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Human Rights Commission Working Together to Better Serve all Nova Scotians Consumer Racial Profiling Report Ann Divine, Manager Race Relations, Equity.

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Presentation on theme: "Human Rights Commission Working Together to Better Serve all Nova Scotians Consumer Racial Profiling Report Ann Divine, Manager Race Relations, Equity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Human Rights Commission Working Together to Better Serve all Nova Scotians Consumer Racial Profiling Report Ann Divine, Manager Race Relations, Equity and Inclusion, NSHRC May 30, 2013

2 Human Rights Commission When Nova Scotians work together we can do some incredible things

3 Human Rights Commission Why this study? With directions from the Commissioners, the NSHRC decided to explore this issue because of the number of complaints received from members of the public. Shoppers of racialized groups felt their rights to fully participate in our society were being violated. Discriminatory behavior based on their race, ethnicity, or both are impacting their lives.

4 Human Rights Commission Why this study? (cont’d) Their social and economic contribution to Nova Scotia’s economy is often not seen valuable to certain business communities. Radicalized people – African Canadians, Aboriginal people, people from the Middle Eastern countries and Asians said, they are treated poorly when they shop for good and services.

5 Human Rights Commission What is Consumer Racial Profiling (CRP)? This infringement of a customer’s rights to participate is known as Consumer Racial Profiling. In the past it was ignored or consumers suffered but now we have a name - it is a new term for old behavior - Racism Our study is the first of its kind in Canada

6 Human Rights Commission How do we Define CRP? Consumer Racial Profiling is defined as any type of differential treatment based on a perception of the consumer’s race or ethnicity that constitutes the denial or degradation of the product or service offered to the customer (Williams Henderson, & Harris, 2001) the practice may or may not be intentional

7 Human Rights Commission How do we Define CRP? (cont’d) If you, as a business owner or service provider, is doing one or more of these things because of their race: Ignore Take a long time to serve them even when you are not busy Follow them As whether they can afford a product or service

8 Human Rights Commission How do we Define CRP? (cont’d) Use offensive language such a racial slur Search them or their belongings Detain them when they do not have stolen goods Physically removed from a store

9 Human Rights Commission Survey Research HRM - between March 19 and March Sydney and Digby - on March 28 and April 13, 2012 Overall 1,190 surveys were completed in HRM, Digby and Sydney These were face-to-face interviews and conducted in a public place

10 Human Rights Commission Survey Research (cont’d) The survey was to collect information about consumers experiences and to compare those across different races and ethnicities It did not explore CRP It explored the prevalence and frequency of consumer incidents that have been associated with CRP The conclusion of the survey asked participants to self identify race, ethnicity, gender and highest level of education

11 Human Rights Commission People who Participated Whites Asian -191 African Canadians -150 Middle Eastern - 86 Aboriginal - 41 Latin American -13 The numbers almost are a reflection of the percentage of diverse population from the 2006 census

12 Human Rights Commission Focus Groups The focus groups were to gain information and deeper understanding of the experience and impacts of CRP The focus groups were held in Millbrook, HRM and Dartmouth 29 individuals participated Participants had to be at least 18 years of age, identify themselves as a marginalized race or ethnicity in NS and have experienced CRP

13 Human Rights Commission Informed Literature The literature in this field is very limited Experimental studies were limited to cities in America leaving the Canadian context unexplored and unknown The literature emphasized the experience of Blacks in America There remains a gap in the literature of the experience, prevalence and effects of CRP in Canada

14 Human Rights Commission What the Research Found The results of our study conducted for the CRP Project show that race or ethnicity is the most important factor in the experience of consumer incidents All participants experienced some degree of poor service Overall Aboriginals and African Canadian respondents demonstrated the highest prevalence and frequency rates in experiencing consumer incidents

15 Human Rights Commission What the Research Found (cont’d) Participants spoke of their treatment by staff and security personnel They identified their treatment as second class citizens who are poor, dangerous and likely to steal from stores They spoke about strategic in their claims for differential treatment, mentioning that when they shopped they “watch for patterns” They observe how staff are treating white people and compare to how they are treated

16 Human Rights Commission What the Research Found (cont’d) All participants spoke about avoiding stores where they had had negative racial profiling experiences They prefer to take their money to businesses where they are treated with respect and dignity (ex: “I won’t give them my money”, “I don’t go back to spend my money there”, “We used to look around, now we don’t do that, we go in and out”)

17 Human Rights Commission What the Research Found (cont’d) For Aboriginal participants, reclaiming their tax is a major issue in NS The hidden culture of Racism for newcomers is something that was discussed as reality for them (ex: “They are telling us we are not welcomed”) Whites have become more educated about racism Participants suffer isolation and humiliation because there is no where to go This was the first time they were asked to give their opinion

18 Human Rights Commission Breaking Down CRP Participants from the focus groups presented solutions for breaking down CRP CRP remains a form of invisible racism in our society, it is hidden In order to serve our communities we need to have different levels of diversity in management, As long as there is no change we will continue to go through the same thing over and over

19 Human Rights Commission Breaking Down CRP Recognition of Economic contribution and sustaining our Economy Enforcement of First Nations rights Educating and training businesses on human rights Communities need better support from the NSHRC Rethinking the discourse of diversity being good for business Challenging the focus of the media Need to promote more diversity in business

20 Human Rights Commission Conclusion Consumer Racial Profiling appears to be more about stereotyping than the expression of overt racism Stereotyping continues to be a form of racism, just because the intent is not there does not mean stereotyping is not racism All members of society need to work each day to break down the barriers of racism and discrimination and the stereotypes that are pervasive in our society

21 Human Rights Commission Conclusion (cont’d) The report presents overwhelming information around the experiences of discrimination and racism in Nova Scotia society It also represents a few glimmers of hope This study is a small step in the right direction, in creating change and breaking down racism

22 Human Rights Commission Conclusion (cont’d) CRP cannot be separated from the wider issues of systemic discrimination and significant work is to be done around White privilege and systemic racism at all levels in society This task requires all Nova Scotians to work in partnership with each other based on values of inclusion and equity and the commitment to improve the lives of all racialized persons in NS

23 Human Rights Commission Acknowledgements NS Human Rights Commission Dalhousie University Saint Mary’s University CT-Ebony Consulting Co. All participants in the study

24 Human Rights Commission For more information on the report or where to find the report: Website: Phone: Toll Free:


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