Race, Racism and the Law 
Speaking Truth to Power!!


Gender Discrimination & Ill Treament of Children

                   Complete Survey:  Race Relations 2011


Intro:  Institutional Racism                                                    x
01 Race and Racism                                                    x
02 Citizenship Rights                                                     x
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  Web Editor:
  Vernellia R. Randall
Professor of Law
The University of Dayton
Web Editor
China’s Report on US Human Rights Record in 2000
Information Office of China's State Council


IV. Gender Discrimination & Ill-treatment of Children

Gender discrimination is widespread in almost every aspect of US society. American women have not yet enjoyed equal constitutional rights compared to men. Women in the United States not only have weak voice in politics, but also are discriminated in terms of employment, job status and wages. The labor protection standards for women are below the international norms, and sexual violence, sexual harassment and domestic violence against women are also rampant in the United States.

Reuters reported on March 22, 2000, that as many as 1,100 women have joined a class action gender discrimination lawsuit, which was initiated by five women in 1978, against the US Information Agency and Voice of America on 48 charges involving job discrimination because of gender. Following an investigation, the court discovered that the human resource departments of the defendants had purposely overlooked female candidates through deceptive means such as revising test results and selecting beforehand. It was not until 2000 that the U. S. government was forced to accept an out-of-court settlement and paid 508 million U. S. dollars in compensation after 46 out of 48 charges were upheld by the court. The breadth and depth of gender discrimination in the US can be seen from this case, which involved the highest compensation for such a case since 1964.

A report released in November 2000 by an American institute studying policy on women showed that women are paid an average of 26 percent less than their male colleagues.

The number of female prisoners has been increasing markedly in the United States, and they often are the victims of various abuses. Since 1980, the number of prisoners in the United States has tripled, while that of the female prisoners has quadrupled. A report released by the US government in December 1999 showed that accusations against jail officers of sexual abuse and other negligent behavior are widespread and criminal prosecution of prison guards for abuse of power has been on the rise.

The following major cases have been reported since December 1999:

-- Eleven guards and one officer at a county jail were accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by 16 female inmates;

-- a jail guard in New Mexico was convicted of sexual assault;

-- a prison officer in New York was sentenced to three years imprisonment with probation for raping two female inmates;

-- a prison officer in Ohio was sentenced to four years of imprisonment for conviction of sexual assault of three female inmates;

-- Some female inmates at a prison in New York disclosed that a number of female inmates were raped and even some of them gave birth to babies in their cells.

The majority of the female prisoners who have been sexually assaulted cannot get access to adequate legal protection. The state of Michigan stipulates explicitly that prisoners are not protected by civil rights laws.

Quite a number of women and children have been smuggled to the United States who are subject to slavery and torture. According to a report released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in November 1999, as many as 50,000 women and children are smuggled from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to the United States every year. They are often forced to become prostitutes or ill-treated workers and servants, the youngest of whom are aged nine. Despite as many as 100,000 women and children were smuggled to the country in recent two years, only 250 of whom are listed as the victims of relevant cases. The New York Times reported on April 2, 2000 that in 1999, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service conducted an investigation in 26 cities and found smuggled women in 250 brothels. An article carried on the " Insight" weekly in December 2000 revealed that the human trafficking and the sexual slave trade has become the third largest illegal trade in terms of business volume in the United States, following drugs and arms smuggling. An incomplete statistics showed that criminal rings in the United States earn 7 billion U. S. dollars from human trafficking annually.

Children in the United States live under worrying conditions, and they are often the major victims of violence and as many as 5, 000 children are shot fatally annually. The percentage of gunshot victims under age 14 is 21 times that of 25 other industrialized countries. Some 1.5 million children, or two percent of the country's total, have one or both parents in prison. The United States, one of five countries that have the death penalty for juveniles, has the highest number of juveniles sentenced to death in the world. Twenty-five states of the country give death penalty to juveniles, four of which set the lowest age for the death penalty at 17 years and the other 21 states set 16 years as the bottom line or have no age limit at all. Since 1990, 14 juvenile criminals have been executed in the United States, and in the first seven months of 2000, four juvenile criminals were put to death, more than the figure of other countries combined in the past seven years. By October 2000, 83 juvenile criminals, who were under 18 when their crimes were committed were waiting to be executed. The US Department of Justice released a report on February 27, 2000, indicating that from 1985 to 1997, the inmates under age 18 in adult prisons more than doubled from 3,400 to 7, 400; and 90 percent of juvenile criminals were high school dropouts. To date, more than 100,000 children are incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities and many of them are subject to brutal treatment.

Many children in the United States are threatened by poverty. According to an investigation conducted by the UNICEF, the poverty rate of children in the United States ranks second among the 29 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 1998, the poverty rate of American children hit 18. 7 percent, 2.5 percent higher than that of 1979. To date, as many as 13 million children live in poverty, three million more than the figure of 1979.

Reuters reported on January 20, 2000, that children in 15.2 percent of the families in the US are starving, and that children aged below six years in 16.3 percent of households don't have enough food. About one million immigrant children who do not hold U. S. citizenship are not covered by the medical insurance system. More than one million children in the country live on the streets, 40 percent of whom are under 5, 20 percent suffer from hunger, 20 percent are not covered by the medical insurance system, 10 percent have seen murders, shootings, rapes and violence, and 25 percent have experienced domestic violence.

In the United States, at least 290,000 children are working in factories, mines and farms where working conditions are dangerous. Children working on farms often have to work 20 hours a day and run the risk of pesticide poisoning, injury and permanent disability. They account for 8 percent of the country's total child workers, while the job-related deaths among them make up 40 percent of the country's total occupational death toll. Among these child farm laborers, merely 55 percent have graduated from high school. It is estimated that there are one million cases of human rights violations against these child farm workers in the United States every year; yet the US Labor Department listed only 104 such cases in 1998.


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Same level:
American Democracy - A Myth ] Rampant Violence and Arbitrary Judicial System ] Widening Gap Between Rich and Poor ] [ Gender Discrimination & Ill Treament of Children ] Racial Discrimination Previals - Minorities Ill Treated ] Infringment of Human Rights of Other Countries ] Conclusion ]
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Parent Level:
The US and the Crime of Genocide Against Native Americans ] NorthAmerica/UnitedStates03.htm ] The Thirteenth Amendment and Slavery in a Global Economy ] China's Report on US Human Rights Violation (2000) ] Torture in the United States ] United States attacks and Incarcerates Its "Race" Problem! ]
[Race and Racial Groups] [Citizenship Rights]  [Justice and Race] [Patterns of Basic Needs] [Intersectionality Issues] [Human Rights]

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Vernellia Randall. All Rights Reserved
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Racism and GeoPolitical Regions

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