools. The government also worked with local officials to develop local language curricula, but it appeared to implement this program more comprehensively in the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, and only in limited areas of the Northwest Highlands. The law provides for universal education for children regardless of religion or ethnicity, and ethnic minorities are not required to pay regular school fees. The government operated special schools for ethnic minority children,

and there were 223 boarding schools for them in the Northwest and Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, including at middle- and high-school levels plus special admission and preparatory programs as well as scholarships and preferential admissions at the university level. There were also a few government-subsidized technical and vocational schools for ethnic minorities. Nonetheless, there were some credible cases of discrimination against ethnic minorities.

The government broadcast radio and television programs in ethnic minority languages in some areas. The government also instructed ethnic-majority

(Kinh) officials to learn the language of the locality in which they worked. Provincial governments continued initiatives designed to increase employment, reduce the income gap between ethnic minorities and ethnic Kinh, and make officials sensitive and receptive to ethnic minority culture and traditions.

Nonetheless, local security officials detained Tang Thuy, an ethnic Khmer Krom minority group member from Soc Trang Province, for two days in March for questioning about his participation in a meeting that called for the government to respect the rights of all ethnic minorities.

The government granted preferential treatment to domestic and foreign companies that invested in highland areas populated predominantly by ethnic minorities. The government also maintained infrastructure development programs that targeted poor, largely ethnic-minority areas and established agricultural extension programs for remote rural areas.

The National Assembly's Ethnic Minority Council, along with provincial Ethnic Minority Steering Committees, supported infrastructure development and addressed some issues related to poverty reduction and an increase in literacy rates during the year.

United States Report on the Status of Minorities in the Near East and North Africa

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
United States Department of State
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011

 [ProfRandall's note: This report was generated using a tool provided by the State Department. Interestingly, the state department did not exercise its responsibility to assess the human rights status of the United States. It also did not include North Africa as a part of Africa; rather including it in the Near East. Furthermore, it identified the Americas as the Western Hemisphere rather than North, Central and South America. ]


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


The law grants citizenship to Arab applicants who have resided in the country for 15 years and non-Arab applicants who have resided in the country for 25 years. There was a lack of transparency in the naturalization process, and there were numerous reports that the citizenship law was not applied uniformly. There were allegations that the government allowed foreign Sunni employees of the security services that had lived in the country for fewer than 15 years to apply for citizenship. There were also reports of Arab Shia who had resided in the country for more than 15 years and non-Arab foreign residents who had resided more than 25 years, who had not been granted citizenship.

Although the government asserted that the labor code for the private sector applies to all workers, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and international NGOs noted that, in practice, foreign workers faced discrimination in the workplace (see section 7).

According to the BICI, in mid-March rioters beat to death two South Asians and attacked 87 others. According to testimony provided to the BICI, the attackers targeted the individuals due to their ethnicity.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


The constitution grants equal rights to all ethnic minorities and allows for minority languages to be used in the media and in schools. In practice minorities

did not enjoy equal rights, and the government consistently denied their right to use their language in school. The government disproportionately targeted minority groups, including Kurds, Arabs, Azeris, and Baluchis, for arbitrary arrest, prolonged detention, and physical abuse (see also section 1.e., Political Prisoners and Detainees). These groups reported political and economic discrimination, particularly in their access to economic aid, business licenses, university admissions, permission to publish books, and housing and land rights. The government blamed foreign entities, including a number of governments, for instigating some of the ethnic unrest.

There are between five and 11 million ethnic Kurds in the country, who have frequently campaigned for greater regional autonomy. There were two

terrorist organizations inside the Kurdish province; however, they did not represent the majority of the Kurdish population. Nevertheless, the government persecuted the entire minority for criminal acts sponsored by the two organizations. According to a 2009 HRW report, the government used security laws, media laws, and other legislation to arrest and persecute Kurds solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and association. The government reportedly banned Kurdish-language newspapers, journals, and books and punished publishers, journalists, and writers for opposing and criticizing government policies. Although the Kurdish language is not banned, schools did not teach it. Authorities suppressed legitimate activities of Kurdish NGOs by denying them registration permits or bringing spurious charges of security offenses against individuals working with such organizations. Kurds were not allowed to register certain names for their children in official registries.

There were several instances of Kurdish activists sentenced for political crimes during the year. For example, on January 31, the Revolutionary Court in Kermanshah sentenced Kaveh Ghassemi Kermanshahi, a journalist and human rights activist, to five years in prison. Kermanshahi was an executive member of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization and the OMSC. He was also a member of the student organization Daftar Tahkim Vahdat. The court charged Kermanshahi with "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the regime." His lawyer described his long sentence as "unprecedented."

In mid-June the Saqqez Revolutionary Court, in Kurdistan Province, found Mohammad Moniri, a Kurdish teacher, guilty on charges of cooperating with

opposition groups and propaganda against the regime. The court originally sentenced Moniri to five years in prison, but his sentence was reduced to six months. Moniri entered prison on June 19.

Foreign representatives of the Ahvazi Arabs of Khuzestan claimed their community of two to four million in the country's southwest encountered oppression and discrimination, including torture and mistreatment of Ahvazi Arab activists and the lack of freedom to study and speak Arabic.

On April 15, authorities violently oppressed a protest organized by ethnic Arabs in the Khuzestan region. Security forces reportedly fired live rounds into the crowd. It was estimated that a dozen demonstrators were killed and scores more injured. The RSF reported that authorities arrested up to 97 protesters. The demonstrators were commemorating the sixth anniversary of a 2005 demonstration that security forces violently suppressed. The

government insisted that the report was fabricated. On the same day, a representative from the Ahvazi Organization for the Defense of Human Rights, based in London, told HRW that, since April 15, security forces had "killed 48 innocent protesters, injured tens, and arrested hundreds of Ahvazis. On April 18, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi wrote a letter about the incident to the UN high commissioner for human rights. According to Ebadi, hundreds of people in the city of Ahvaz had gathered for a peaceful demonstration against the government's discrimination towards its Sunni minority. The country's semiofficial news agency Fars reported that only one person had been killed during the protests.

