Afro-Ecuadorian citizens, who account for approximately 7 percent of the population according to the 2010 census, suffered pervasive discrimination, particularly with regard to educational and economic opportunity. The constitution declares the state to be plurinational and affirms the principle of nondiscrimination by recognizing the rights of indigenous, Afro-Ecuadorian, and Montubio (a rural, farming population recognized as an independent ethnic group) communities. It also mandates affirmative action policies to provide for the representation of minorities. A 2009 executive decree calls for all public sector bodies to ensure that "access to labor" reflects the percentage of the population of indigenous persons, Afro-Ecuadorians, and Montubios.
Afro-Ecuadorian organizations noted that, despite the absence of official discrimination, societal discrimination and stereotyping continued to affect them and resulted in barriers to employment, education, and housing. For instance, Afro-Ecuadorians continued to assert that police stopped them for document checks more frequently than they stopped other citizens and that employers often would not interview persons whose job applications carried Afro-Ecuadorian photos.
The Corporation for the Development of Afro-Ecuadorians noted that Afro-Ecuadorians still lacked access to basic education and that the school registration rate for Afro-Ecuadorian children was below the national average.
Race, Racism and the Law
Vernellia R. Randall
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