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North America - Mexico - Legislation

Mexico Bans All Forms of Discrimination
(AP, June 9, 2003)

President Vicente Fox signed a law Monday that bans all forms of discrimination, a groundbreaking measure in a nation struggling to overcome racism and other forms of bias.

"This signature makes this a historic date for our country," Fox said. "It's historic because it establishes that nobody should be excluded from their social well-being because of their ethnic origin, gender, age or religion."

The measure that passed Monday first sought only to ban discrimination in the public sector, but after several months of debate it was vastly expanded and approved by both houses of Congress in April.

Interior Minister Santiago Creel said the measure was as important as Mexican laws that established freedom of religion in 1800 and women's suffrage in 1953.

The law does not spell out how violators will be punished. That will likely be decided by a new body promised by Fox, the National Commission for the Prevention of Discrimination.

The law cancels out several smaller proposals that would have banned discrimination against women and Indians, or forbade employers from firing elderly employees or women who become pregnant, among other things.

Some of those measures languished in the legislature for years and had little chance of coming to a vote.

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(AP,June 9, 2003)

President Vicente Fox signed a law Monday that bans all forms of discrimination, a groundbreaking measure in a nation struggling to overcome racism and other forms of bias.

"This signature makes this a historic date for our country," Fox said. "It's historic because it establishes that nobody should be excluded from their social well-being because of their ethnic origin, gender, age or religion."

The measure that passed Monday first sought only to ban discrimination in the public sector, but after several months of debate it was vastly expanded and approved by both houses of Congress in April.

Interior Minister Santiago Creel said the measure was as important as Mexican laws that established freedom of religion in 1800 and women's suffrage in 1953.

The law does not spell out how violators will be punished. That will likely be decided by a new body promised by Fox, the National Commission for the Prevention of Discrimination.

The law cancels out several smaller proposals that would have banned discrimination against women and Indians, or forbade employers from firing elderly employees or women who become pregnant, among other things.

Some of those measures languished in the legislature for years and had little chance of coming to a vote.


Related Sections | Discrimination