On May 11, according to an official report from the Khuzestan district attorney, seven young Arabs had been executed in the preceeding days in the town of Ahvaz. However, posts on Facebook reported that nine young Arab activists from Ahvaz had been executed. Official sources claimed that those executed were criminals dealing in drugs, although such claims often were leveled as justification to execute political activists from the Arab minority. The Arab minority in Ahvaz asked for the intervention of global human rights organizations.

Ethnic Azeris comprised approximately one-quarter of the country's population, were well integrated into government and society, and included the supreme leader among their numbers. Nonetheless, Azeris complained that the government discriminated against them, banning the Azeri language in schools, harassing Azeri activists or organizers, and changing Azeri geographic names. Azeri groups also claimed a number of Azeri political prisoners had been jailed for advocating cultural and language rights for Azeris. The government charged several of them with "revolting against the Islamic state.

According to the ICHRI, during the six-month period from March21 to September 21, more than 320 cultural, political, women's rights, and human rights activists were arrested in the Azeri provinces. Most of these arrests concerned the protests about the drying out of Lake Urmiya, one of the largest saltwater lakes in the world. According to international media reports, protesters, who claimed that the government did not act to save the lake partly due

to its location in the minority Azeri province, chanted, "Long live Azerbaijan, and "Urmiya is thirsty / Azerbaijan must rise up, otherwise it will lose. As a result of these arrests, Azeri activists were beaten, flogged, tortured, fined, and expelled from university.

Iran Green Voice announced that in late May that a Revolutionary Court sentenced seven Azeri activists--Yunes Soleymani, Mahmmud Fazli, Naim

Ahmmadi, Aydin Khajehei, Sharam Radmehr, Yashar Karimi, and Hamideh Frajazade--to six months in prison for membership in the Azeri Party's Central Committee. A six-month suspended sentence was given to activists Alireza Abdollahi, Behbud Gholizade, and Akbar Azad, for a five-year probation period. Another activist, Hassan Rahimi, was cleared on all counts after being held in solitary confinement for four months.

Local and international human rights groups alleged serious economic, legal, and cultural discrimination against the Baluch minority during the year. Baluch journalists and human rights activists faced arbitrary arrest, physical abuse, and unfair trials, often ending in execution.

On June 6, a revolutionary court in Baluchistan Province sentenced Sakhi Rigi to 20 years in prison on charges of "acting against national security and "propaganda against the regime, based on his blogging and other Internet activities relating to the government's discriminatory treatment of the Baluch community.


The country's population includes Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, as well as religious minorities including Chaldeans, Assyrians, Armenians, Yezidis, SabeanMandaeans, Baha'i, Shabak, Kakai, and a small number of Jews. Many consider the Assyrians and Chaldeans to be a distinct ethnic group. These

communities speak a different language, preserve Christian traditions, and do not define themselves as Arabs. The country also has citizens of African descent, "Black Iraqis, a population that community representatives estimated to number more than one million.

The constitution identifies Arabic and Kurdish as the two official languages of the state. It also provides the right of citizens to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turkmen, Syriac, or Armenian, in government educational institutions in accordance with educational guidelines or in any other language in private educational institutions.

During the year discrimination against ethnic minorities was a problem. There were numerous reports of Kurdish authorities discriminating against minorities, including Turkmen, Arabs, Yezidis, and Assyrians, in the disputed territories under the de facto control of the KRG. According to these reports, authorities denied services to some villages, arrested minorities without due process, took them to undisclosed locations for detention, and pressured minority schools to teach in the Kurdish language. Ethnic and religious minorities in Tameem frequently charged that Kurdish security forces targeted Arabs and Turkmen.

Within the three provinces of the IKR, there was little evidence of sanctioned government discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities, although there have been complaints that KRG authorities have been slow to return land confiscated by the previous regime that had belonged to Christian churches and Christian farmers. Minority communities operated their own schools and were represented both in the parliament and executive branch of the KRG.

However, incidents of societal violence against minorities in the IKR did occur. On December 2, between 300 and 1,000 rioters attacked legally operating businesses owned by Christians and Yezidis in Dohuk Province. The rioters burned or destroyed 26 liquor stores, a massage parlor, four hotels, and a casino. The riot followed midday prayers at the Rasheed Mosque in Zakho where the imam had allegedly denounced the businesses as anti-Islamic and had incited followers to attack them. In addition to promising compensation for those who suffered damages to property and businesses, President Barzani ordered the formation of an investigation committee, which concluded that some followers of the KIU "emboldened the violence against Christian businesses, that some leaders of the KDP "failed to control their members from attacking KIU organization centers, and that Dohuk Province security and administrative officials were "negligent in their control of the situation. As of year's end, no one had been compensated for property lost or destroyed.

According to press reports, Palestinians continued to experience arrest, detention, harassment, and abuse by authorities. A 2006 citizenship law prevents Palestinians from obtaining citizenship and Jews who emigrated to other countries from reclaiming citizenship.

Black Iraqis reported widespread economic and social discrimination. Black Iraqi leaders estimate that more than 20 percent of the Black Iraqi population was unemployed, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 15 percent. Minority Rights Group International reported that many were laborers or worked as domestic workers.

Israel and the occupied territories

Arab citizens of the country faced institutional and societal discrimination. Tensions between Arabs and Jews were sometimes high in areas where the two communities overlap, such as Jerusalem, the Galilee, and Negev, and in some cities with historically separate Jewish and Arab neighborhoods.

