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The Commission on Human Relations shall administer and enforce all statutes and ordinances prohibiting discrimination against persons because of race, color, religion or national origin, and shall also exercise the powers and perform the duties heretofore exercised and performed by the Philadelphia Fair Employment Practice Commission. The Commission shall institute and conduct educational programs to promote the equal rights and opportunities of all persons, regardless of their race, color, religion or national origin. Such programs shall include the promotion of understanding among persons and groups of different races, colors, religions and national origins. In the performance of its duties the Commission may cooperate with interested citizens and with public and private agencies.
Sources: Ordinance of the City of Philadelphia, March 12, 1948.
Purposes: 1. The powers and duties of the commission on Human Relations are broader in scope than those of the Philadelphia Fair Employment Practices Commission because the essential problem present in the area of prohibiting discrimination because of race, color, creed, or national origin in the employment field is present in many other areas of human relations. The Commission on Human Relations takes over the specific powers and duties of the Philadelphia Fair Employment Practices Commission. But for the reason stated, it is given the larger jurisdiction of administering and enforcing all statutes and ordinances prohibiting discrimination where such jurisdiction is not vested specifically in any other agency. For example, while the Civil Service Commission will hear appeals of civil service employees whose dismissal, demotion or suspension is alleged to have been due to discrimination because of race, color, religion or national origin (See Section 7-201), the Commission on Human Relations will deal with problems of such discrimination arising in the hiring of City employees. For a person discriminated against in the hiring process has no appeal under the Charter to the Civil Service Commission. See Section 7-201.
2. Because the combating of discriminatory practices is not solely a problem of legally enforceable prohibitions against discrimination, but involves to a very great extent education, the Commission is charged with the duty of instituting and conducting educational programs which will promote equality of right and opportunity where at present such equality is lacking because of discriminatory practices based on race, color, religion or national origin. The promotion of understanding among different peoples is one of the educational functions of the Commission.