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Human Rights Commission to hear personal accounts of racial profiling

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February 17, 2003

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For immediate publication

Toronto - Following up on a commitment made in December to take action on racial profiling, Chief Commissioner Keith Norton today announced plans to hold an inquiry into this activity. "Racial profiling in any context is wrong. We are concerned about the negative impacts of this practice on individuals and entire communities," stated Mr. Norton. "To address the issue, the Commission has worked closely with community partners and this initiative is a result of that cooperative effort," he further added.

Over the next two weeks, interested individuals who believe that they have been profiled are invited to talk about that experience with the Commission and relate the repercussions that the incident has had on their lives and their outlook towards society.

Interested individuals can either file their stories through an online questionnaire at www.ohrc.on.ca or call the Commission weekdays between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. beginning Tuesday February 18th, 2003 until Friday February 28th, 2003 at the following numbers:

Toll free: 1-800-387-9080 or TTY: 1-800-308-5561
Greater Toronto:(416) 326-9511 or TTY: (416) 326-0603

A notice inviting people to participate will also appear in major dailies, ethnic media and French language weeklies. Individuals whose stories are most representative of the effects of profiling may be asked to participate in future public hearings.

"To influence change, people need to first understand the wide-reaching effects profiling can have not only on the individuals concerned but also their families and their communities. This inquiry offers a unique opportunity to share firsthand accounts that can touch people and make them more aware of the negative impacts of this practice," stated Mr. Norton.

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Afroze Edwards
Sr. Communications Officer
Communications and Issues Management
afroze.edwards@ohrc.on.ca
(416) 314-4528