On March 23, the Knesset codified into law the longtime practice of community admissions committees determining someone's suitability for moving into small communities of fewer than 400 families in the Negev and Galilee. The law prohibits any discrimination based on "race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, age, parentage, sexual orientation, country of origin, or political affiliation," but NGOs petitioned the High Court to overturn it, alleging that in practice the admissions committees restricted Arabs from living in small Jewish communities and could use criteria such as military service to exclude Arab citizens from admission into communities.

According to NGOs, new "kosher certificates" indicating that no Arabs were employed by a business were found in several businesses during the reporting period. Numerous "death to Arabs" slogans were spray-painted along highways during the reporting period, including across a pedestrian bridge in Herzeliya.

In June the mayor of Nazaret-Illit, Shimon Gafso, said that his city would never be a "mixed city," despite its high percentage of Arab residents, and that he would never house a mosque or permit Christian residents to light Christmas trees in public places. Referring to clashes between Arab citizens and police in October 2000, Gafso added, if I had participated in the events, then there would have been more Arabs killed."

Immediately following an October 3 arson attack on a mosque in Tuba-Zangariyye, the government strongly condemned the incident, and President Peres, the chief rabbis, and many religious leaders visited the mosque the next day.

On November 23, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered an investigation into Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu's statements concerning the Arab minority. Eliyahu, who is a government employee, reportedly called on citizens not to rent apartments to Arabs in Safed and to expel the city's Arab residents.

The law exempts Arab citizens, except for Druze, from mandatory military service, but some serve voluntarily. Citizens who do not perform military service enjoy fewer societal and economic benefits and are sometimes discriminated against in hiring practices. Citizens generally were ineligible to work in companies with defense contracts or in security-related fields if they had not served in the military. The government managed a National Civil Service program for citizens not drafted for military service, giving Arabs, haredi Jews, Orthodox Jewish women, and others the opportunity to provide public service in their own communities and thus be eligible for the same financial benefits accorded military veterans.

The government began implementing a new economic development fund for Arab and other minority populations. The 800 million NIS (approximately $210

million) "Arab plan" focused on 12 Arab-majority towns and villages, investing in housing, transport, community-based law enforcement, and job training (particularly for Arab women). A majority of the funding for housing and transport projects was made available through a combination of private sector investments, public tenders, and government matching funds.

Resources devoted to Arabic education were inferior to those devoted to Hebrew education in the public education system and some Arabs in ethnically mixed cities chose to study in Hebrew instead. The separate school systems produce a large variance in education quality, with just 31 percent of Arabs qualifying for university acceptance on the matriculation exam, compared to 76 percent of Jews, according to Central Bureau of Statistics findings in 2009.

Approximately 93 percent of land was in the public domain, including approximately 12.5 percent owned by the NGO Jewish National Fund (JNF), whose statutes prohibit sale or lease of land to non-Jews. According to a 2005 attorney general ruling, the government cannot discriminate against Arab citizens in marketing and allocating lands it manages, including those of the JNF. As an interim measure, the government agreed to compensate the JNF for any land it leased to an Arab by transferring an equal amount of land from the Israel Lands Administration to the JNF. Legal petitions against the JNF policy of leasing public land only to Jews continued at year's end. The NGO Israel Land Fund continued its program to purchase Arab land throughout the country and market it to Jewish buyers, including in the diaspora; the organization claimed that all the land belonged to Jewish people and described as a "danger" the purchase of Jewish-owned lands by non-Jews. Various Arab NGOs similarly bought land and built exclusively for Arabs.

New construction is illegal in towns that do not have an authorized outline plan for development, which is the legal responsibility of local authorities. At year's end according to the government, 47 of the country's 128 Arab communities had fully approved planning schemes, 29 had outline plans in the final stages of the localities' approval process, seven were still developing their outline plans, and 45 were promoting detailed plans for their updated outline plans. Localities are also responsible for initiating and submitting urban outline plans to the district committees, which are responsible for approving any expansion of the municipalities.

While Arab communities in the country generally faced economic difficulties, the Bedouin segment of the Arab population continued to be the most disadvantaged. More than half of the population of an estimated 160,000 Bedouin lived in seven state-planned communities and the Abu Basma Regional Council. Approximately 60,000 Bedouin lived in at least 46 unrecognized tent or shack villages that did not have water and electricity and lacked educational, health, and welfare services. Bedouins living in established towns enjoyed the same services provided to all citizens. The government- sponsored Committee for the Arab, Druze, and Circassian Populations' Affairs built six centers to provide water to areas that included unrecognized villages. Some direct water connections were also made to families residing in unrecognized villages. The government reported that there were numerous pirated connections to water pipelines absent authorization of the Israel National Water Corporation.

On June 6, the Supreme Court ruled on Adalah's 2006 appeal, stating that the Water Tribunal should provide basic access to water for persons living in unrecognized villages but was not obligated to provide additional water access to half of the petitioners who already possessed legal places of residence in recognized towns.

In the unrecognized "villages" constructed without official authorization on state land in the Negev claimed by various Bedouin tribes, all buildings were illegal and subject to demolition. In July the state commenced legal proceedings against 34 residents of the unrecognized "village" of Al-Arakib to recover 1.8 million NIS ($471,500), the cost of demolishing their homes approximately two dozen times since 2010. Al-Arakib had been repeatedly rebuilt illegally on state land since 1998, despite multiple eviction orders and a 2007 Supreme Court decision.

The government maintained a program to encourage Bedouins to relocate from unrecognized villages to established towns by providing low-cost land and compensation for demolition of illegal structures for those willing to move to designated permanent locations. Many Bedouin complained that moving to government-planned towns required giving up claims to land they had lived on for several generations, while the government claimed it was difficult to provide services to clusters of buildings throughout the Negev that ignored planning procedures.

