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Racial profiling inquiry: Background and process

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On December 9, 2002, the eve of International Human Rights Day, the Commission announced that it would conduct an inquiry into the effects of racial profiling on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.

Working with concerned community groups, the Commission developed terms of reference, which outlined the purpose and process for its racial profiling inquiry.  The inquiry, launched officially on February 17, 2003, invited interested individuals to share their experience of profiling with the Commission either via telephone, or by submitting their story through an on-line questionnaire or by regular mail. Information was also sent to approximately 1,000 individuals and organizations across the province.

The response far exceeded the Commission’s expectations, with over 800 people contacting the Commission.  Approximately half of those contacts met the parameters of the racial profiling inquiry.  On March 31st, 2003, the Commission held a one-day public hearing in Toronto during which thirteen (13) presenters described the impact of profiling.

May and June of 2003, the Commission attended several community group meetings (Latin American, Aboriginal, Chinese and South Asian, African-Canadian and Arab-Canadian) with members of their respective communities on racial profiling experiences. And, in August 2003, the Commission held private meetings with individuals in the Windsor and Brantford areas.

The Report wraps up the Commission’s inquiry initiative by relating what the Commission heard and providing an analysis of the effects of profiling on more than just the individuals and communities most likely to experience it.  The Report also analyzes the detrimental impact that profiling is having on societal institutions such as the education system, law enforcement agencies, service providers, etc., and providers, etc., and provides recommendations for bringing an end to this practice.

For further information please visit our Web site at or call 1-800-387-9080 (toll-free), (416) 326-9511 (in Toronto), 1-800-308-5561 (TTY toll-free), (416) 326-0603 (TTY Local).