Commission on Human Rights
Human Rights Commission on Kentucky Human Rights Day reports human rights violations high
FRANKFORT – Several people gathered in the state capitol rotunda yesterday for Governor Steven Beshear’s proclamation of Kentucky Human Rights Day. This commemorated the 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Kentucky Division of the United Nations Association held the ceremony for which the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights was a co-sponsor. Commission Executive Director John J. Johnson was one of the speakers.
Executive Director Johnson said, “With the continued support of Governor Steven Beshear, the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will continue to be a trailblazer for human rights work. Some believe human rights complaints would have decreased in this period of our history, however, the program year of 2008 ended with the commission receiving the second largest number of complaints in its 48-year history. These complaints of human rights violations were filed by racial minorities, women, foreign-born Kentuckians, people with disabilities, the elderly, and others.”
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights received 421 discrimination complaints during the 2008 reporting year, from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. This follows an all-time agency high of 423 complaints in the 2007 reporting year. In comparison, five years ago in 2003, there were 389 complaints.
Executive Director Johnson said, “These statistics remind us that everyday we must remain vigilant in promoting and protecting human rights in our own state. Today, we recognize, celebrate, pray for, and re-commit to striving toward what the UN Human Rights Universal Declaration called the ‘equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family, which are the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.’”
The Kentucky Human Rights Commission is the state government agency that enforces state and federal laws against discrimination.