Following a surge of bias attacks near public transportation, the NYC Commission on Human Rights and Mayor de Blasio’s office announced that a series of actions will be put in place to easily report incidents of discrimination and harassment in the city.
Complaints of discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and citizenship and alienage status filed at the Commission have increased by more than 30 percent in 2016. According to the NYPD, hate crimes, particularly those against Muslims, Jews, people of color and LGBTQ communities, have also increased by more than 30 percent in 2016.
“No one in this city should feel unsafe or threatened for being who they are,” said Commissioner and Chair of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn P. Malalis. “The NYC Commission on Human Rights is here to protect all New Yorkers from discrimination and harassment by enforcing the City’s Human Rights Law, one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the nation.”
Many of these incidents are occurring on public transportation. The NYC Commission for Human Rights (with support from Mayor de Blasio’s office) will be distributing information about religious protection under the NYC Human Rights Law. They also launched anti-discrimination ads on transit apps, such as Transit Tracker New York, MyTransit NYC, QuickStop NYC, NYC NextBus, TransitTracker MTA, NYC Maps, as well as Google and Facebook, urging people to contact the Commission if they witness or experience harassment in the subway, on the bus, at a bus shelter or any other public space.
The NYC Commission on Human Rights has begun to expand its staff and technology of its Infoline (718-722-3131), adding additional operators who can help victims of discrimination file claims, inform them of protections under the Law, and answer and refer questions on immigration matters following training from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. People can also report discrimination on the Commission’s website here.
The Commission has also formed a “Bias Response Team”, which is a team that is responding to incidents of bias and discrimination across the city. When a member of the Bias Response Team learns of a bias-related incident, they reach out to the victim to gather information and provide them resources to be able to report discrimination and file a complaint.
“New York City will not stand for discrimination or harassment of any kind,” said Mayor de Blasio. “NYC has been and always will be a welcoming city for all, regardless of who you are or what you believe and we intend to keep it that way.”
If you or someone you know is the victim of discrimination or bias, please call the 311 and ask for Human Rights or call the Commission’s expanded Infoline directly at 718-722-3131.