The law bars family reunification in cases where one spouse is a non-Jewish citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria, or Lebanon. Palestinian male spouses who are 35 or older and female spouses who are 25 or older may apply for temporary visit permits but may not receive residency based on their marriage and have no path to citizenship. The government originally enacted the law following 23 terrorist attacks involving suicide bombers from the occupied territories who had gained access to Israeli identification through family unification. During the year human rights NGOs and international organizations continued to criticize this ban, which primarily affected Palestinian spouses of Arab citizens. In 2009 in response to an NGO petition, the Supreme Court demanded an explanation within six months from the government for its refusal to grant social and health insurance to an estimated 5,000 Palestinian spouses of citizens who were granted "staying permits" to reside legally in Israel. In January 2010 the court recommended the government provide a temporary solution that would be in place until an official policy could be formulated. In July 2010 the government requested an additional five months to formulate a response regarding the provision of social benefits to nonresidents. The committee was deliberating recommendations at year's end.

The government prohibits Druze citizens, like all citizens, from visiting Syria. The government allowed noncitizen Druze from the Golan Heights to visit holy sites in Syria through the ICRC-managed pilgrimage program, but it has prevented family visitations since 1982.

A estimated population of 130,000 Ethiopian Jews faced persistent societal discrimination, although officials and the majority of citizens quickly and

publicly condemned discriminatory acts against them. In May 2010 approximately 200 parents and children protested racial segregation in Beer Sheva's Otzar Haim kindergarten, where they claimed Ethiopian Jewish children were educated in a room separate from the rest of the children. An official from the Industry, Trade, and Labor Ministry then visited the site and forced the school to cease the segregation. There were reports of discrimination in admissions targeting Ethiopian Jews in the school system of Petah Tikva during the year.

Israel_  the occupied territories [Palestinians]

Although not a numerical minority, Palestinians faced targeted violence and discrimination from Israeli actors in the occupied territories (see also sections 1.a., 1.c., 1.f., and2.d.).

The Jerusalem Legal Aid Society and Human Rights Center and other NGOs reported an increase in attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians and their property in the West Bank. The attacks included direct violence against Palestinian residents. Unnamed settlers killed at least two Palestinians during the year, including 17-year-old Fakhri Yousef Akhlaiel, a resident of Khirbat Safa, on January 18. Akhlaiel was reportedly harvesting grapes on his family's land at the time of the shooting. News reported that police investigated the incident, but there were no reports of arrests or indictments.

Some Israeli settlers reportedly used violence against Palestinians as a means of harassment and to keep them away from land that settlers sought to expropriate. In the Palestinian village of al-Baqa'a, NGOs reported that settler violence drove out significant portions of the Palestinian population, with no intervention from the IDF or the Israeli national police. On December 5, Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement kidnapped and subsequently released Salim Jamil Shehadeh, a 60-year-old shepherd, from Orif village. The settlers also stole 50 of Shehadeh's sheep. There was no information about an investigation at year's end.

Other violence was in retaliation for killings of Israelis. On March 12 and 13, for example, following the killing of five Israeli settlers in Itamar (see section 1.a), settlers conducted widespread retaliatory attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank governorates of Nablus, Salfit, Qalqilya, Hebron, and Ramallah. Settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles at 16 separate locations in the West Bank, and there were multiple reports of settlers kidnapping and beating Palestinians before releasing them. Settlers also attacked PA emergency medical responders.

Various human rights groups continued to claim that settler violence was insufficiently investigated and rarely prosecuted. Some groups in part attributed this to the Israeli Ministry of Defense's Civil Administration's neglect of Palestinian complaints and also to Palestinian residents who were often reluctant to report incidents, fearing settler retaliation. The Israeli NGO Yesh Din reported in 2010 that more than 90 percent of investigations into offenses against Palestinians carried out by Israeli in the West Bank were unsuccessful.

Settlers also exploited religious tensions to harass Palestinian villages by vandalizing, breaking into, or burning 10 mosques. UNOCHA reported a 150 percent increase in attacks on mosques during the year.

Access to social and commercial services, including housing, education, and health care, in Israeli settlements in the West Bank was available only to Israelis. Israeli officials discriminated against Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem regarding access to employment and legal housing by denying Palestinians access to registration paperwork. In both the West Bank and Jerusalem, Israeli authorities placed often insurmountable hurdles on Palestinian applicants for construction permits, including the requirement that they document land ownership in the absence of a uniform post-1967 land registration process, high application fees, and requirements that new housing be connected to often unavailable municipal works. According to B'Tselem, since 2000 Israel has curtailed the Palestinian population registry, denying paperwork to Palestinians and effectively declaring Palestinians illegal residents. Some Palestinians defined as illegal residents faced harassment, arrest, or deportation to the Gaza Strip.

The World Bank reported that Palestinians suffered water shortages, noting that approximately half of the domestic water supply for Palestinians was purchased from Israel. The Palestinian Water Authority claimed that Israel controls 90 percent of the shared water resources of the Mountain Aquifer, which underlies the West Bank and Israel. According to Amnesty International (AI), Palestinians received on average of 18.5 gallons of water per person per day, falling short of the World Health Organization's standard of 26.5 gallons per person per day, the minimum daily amount required to maintain basic hygiene standards and food security. The PA's ability to improve water network management and efficiency was limited by political constraints, including the requirement for Israeli approval to implement water-related projects and the PA's lack of authority in Area C to prevent theft from the network, as well as by the PA's own management challenges. Between January and July, according to the UN, the Israeli military destroyed 20 water cisterns, some of which were funded by donor countries for humanitarian purposes. The Israeli military also destroyed unlicensed Palestinian agricultural wells, claiming they depleted aquifer resources. During the year the two sides partially resolved a long-standing dispute on the rehabilitation of licensed Palestinian wells, with Israel allowing Palestinian farmers to rehabilitate 57 licensed wells in the Eastern Basin of the Mountain Aquifer, increasing water supply in the largely agricultural Jordan Valley of the West Bank.

