Racism ‘shocking and shameful’ – EU survey

Lazy eyes listen


Racism against persons of African heritage is on the rise in the EU, according to a report released on Wednesday by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

The poll of first- and second-generation black immigrants in 13 EU nations found that over one-third of over 6,700 respondents indicated they had faced racial discrimination in the previous 12 months, a 10 percentage point increase from a previous survey six years ago.

“It’s shocking to see no improvement since our last survey in 2016,” said Michael O’Flaherty, director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, in a news release issued on Wednesday. “Instead, people of African descent face increasing discrimination simply because of their skin colour.”

The data tracked in Germany and Austria reflected a sharp rise in claims of racist abuse, with around two-thirds (64%) polled in both EU countries saying they had experienced racial discrimination recently. This is a rise of 33% from the last survey, meaning that reports of racial abuse have doubled in the past six years.

However, France, Luxembourg and Portugal saw fewer instances of racism reported by black people compared to the previous survey.

Among the challenges faced by black immigrants in various EU countries were discrimination in housing and work, as well as violent harassment that can leave victims feeling “deeply traumatised,” according to the EU agency.

“Let us reiterate: racism has no place in Europe,” O’Flaherty stated in the report’s foreword. “Being confronted with the true scale of racism is both shocking and shameful.”

He went on to say that the study “should be a wakeup call for action on equality and inclusion for people of African descent.”

The research also claimed that one in every four black people had been stopped by police in the previous five years, with about half believing this was due to racial profiling.

Despite the findings, the study’s authors stated that many cases of racism in Europe “remain invisible.”

“Incidents of racial discrimination, racist harassment and violence often go unreported,” O’Flaherty said in a statement. “People’s voices go unheard.”

Black people in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, and Spain were polled.