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U.N. Body Discusses Outlawing Racial and Religious Bias in Jobs

Preliminary steps toward the eventual outlawing of racial and religious discrimination in employment all over the world, as well as assuring the right to practice religion freely in all countries, were taken here today by the United Nations “anti-bias” group which meets every year for the specific purpose of drafting measures to protect racial and religious minorities. The group, officially known as the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, is a unit of the Human Rights Commission.

In regard to employment, the Subcommission completed this afternoon discussion of a report adopted by the International Labor Organization. This report proposes a United Nations convention, to be ratified by member states, barring all discriminatory practices not only in employment but also in vocational training and guidance. Discrimination would be banned on any grounds of race, creed, sex, age, cultural status, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.

After completing consideration of the ILO report, the Subcommission began a debate on a preliminary survey of discrimination in the field of religious practices by Arcot Krishnaswami of India. The latter, rapporteur for the Subcommission, has summarized reports received from most members of the United Nations dealing with freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the rights of peoples to maintain or change religion or belief, the rights to observe religious holidays and practice religious precepts, public worship, religious practices regarding marriage, birth and death and the dissemination about religious beliefs.

The report also deals with the denial of these various religious rights and practices in countries throughout the world. In addition to the 11 members of the Subcommission, a number of non-governmental organizations, including representatives of organized Jewry throughout the world, are on the agenda for participation on the debate on religious rights and practices. The debate is expected to last 10 days or two weeks.

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