In the West Bank, some NGOs reported an increase in settler expropriation of natural water springs located on privately owned Palestinian land. Yesh Din documented settler expropriation of 26 springs and their conversion into recreational "nature parks." Palestinian residents reported that water supplies were intermittent, and settlers and their security guards denied Palestinians, including shepherds and farmers, access to the springs. AI estimated that the settler population in the West Bank used as much water as the entire Palestinian population.

NGOs claimed that Jerusalem municipal and Israeli national policies aimed at decreasing the number of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Government-sponsored construction of new Israeli housing units continued, while building permits were difficult to obtain for Arab residents of East Jerusalem, and homes built by Arab residents without legal permit were subject to demolition. The Israeli NGOs Bimkom and IrAmim claimed that Palestinians in East Jerusalem continued to face barriers to purchasing property or obtaining building permits. Land owned or populated by Arabs (including Palestinians and Israeli Arabs) was generally zoned for low residential growth. Approximately 30 percent of East Jerusalem was designated for Israeli residents. Palestinians were able in some cases to rent Israeli-owned property, but were generally unable to purchase property in an Israeli neighborhood. Israeli NGOs claimed that of all land designated for housing in West Jerusalem and in the Israeli neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, at least 79 percent was unavailable for Arab construction.

The Jerusalem Municipality and Jewish organizations in Jerusalem made efforts to increase Israeli property ownership or underscore Jewish history in predominately Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Municipality advocated increased Israeli influence and property ownership in East Jerusalem's Kidron Valley.

Although Israeli law entitles Arab residents of East Jerusalem to full and equal services provided by the municipality and other Israeli authorities, in practice the Jerusalem Municipality failed to provide sufficient social services, infrastructure, emergency planning, and postal service for Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Palestinian residents constituted 35 percent of Jerusalem's population but received only 10-15 percent of municipal spending. The ACRI reported that this resulted in Palestinian residents' lack of access to running water, crowded classrooms in substandard buildings, and poor sewage infrastructure, among other problems. Many Jerusalem municipal forms were not available in Arabic. Bus services in Jerusalem were largely segregated in practice.


There were three groups of Palestinians residing in the country, many of whom faced some discrimination. Those who migrated to the country and the

Jordan-controlled West Bank after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war received full citizenship, as did those who migrated to the country after the 1967 war and hold no residency entitlement in the West Bank. Palestinians still residing in the West Bank after 1967 were no longer eligible to claim full citizenship but were allowed to obtain temporary travel documents without national identification numbers provided they did not also carry a Palestinian Authority travel document. These individuals had access to some government services but paid noncitizen rates at hospitals, educational institutions, and training centers. Refugees who fled Gaza after 1967 were not entitled to citizenship and were issued temporary travel documents without national numbers. These persons had no access to government services and were almost completely dependent on UNRWA services.

Several human rights organizations stated that the Ministry of Interior revoked national numbers of some longtime citizens of Palestinian origin during the year, despite codified passport issuance procedures (see section 2.d.).

Palestinians were underrepresented in parliament and senior positions in the government and the military, as well as in admissions to public universities. They had limited access to university scholarships.


Approximately 68 percent of the country's residents were noncitizens, many originating from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Societal discrimination against noncitizens was prevalent and occurred in most areas of daily life, including employment, education, housing, social interaction, and health care.


A February report funded by the EU and written by a coalition of local human rights organizations, A Culture of Racism in Lebanon, identified a widespread pattern of discrimination against individuals who did not appear ethnically Lebanese. Lebanese of African descent attributed discrimination to the color of their skin and claimed harassment from police who periodically demanded to see their papers. Arab, African, and Asian students, professionals, and tourists reported being denied entry into bars, clubs, restaurants, and private beaches. Male foreign migrant workers reported regular harassment from police officers and said they were often accused of theft. Syrian workers, usually employed in the manual labor and construction sectors, continued to suffer discrimination, as they did following the 2005 withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.


Arabic-speaking Muslims of mixed Arab-Amazigh (Berber) ancestry constituted 97 percent of citizenry. The principal minorities were Amazighs, Tuaregs, and Toubou. These minority groups are predominantly Sunni Muslim but identify with their respective cultural and linguistic heritage rather than with Arab traditions. Several nomadic groups live in areas along the country's desert borders, including Tuareg and Toubou. The country was home to an estimated 1.5 million to two million foreign workers and undocumented migrants, many of whom fled or were displaced during the conflict. Of those, nearly one million were thought to be of Sahelian or sub-Saharan African origin.

Under Qadhafi, Arabic was declared the only official language, and the regime denied the existence of non-Arab citizens. Amazigh people faced discrimination, including limitations on the use of their native language. Amazigh fighters participated in the revolution and were able to publicly use Amazigh symbols and the alphabet. At year's end, they pursued fledgling efforts to advocate for equal protections for Amazigh culture and language.

There was societal discrimination and violence against dark-skinned Libyans, including those of original sub-Saharan descent, in part due to allegations that Qadhafi used African mercenaries during the conflict.


Many of the poorest regions in the country--particularly the Middle Atlas region--are predominantly Amazigh with illiteracy as high as 80 percent. Basic governmental services in this mountainous and underdeveloped region were not extensive.

Official languages are Arabic and--with the new constitution--Amazigh. Arabic predominates, but French and Amazigh were available in the news media and, to a much lesser extent, educational institutions.

