Disabled discriminated against (poll)

Thomas Cagle (nh-adapt@juno.com)
Sat, 13 Dec 1997 18:58:40 -0500


From: "chn@intergate.bc.ca" 
To: NDY
Subject: Disabled discriminated against (poll)
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 1997 15:50:46 -0500

Copyright 1997 Reuters Ltd.  All rights reserved.
The following news report may not be republished or redistributed, in
whole
or in part, without the prior written consent of Reuters Ltd.

UNITED STATES GIVES SELF LOW MARKS IN HUMAN RIGHTS--    WASHINGTON
(Reuters) -12/10/97-- The United States, which grades human rights
records
of other countries, won low marks from its own people for a wide range of
social failings, according to a poll released Wednesday.
     Almost two-thirds of those polled, or 63 percent, said that the poor
were usually discriminated against in U.S. society, the Peter D. Hart
Research Associates survey found.
     Half or more of the 1,004 adults surveyed last month also named the
disabled, the elderly, gays and lesbians and native Americans as
routinely
discriminated against, the poll showed.
  Forty-one percent of those questioned said black Americans routinely
suffered discrimination, and 70 percent of blacks themselves said they
felt
discriminated against.
     "The survey shows we have human rights problems right here in the
United States," said Lyn Beth Neylon, director of Human Rights U.S.A.,
which commissioned the poll to mark the anniversary of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
     The survey found that only eight percent of U.S. adults and four
percent of teenagers in the 11th and 12th grades were aware of and could
name the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United
Nations in 1948 to spell out the fundamental rights of all people.
     In grading their nation's performance, three in four Americans said
that if the country's founding fathers returned today they would be
"disappointed with the way things are going in the country," Hart told a
news conference.
     He said Americans felt U.S. social programs fell short in affordable
health care, environmental protection and helping the poor.
     In addition, the survey pointed to a country whose people "lack
respect for one another, are intolerant of those who are different from
themselves, and who fail to stand up against racism and prejudice," a
summary of key findings said.
     Human Rights U.S.A. is a a national drive to promote action to
guarantee fundamental rights for all Americans. It is being implemented
by
Amnesty International USA; the Center for Human Rights Education;
Partners
in Human Rights Education; and Street Law, formerly the National
Institute
for Citizen Education in the Law.
  REUTERS


Copyright 1997 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
The information contained in this news report may not be published,
broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of
the Associated Press.
HUMAN RIGHTS   By KALPANA SRINIVASAN
 Associated Press Writer
   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Although the United States was a leader in pushing
for its passage 50 years ago, many Americans still do not enjoy the full
protections guaranteed by the United Nations' Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, a study suggests.
   "Here in the United States basic human rights are increasingly under
attack," said Curt Goering, deputy director of Amnesty International USA.
"The universal declaration remains an unfulfilled promise."
   A poll commissioned by Human Rights USA, a private education coalition
that includes Amnesty, indicated that 49 percent of adults have
personally
experienced discrimination and 52 percent say America has a very or
fairly
serious problem when it comes to human rights.
   Activists asserted that while Americans preach the need for human
rights
abroad, they often overlook its importance at home.
   "In the United States, we have some mighty contradictions," said Lyn
Beth Neylon, director of Human Rights USA, noting disparities in wealth
and
education.
   Among those surveyed, 63 percent say the poor face discrimination, 61
percent say the disabled face discrimination and 41 percent say blacks
are
routinely discriminated against.
   The universal declaration protects not only the political and civil
rights but also the social, cultural and economic rights of people,
Neylon
said.
   Health care and welfare are human rights areas that need more
attention
in America, the survey suggested.
   And activists also pointed out that a human rights framework could
provide a useful tool to address pervasive domestic problems.
   "The best way to fight bigotry is through human rights education,"
said
Loretta Ross, director for the Center for Human Rights Education.
   The telephone survey of 1,004 adults was conducted by Peter D. Hart
Research Associates Inc. in November. The margin of error was plus or
minus
three percentage points.