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Rights activist allege bias against PIOs in Trinidad

A leading rights activist alleged PIOs were being discriminated against in recruitment to security services because of shorter height.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2003 09:57 IST

Persons of Indian origin were being discriminated against in recruitment to security services in Trinidad and Tobago, a leading civil rights activist alleged on Thursday.

"There is a clear and undeniable racial imbalance in our police service, prison service, army, coast guard and fire service," civil rights attorney-at-law Anand Ramlogan said.

He alleged that Trinidad and Tobago's Protective Service, which recruits for the above services, never visited places where there was a predominance of Indo-Trinidians.

"Recruitment is done in Port-of-Spain and San Fernando where there is an overwhelming Afro-Trinidadian presence," Ramlogan claimed.

Indo-Trinidadians were also discriminated against because they often do not have the minimum height to be eligible to enter the service, he said.

The minimum height requirement is "an archaic, pre-colonial relic of a bygone era. It has long been revised both in England and the US to cater to the ethnic groups that are relatively shorter," Ramlogan added.

He said the Protective Service should use the British model of recruitment to ward off racist practices.

First Published: Dec 25, 2003 09:57 IST