Approximately 60 percent of the population, including the royal family, claimed some Amazigh heritage. Amazigh cultural groups contended that their traditions and language were being lost rapidly to Arabization. The government increasingly provided television programs in the three Amazigh dialects of Tarifit, Tashelhit, and Tamazight. The government also offered Amazigh language classes in the curriculum of 3,470 schools. Expanding Amazigh language education was hindered primarily by a lack of qualified teachers, which the palace-funded Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture was addressing through the creation of university-level teacher training. Instruction in learning the Amazigh language is mandatory for students at the Ministry of Interior School for Administrators in Kenitra.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


Legal and social discrimination against noncitizen workers was a problem. The government distinguished between citizens and noncitizens in employment, education, housing, and health services. Noncitizens were required to pay for electricity, water, and some secondary and higher education (services provided without charge to citizens). Noncitizens were eligible for medical coverage at a nominal fee. Noncitizens generally could not own property, but the law provides for property ownership in three designated areas. Cultural, linguistic, and religious differences and divergent economic status accentuated social discrimination between citizens and migrant workers. "Bidoons" also endured social discrimination.

Saudi Arabia

Although racial discrimination is illegal, societal discrimination against members of national, racial and ethnic, or tribal minorities was a problem. Foreign workers from Africa and Asia were subject to formal and informal discrimination, especially racial discrimination. The tolerance campaign of the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue sought to address some of these issues.

There were numerous cases of assault against foreign workers and reports of widespread worker abuse. The Shia minority continued to suffer social, legal, economic, and political discrimination. To address the problem, the Ministries of Defense and Interior and the National Guard held antidiscrimination training courses in recent years for police and law enforcement officers. There were no reports of training during the year or of the success rate of these programs.


The government generally permitted national and ethnic minorities to conduct traditional, religious, and cultural activities, although the Kurdish population--citizens and noncitizens--continued to face official and societal discrimination and repression. However, the government used less violence and arrested fewer Kurds than in previous years. Many activists and opposition groups claimed that the government's marked change in attitude toward the Kurds was an effort to manipulate sectarian tensions for propaganda purposes. Unlike in previous years, there were no reports of suspicious Kurdish conscript deaths in the military, nor did government forces perpetrate violence during Kurdish festivals such as the New Year (Nowruz) celebrations.

Although the government contended there was no discrimination against the Kurdish population, it placed limits on the use and teaching of the Kurdish language. It also restricted the publication of books and other materials in Kurdish, Kurdish cultural expression, and at times the celebration of Kurdish festivals.

Authorities continued enforcement of an old ruling requiring that at least 60 percent of the words on signs in shops and restaurants be in Arabic. Officials reportedly sent patrols into commercial districts to threaten shop owners with closure if they refused to change the names of their stores into Arabic. Minority groups--especially Kurds, whom the government appeared to target specifically--regarded the step as a further attempt to undermine their cultural identity.

After the start of the March uprising, the government utilized its state-run television station to spread propaganda that the protesters were Sunni Islamists in an effort to scare minority groups into submission to the state.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

United Arab Emirates

Approximately 89 percent of the country's residents were noncitizens originating primarily from the Indian subcontinent. Societal discrimination against noncitizens was prevalent and occurred in most areas of daily life, including employment, education, housing, social interaction, and health care.

The law criminalizes commercial disputes and bankruptcy, which led to discrimination against foreigners. In practice, these laws were selectively enforced and allowed local Emiratis to threaten expatriate business people and foreign workers with harsh prison sentences to assure a favorable outcome in commercial disputes.

Western Sahara

No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


Although racial discrimination is illegal, racial and societal discrimination against the Akhdam (an estimated 2-5 percent of the population) was a problem. The Akhdam generally lived in poverty and endured persistent social discrimination. According to a 2009 study by the NGO Save the Children, the Akhdam community, an ethnic minority descended from East Africans, was the social group most vulnerable to discrimination. The government's social fund for development provided basic services to assist them.

United States Report on the Status of Minorities in South and Central Asia

 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
United States Department of State
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011

 [ProfRandall's note: This report was generated using a tool provided by the State Department. Interestingly, the state department did not exercise its responsibility to assess the human rights status of the United States. It also did not include North Africa as a part of Africa; rather including it in the Near East. Furthermore, it identified the Americas as the Western Hemisphere rather than North, Central and South America. ]


Ethnic tensions between Pashtun and non-Pashtun groups resulted in conflict and occasional killings. The NGO Minority Rights Group's Peoples under Threat index identified Afghanistan as a country where communities were most at risk of mass killing, especially because of targeting of persons based on ethnicity and religion.

Societal discrimination against Shia Hazaras continued along class, race, and religious lines in the form of extortion of money through illegal taxation,

forced recruitment and forced labor, physical abuse, and detention. Ethnic Hazaras reported occasionally being asked to pay bribes at border crossings where Pashtuns were allowed to pass freely; in Ghazni province in April, nomads reportedly attacked and burned 27 Hazara villages. Sikhs and Hindus reportedly continued to face discrimination, including unequal access to government jobs and harassment in their schools, as well as verbal and physical abuse in public places. The UNHCR reported that Hindus, Sikhs, and Shia Muslims--particularly those from the Hazara ethnic group--faced official obstacles and discrimination by the Sunni Muslim majority.

Ismailis (a minority Shia Muslim group whose members follow the Aga Khan) generally were not targeted or seriously discriminated against, according to NGOs.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


Organizations representing exiled Nepali-speaking Bhutanese claimed that Nepali-speaking Bhutanese were subjected to discrimination and prejudice in employment, but the government stated they were proportionally represented in civil service and government jobs.

English and Dzongkha languages are the mediums of instruction taught in all schools. The Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern about the rights of minority children, specifically the Nepali-speaking minority, to take part in their culture, practice their religion, or use their language.


The national census does not recognize racial or ethnic groups; population is categorized by language spoken. Society has traditionally been divided into castes or clans. Caste is a complex Hindu social hierarchy traditionally based on ritual purity and occupation. While caste was outlawed in 1949, the

registration of castes and tribes remains for the purpose of affirmative action programs. Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of caste, and the government continued to implement various programs to empower members of the low castes. The law gives the president authority to identify historically disadvantaged castes and tribes (who are outside of the caste system) for special quotas and benefits; these are the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Discrimination based on caste remained prevalent, particularly in rural areas.

