About US

Who we are

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) is a Constitutional body established by Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Act No.11 of 2000 which amends Article 212 D of the Constitution to provide for the establishment of the Commission.

The genesis of the ERC lies in the Herdmanston Accord signed on January 17, 1998 that provided for the establishment of a Constitutional Reform Commission (CRC).

The CRC in its Report to the National Assembly on July 17, 1999, recommended that the Constitution shall establish an adequately-funded, suitably broad-based Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) comprising representatives of religious bodies, labour movement, the private business sector, youth and women.

 

The entities of each group identified one Nominee and one Substitute to serve as their representatives and on March 8, 2002 the ERC was established. The Commission was recently reconstituted with the swearing-in of (10) ten new Commissioners in March 2023 by H.E. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

24 Functions of ERC

Function 1

Provide for equality of opportunity between persons of different ethnic groups and to promote harmony and good relations between such persons;

Function 2

Promote the elimination of all forms of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity;

Function 3

Discourage and prohibit persons institutions, political parties and associates from indulging in, advocating or promoting discriminatory practices on the ground of ethnicity;

Function 4

Foster a sense of security among all ethnic groups be encouraging and promoting the understanding, acceptance and tolerance of diversity in all aspects of national life and promoting full participation by all ethnic groups in the social, economic, cultural and political life of the people;

Function 5

Promote educational and training programmes and research projects which provide for and encourage ethnic peace and harmony;

Function 6

Encourage and create respect for religious, cultural and other forms of diversity in a plural society;

Function 7

Promote arbitration, conciliation, mediation and like forms of dispute resolution in order to secure ethnic harmony and peace;

Function 8

Establish mechanisms and procedures for arbitration, conciliation, mediation and like forms of dispute resolution that would ensure ethnic harmony and peace;

Function 9

Recommend to the National Assembly criteria to be considered for the purposes of deciding whether any person has committed acts of discrimination on the ground of ethnicity;

Function 10

Investigate complaints of racial discrimination and make recommendations on the measures to be taken if such complaints are valid, and where there is justification therefore refer matters to the Human Rights Commission or other relevant authorities for further action to be taken;

Function 11

Monitor and review all legislation and all administrative acts or omissions relating to or having implications for ethnic relations and equal opportunities and, from time to time, prepare and submit proposals for revision of such legislation and administrative acts and omissions;

Function 12

Immediately report to the National Assembly and to all relevant authorities any proposed legislation, which the Constitution thinks, may be contrary to the constitutional provision relating to ethnicity;

Function 13

Promote equal access by persons of all ethnic groups to all public or other services and facilities provided by the Government or other bodies;

Function 14

Promote and encourage the acceptance and respect by all segments of the society of the social identity and cultural inheritance of all ethnic groups

Function 15

Promote cooperation between all bodies concerned with the fostering of harmonious ethnic relations;

Function 16

Investigate on its own accord or on request from the National Assembly or any other body any issues affecting ethnic relations;

Function 17

Identify and analyse factors inhibiting the attainment of harmonious relations between ethnic groups, particularly barriers to the participation of any ethnic group in social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political endeavours and recommend to the National Assembly other relevant public or private sector bodies how these factors should be overcome;

Function 18

Monitor and report to the National Assembly on the status and success of implementation of its recommendations;

Function 19

Study and make recommendations to the National Assembly on any issue relating to ethnic affairs, including conducting studies to determine whether race relations are improving;

Function 20

Monitor and make recommendations to the National Assembly and other relevant public and private sector bodies on factors inhibiting the development of harmonious relations between ethnic groups and on barriers to the participation of all ethnic groups in the social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political life of the people;

Function 21

Consult with other bodies and persons to determine and specify the perceived needs of the various ethnic groups for the fostering of harmonious relations;

Function 22

Train and enlist the aid of such persons and acquire such facilities as the Commission deems necessary to accomplish its functions;

Function 23

Make recommendations on penalties, including the prevention of any political party or any persons from participating in elections for a specified period, to be imposed for any breach of provisions of this Constitution or of any law dealing with ethnicity;

Function 24

Do all other acts and things as may be necessary to facilitate the efficient discharge of the functions of the Commission.

Meet the Team

Click below to view other members of our team.