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U.S. Pointing Way to Progress in Race Relations, UNESCO Finds

Thirteen states and 30 cities in the United States now have fair employment laws, according to a detailed report, entitled “Racial Equality and the Law,” published here jointly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the American Jewish Committee.

In the field “touching the relationship of person to person and group to group, the United States is pointing the way to planned, disciplined progress, “the report declares. According to the report, New York is the first state in this country to adopt legal measures to end job discrimination because of race or religion.

Prof. Monroe Berger, who wrote the report for UNESCO and the AJC, noted in the document that law and legal techniques are not the only, or always the best, means of reducing discrimination in employment. However, he pointed out, these are among the most effective ways of combatting the problem. Among the advantages of law and legal techniques, he declared, are:

“1. Ultimately and directly the law can modify attitudes and beliefs. 2. Because of its association with the immense power and prestige of government, law can have a particularly potent influence on certain types of prejudiced persons and certain types of discriminators.

“3. Law can establish the right to something and create an expectation that can be turned into reality. 4. Law accelerates change in a direction in which more basic but less directly controllable forces are moving. 5. Law can be the decisive factor pushing a situation in the direction of equality of opportunity rather than in the opposite direction.”

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