The term Dalit, derived from the Sanskrit for "oppressed" or "crushed," refers to members of what are traditionally regarded as the lowest Hindu castes, which are the Scheduled Castes (SC). Many SC members continued to face impediments to social advancement. According to the 2001 census, SC members constituted 16 percent (168.6 million persons) of the population. The MHA 2010-11 annual report noted 33,594 cases of registered crimes against SC members in 2009, compared with 33,615 cases in 2008. On March 1, the MHA informed parliament that 4,410 Dalits were hurt in various incidents and 1,683 persons were convicted of crimes against Dalits, according to NCRB records.

Although the law protects Dalits, in practice they faced violence and significant discrimination in access to services such as health care and education, attending temples, and marriage. Reports from the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination described systematic abuse of Dalits, including extrajudicial killings and sexual violence against Dalit women. For example, on February 7, a 16-year-old Dalit girl was mutilated when she resisted a rape attempt in Bindaki, Uttar Pradesh. The attackers cut off her nose, ear, and part of her hand and inflicted deep wounds on her legs and back. Authorities arrested the three accused youths and put them in prison. At year's end the case had not gone to trial.

Many Dalits were malnourished. Most bonded laborers were Dalits. Dalits who asserted their rights often were attacked, especially in rural areas. As agricultural laborers for higher-caste landowners, Dalits often worked without remuneration. Crimes committed by upper-caste Hindus against Dalits often went unpunished, either because the authorities failed to prosecute or because victims did not report the crimes due to fear of retaliation.

On January 14, Purushottam Dwivedi, a member of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly from the Bahujan Samaj Party, was imprisoned for raping a minor Dalit girl in December 2010 at his home in Banda District. The girl escaped when Dwivedi allegedly attempted rape for the third time, and she was subsequently arrested on theft charges. On January 20, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati ordered the suspension of four police officers and a jailer for their laxity and complicity in the case. On September21, the CBI registered a case against Dwivedi and four others for the alleged rape. At year's end the case had not gone to trial.

NGOs reported that students were denied admission to certain schools because of their caste or were required to present caste certification prior to receiving admission. According to the executive director for the South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring, caste discrimination continued in Karnataka, particularly in rural areas. Dalits in rural Karnataka frequently were denied access to temples, clean water sources, and passage through village streets.

The Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF) continued to highlight continuing caste-based discrimination in the state. According to the TNUEF, many Dalits were not permitted to walk on public pathways, wear footwear, access water from public taps in upper caste neighborhoods, participate in some temple festivals, bathe in public pools, or use some cremation grounds. For example, Dalits in Perali village, Perambalur District, reported that they could not ride bicycles on streets where upper caste families reside. There were also separate temples on upper caste and Dalit streets so that the two communities could worship separately.

On June 17, the NHRC asked the Tamil Nadu government to submit a report on the alleged beating of a Dalit boy who took water from a public tap in Karikkilipalayam village, Coimbatore District. The NHRC also asked the government to report on specific steps taken to prevent future acts of discrimination against Dalits.

During the year there were reports that school officials barred Dalit children from morning prayers, asked Dalit children to sit at the back of the class, or forced Dalit children to clean school toilets while denying them access to the same facilities. There were also reports that teachers refused to correct the homework of Dalit children, refused to provide midday meals to Dalit children, and asked Dalit children to sit separately from children of upper caste families.

The federal and state governments continued to implement various programs for scheduled caste members, ostensibly to provide better quality housing, reserved seats in schools, government jobs, and access to subsidized foods, but critics claimed that many programs suffered from poor implementation and corruption.

In April2010 members of the dominant Jat community burned 10 Dalit homes in Mirchpur, Haryana, killing 70-year-old Tara Chand and his disabled

daughter Suman and injuring more than a dozen other individuals. On September 24, newspapers reported that of the 97 persons accused, 82 of them were acquitted by a Delhi court. Fifteen persons were convicted but none were found guilty of murder; three were convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, with a maximum 10-year jail term. After the verdict was announced, calm prevailed, with both sides agreeing that the arrest of 97 persons was unjustified.

The issue of manual scavenging continued, and the National Advisory Council set March 2012 as the new deadline for abolishing the practice, despite the practice having been outlawed under the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prevention) Act of 1993. On September 21, Chennai's National Commission for Scavenger's Welfare reported that men were being forced to get into sewage pits without safety measures despite orders against the practice, and requested state intervention. Violators may face up to one year's imprisonment and a fine of 2,000 rupees ($38), but the law was not enforced. In June six persons died in the Kolar Gold Fields, near Bangalore, as a result of illnesses contracted from manual scavenging.


The government continued to discriminate in favor of ethnic Kazakhs in senior government employment. Minorities experienced ethnic prejudice and hostility; encountered incidents of insult, humiliation, or other offenses; and were discriminated against in employment or job retention.

Ethnic Kazakh migrants (oralmans) who returned to the country from abroad experienced domestic discrimination including problems with housing, employment, and access to social services.

Kazakh is the official state language, although organizations and bodies of local self-administration officially may use Russian on an equal basis with Kazakh. The language law was intended to strengthen the use of Kazakh without infringing on the rights of citizens to use other languages. By law the ability to speak Kazakh is not required for entry into the civil service, but most government agencies officially have switched to conducting business in Kazakh. Non-Kazakh speakers have protested that this is language discrimination. The Election Law requires presidential candidates to be fluent in Kazakh.

Among other forms of discrimination, critics have noted a scarcity of representatives of non-Kazakh ethnicities in the government and a reduction in the number of Russian-language schools.

