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CERD Working Group on Housing Segregation and Discrimination in the U.S.

Residential segregation of poor people of color is a distinguishing feature of social exclusion in the United States. Residential segregation and racial isolation is closely associated with disparities in income, wealth, housing conditions, education, employment, health care, environmental quality, exposure to crime and violence, and disparate criminal justice outcomes. Indeed, residential segregation by race and poverty is a key mechanism for distributing racial inequality in the United States.

As in the case of South Africa, residential segregation in the United States is not a “natural” outcome of market forces, but rather a socially constructed system. As described in the detailed 1994 study, American Apartheid, and other current research, the
U.S. system of segregation results from historical and continuing government actions at the federal, state, and local level, exacerbated by discriminatory corporate policies and private acts of discrimination. Furthermore, the U.S. government’s response to its own segregative actions and broader “societal” policies of housing discrimination has been ineffective in reversing this trend.

Recent meeting agenda

Excerpts from U.S. report

Selected CERD resources

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