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Racial Disparities in InFant Mortality Rates

  Shama Mir and Morton Sklar, editors, US NGO Report on CERD: AN INFORMAL WORKING GROUP OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL  CIVIL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE GROUPS, THE WORLD ORGANIZATION AGAINST TORTURE USA (September 2000)

 

 

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from Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in the United States, The Status of Compliance by the U.S. Government with the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Compiled By THE WORLD ORGANIZATION AGAINST TORTURE USA

 

Racial Disparities in Infant Mortality Rates:

The Impact of Discrimination in Health Care, Housing,

Education and Employment on Newborns

prepared by 

Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights

The most fundamental of all human rights is the right to survive.For infants of color in the United States, this fundamental human right is consistently violated.African American and American Indian communities have the highest infant mortality rates, while white infants continually have the lowest.[12]Racial disparities in infant mortality rates have been documented from the 1940’s through the late 1990’s.During this time, these racial disparities have worsened. In the late 1990’s, African American infants died at more than two times the rate of white infants. American Indian infants die at 1.6 times the rate of white infants (see Tables 1 - 2).The disproportionate death rates of minority infants is the result of discrimination by the federal government in the provision of a wide range of services, which leads to extreme poverty and inequitable access to economic and social resources.What this means in concrete terms is that minority infants in the United States are dying at a disproportionately high rate as a result of racial discrimination in medical care, housing, education and employment. 

Racial disparities in infant mortality rates reflect the discrimination that exists in the overall health status of people of color in the United States.The World Health Organization defines health broadly as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”[13]This broad definition recognizes that health is dependent on a wide range of social and economic factors well beyond the provision of medical or health care.[14]Economic, social and cultural rights create the “pre-conditions necessary to maintain and achieve a state of health as comprehensively defined.”[15]Reductions in racial disparities in infant mortality rates require changes in the larger societal institutions and structures that determine exposure to conditions which compromise good health.[16] 

 
 
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Executive Summary ] The Death Penalty ] Criminal Justice and Youth ] Criminal Justice and Discrimination ] [ Racial Disparities in InFant Mortality Rates ] Eliminating Affirmative Action ] Homelessness ] Environmental Racism ] Voting Rights ] Police Brutality ] Hate Crimes ] Rights of American Indians ]
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Thanks to Derrick Bell and his pioneer work: 
Race, Racism and American Law
(1993).