Cops still asked to state religion

More than two years after Governor Stuart Jack ordered the removal of religious affiliation questions from civil service job applications, applicants to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service are still being asked to list their religion on the form.

Those seeking positions as volunteer special constables are also still asked to state their religious affiliation on their application forms.

In late 2007, religious affiliation questions, along with numerous other questions deemed unnecessary by the Portfolio of the Civil Service, were removed from the general job application forms.

‘I don’t think that the religious beliefs of an individual should be relevant to their application for a government job,’ Governor Jack said when asked about the religious affiliation questions in 2007.

However, the police service uses different forms that ask for more detailed information about the applicant to aid in the vetting process for prospective officers. They were not changed at the same time as the civil service applications.

‘The RCIPS is in the process of updating our application forms. Certain fields, including the religion section, have been removed from the revised versions. The new forms will shortly be available from police headquarters and on our website,’ a statement from the police service read.

It was unknown why the forms were never changed.

Cayman’s draft constitution, which voters will weigh in on next month, contains a section concerning freedom of conscience and religion. It reads: ‘No person shall be hindered by government in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of conscience. Freedom of conscience includes freedom of religion, religious denomination or belief …’

The Human Rights Committee had pointed out as early as 2006 that asking for a job applicant’s religion could present the opportunity for discrimination on the basis of someone’s religion.

The non-discrimination section of the bill of rights would also outlaw discrimination on the basis of religion in most cases. So, if the constitution and the proposed bill of rights within it are passed next month, requiring someone to state their religious affiliation could be illegal.

‘Save in cases where being of a particular religion is an appropriate requirement for a post, the (Human Rights Committee) believes these questions serve no useful purpose,’ the HRC wrote in a report on the matter.

The civil service forms were also changed to eliminate questions about the job seeker’s marital status. Job applicants are still asked how many dependants (children, other family members) they have, and are also still asked about their nationality for immigration purposes.

However, a list of ten questions asking whether applicants had Caymanian status, or if they were related to a Caymanian were removed from the civil service forms.

Those questions are all still included on the RCIPS application forms.

In late 2007, religious affiliation questions, along with numerous other questions deemed unnecessary by the Portfolio of the Civil Service, were removed from the general job application forms.

0
0

NO COMMENTS