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Discrimination on the Basis of Race, Color, or National Origin

OCR is responsible for enforcing the nondiscrimination requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) 42 U.S.C.§ 2000d, as it applies to programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance from HHS. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin.  For a full list of nondiscrimination requirements for which OCR has jurisdiction, please review our Understanding Your Civil Rights. For a list of areas of nondiscrimination enforcement for which OCR does not have jurisdiction, please review our Civil Rights Enforcement through Other Federal Agencies

Title VI protects people of every race, color, or national origin from unlawful discrimination in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from HHS. There are many forms of illegal discrimination based on race, color, or national origin that may limit the opportunities of individuals to gain equal access to health care and social services. A recipient of Federal financial assistance may not, based on race, color, or national origin:

  • Deny services or other benefits provided as a part of health or human service programs.

  • Provide a different service or other benefit, or provide services or benefits in a different manner from those provided to others under the program.

  • Segregate or separately treat individuals in any matter related to the receipt of any service or other benefit.

  • Utilize criteria or methods of administration which subject individuals to discrimination.

  • Select a facility’s site or location that excludes individuals or denies them benefits.

  • Deny an individual an opportunity to participate on a planning or advisory board.

OCR ensures that people have equal access to and an opportunity to receive services from all HHS funded programs and services. Persons who believe they (or someone else) have been discriminated against -- because of race, color, national origin, age, or disability -- in health care or human services may file a complaint with OCR.