Kyrgyz Republic

The interethnic situation between ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in the south remained tense, characterized by arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, and extortion of ethnic Uzbeks by members of security services. Since June 2010 little progress was made in terms of reconciliation. Ethnic Uzbek citizens in Osh and Jalalabad reported discrimination in finding jobs, particularly with the government. There were multiple reports of seizure of ethnic Uzbek businesses and property.

In September Osh Mayor Melis Myrzakmatov proposed changing the teaching language at the city's Uzbek language schools to Kyrgyz. Although he

claimed the purpose was to benefit students by increasing their ability to find jobs in the country and study at higher learning institutions, many criticized the proposals as ethnic discrimination. At year's end the proposal had not been enacted.

International observers criticized the government for failing to implement a national ethnic plan, a key recommendation of the KIC report, and other recommendations for national reconciliation. Two such plans were proposed during the year. The Office of the President introduced its Draft Concept for Ethnic Policy and Consolidation of Society in Kyrgyzstan in late March. The political party Ata-Jurt introduced its State Ethnic Policy in the Kyrgyz Republic on April 27. Observers criticized the Ata-Jurt draft. They contended that it directly contradicted the constitution and laws and that it violated internationally accepted human rights principles because it promoted the notion of Kyrgyz ethnicity as the central element of nationhood. They further alleged that the plan's purpose was to promote the nationalist Ata-Jurt party prior to the impending presidential elections. Neither plan had been implemented by the end of the year, but the Ata Jurt plan had passed one of the required three readings in parliament, which established a working group to develop it further.

Minorities alleged discrimination in hiring, promotion, and housing, but no official reports were registered with local authorities.

The law designates Kyrgyz as the state language and Russian as an official language, and it provides for the preservation and equal and free development

of minority languages. Non-Kyrgyz-speaking citizens alleged that a ceiling precluded promotion beyond a certain level in government service. They also alleged that unfair language examinations disqualified some candidates for office. A government initiative to increase official use of Kyrgyz further raised concerns among non-Kyrgyz ethnic groups about possible discrimination.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities


The law provides that each community shall have the right to preserve and promote its language, script, and culture and to operate schools at the primary level in its native language. In practice the government generally upheld these provisions.

There were more than 75 ethnic groups which spoke 50 different languages. Discrimination against lower castes and some ethnic groups was especially common in the Tarai region and in rural areas in the West, even though the government outlawed the public shunning of Dalits and made an effort to protect the rights of disadvantaged castes. Better education and higher levels of prosperity, especially in the Kathmandu valley, were slowly reducing caste distinctions and increasing opportunities for lower socioeconomic groups. Better educated, urban-oriented castes continued to dominate politics and senior administrative and military positions and control a disproportionate share of natural resources.

Caste-based discrimination is illegal. However, Dalits occasionally were barred from entering temples and sharing water sources. Progress in reducing discrimination was more successful in urban areas.

Resistance to intercaste marriage remained high and in some cases resulted in forced expulsion from the community. While Dalits who participated in wedding activities traditionally reserved for non-Dalits, such as riding a horse, were sometimes assaulted, the courts showed a willingness to prosecute such cases of discrimination.


No information in the subsection on National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Sri Lanka

Both local and Indian-origin Tamils maintained that they suffered long-standing, systematic discrimination in university education, government employment, and other matters controlled by the government. On February 22, TNA parliamentarians filed a fundamental rights violation petition complaining of purported forced registration of residents in the predominantly Tamil Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts. On March 3, the Supreme Court terminated the proceedings after the attorney general informed the court that the army would stop the registrations. Nevertheless, reports continued throughout the year of army registrations in the north. Tamils throughout the country, but especially in the north and east, reported frequent harassment of young and middle-age Tamil men by security forces and paramilitary groups.


Generally discrimination was not a significant problem. There were reports that some law enforcement officials harassed ethnic Afghans and Uzbeks, but such reports were not common.


The law provides for equal rights and freedoms for all citizens. Minority groups, including the Kazakh cultural center Elimay Turkmenistan, tried to register as NGOs to have legal status to conduct cultural events, but no minority groups succeeded in registering during the year.

The law designates Turkmen as the official language, although it also provides for the rights of speakers of minority languages. Russian remained prevalent in commerce and everyday life in the capital, even as the government continued its campaign to conduct official business solely in Turkmen. The government required ministry employees to pass tests demonstrating knowledge of professional subjects in Turkmen; employees who failed the exam were dismissed. The government dedicated resources to provide Turkmen language instruction for non-Turkmen speakers only in primary and secondary schools.

Non-Turkmen speakers noted that some avenues for promotion and job advancement were closed to them, and only a handful of non-Turkmen occupied high-level jobs in government ministries. In some cases applicants for government jobs had to provide information about ethnicity going back three generations. The government often targeted non-Turkmen first for dismissal when government layoffs occurred.


The constitution states that all citizens are equal, regardless of ethnic background, and provides equal protection by the courts to all residents irrespective of national, racial, or ethnic origin. The country has significant Tajik (5 percent) and Russian (5.5 percent) minorities and smaller Kazakh and Kyrgyz minorities. There also was a small Romani population in Tashkent, estimated at less than 50,000 individuals. Complaints of societal violence or discrimination against members of these groups were rare.

The constitution also provides for the right of all citizens to work and to choose their occupations. Although the law prohibits employment discrimination on the bases of ethnicity or national origin, ethnic Russians and other minorities occasionally expressed concern about limited job opportunities. Officials reportedly reserved senior positions in the government bureaucracy and business for ethnic Uzbeks, although there were numerous exceptions.

The law does not require Uzbek language ability to obtain citizenship, but language often was a sensitive issue. Uzbek is the state language, and the constitution requires that the president speak it. The law also provides that Russian is "the language of interethnic communication."

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