Under Article 5(b) the State Party must provide equal protection against
violence and bodily harm, whether inflicted by governmental officials or
by individuals, groups or institutions.
above, U.S. law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color,
ethnicity or national origin. Notably, the Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee equal protection of the
laws to all persons. This guarantee extends to equal protection against
violence and bodily harm. Moreover, several statutes have been enacted
at both the state and federal level which create criminal and civil
liability for violence or threats of violence on the basis of race,
color, ethnicity or national origin. See, e.g., Violent Crime Control
and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; Civil Rights Act of 1968.
law has long provided criminal penalties for certain violations of civil
rights, including particular acts of violence motivated by racism. See,
e.g., 18 U.S.C. sec. 245(b)(2); 18 U.S.C. sec. 247(c); 42 U.S.C. sec.
3631. Federal "hate crimes" law prohibits any person from
using force or willful threats to injure, intimidate, or interfere with,
or attempt to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because of
his or her race, color, religion, or national origin and because he or
she is engaging in certain federally protected rights, including rights
related to education, employment and the use of public facilities and
establishments which serve the public. In some instances, harsher
penalties have been available when ordinary crimes are committed with
racist intent. In addition, many states also protect equal rights to
security of person through state hate crime laws.