Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2002
(202) 616-2777
ADD (202) 514-1888


WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division today

announced the publication of the Federal Protections Against National Origin Discrimination brochure in Farsi, Hindi, and Punjabi.

The Division's National Origin Working Group created the brochure to assist individuals in identifying discrimination and bias covered by the laws enforced by the Division. The brochure provides examples of illegal national origin discrimination and information about where discrimination complaints may be filed.

The brochure is now available in 16 languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Hmong, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Laotian, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, and it will soon be available in a seventeenth, Urdu.

National origin discrimination includes discrimination based upon an individual's nationality, country of birth or country of origin, or the country of origin of an individual's family or spouse. It also includes discrimination based upon characteristics that are identified with a particular country or national origin, such as dress, accent, language, religion, or racial attributes.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, incidents of bias, including hate crimes, assaults, and vandalism against individuals perceived to be of Middle Eastern origin, have been on the rise. Many of these incidents have been targeted at Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, Sikh Americans and South-Asian Americans.

"Publishing our brochure in Farsi, Hindi, and Punjabi will increase the number of people we can reach with important information about national origin discrimination and how to file complaints," said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "These languages are spoken by some of the national origin groups most affected by discrimination in the aftermath of September 11. We hope that by publishing this brochure in these languages, we can help protect and vindicate their civil rights."

The National Origin Working Group seeks to combat discrimination by:

•receiving allegations related to housing, education, employment, public accommodations, lending, access to government services, voting, hate crimes, law enforcement, and other issues, and referring them to the appropriate federal authorities;

• conducting educational outreach to vulnerable communities to provide them with information about Civil Rights Division services and other federal offices that can assist them; and

• working with other Department of Justice components and other governmental agencies to ensure the effective provision of services to victims of civil rights violations.

The brochures can be downloaded from the Civil Rights Division's website at and printed copies of the brochure can be requested by contacting the Civil Rights Division at (202) 616-9966.