Segregation is the separation of humans into ethnic or racial groups in daily life.
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It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, riding on a bus, or in the rental or purchase of a home or of hotel rooms.
A public toilet is a room or small building containing one or more toilets which is available for use by the general public, or by customers or employees of certain businesses.
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Segregation itself is defined by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance as "the act by which a person separates other persons on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds without an objective and reasonable justification, in conformity with the proposed definition of discrimination.
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance is the Council of Europe’s independent human rights monitoring body specialised in combating racism, discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance.
As a result, the voluntary act of separating oneself from other persons on the basis of one of the enumerated grounds does not constitute segregation".
According to the UN Forum on Minority Issues, "The creation and development of classes and schools providing education in minority languages should not be considered impermissible segregation, if the assignment to such classes and schools is of a voluntary nature".
Racial segregation is generally outlawed, but may exist de facto through social norms, even when there is no strong individual preference for it, as suggested by Thomas Schelling's models of segregation and subsequent work.
Thomas Crombie Schelling is an American economist and professor of foreign policy, national security, nuclear strategy, and arms control at the School of Public Policy at University of Maryland, College Park.
De facto is a Latin expression that means "in fact, in reality, in actual existence, force, or possession, as a matter of fact".
Segregation may be maintained by means ranging from discrimination in hiring and in the rental and sale of housing to certain races to vigilante violence.
A vigilante is a civilian or organization acting in a law enforcement capacity without legal authority.
Generally, a situation that arises when members of different races mutually prefer to associate and do business with members of their own race would usually be described as separation or de facto separation of the races rather than segregation.
In the United States, legal segregation was required in some states and came with anti-miscegenation laws.
Anti-miscegenation laws or miscegenation laws were laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races.
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, or procreation.
Segregation, however, often allowed close contact in hierarchical situations, such as allowing a person of one race to work as a servant for a member of another race.
Segregation can involve spatial separation of the races, and mandatory use of different institutions, such as schools and hospitals by people of different races.