People of African descent face ‘dire picture’ of racism in EU

By November 30, 2018 News & Current Affairs
Seventy percent of people of African descent stopped by police in Italy saw that action as racially-motivated.

Seventy percent of people of African descent stopped by police in Italy saw that action as racially-motivated.

Almost a third of people of African descent have experienced racial harassment in past five years, survey finds.

By Jennifer Rankin,  The Guardian

Almost a third of people of African descent polled in a new EU survey say they have experienced racial harassment in the last five years, a report that claims racial discrimination is “commonplace” across 12 European countries reveals.

People of African descent face “a dire picture” of discrimination in housing, the workplace and everyday life, the survey of 5,803 people by the European Union’s fundamental rights agency states.

Perceived racial harassment, such as offensive gestures, comments or threats, was highest in Finland (63%) and Luxembourg (52%) and least prevalent in the UK (21%) and Malta (20%).

One in 20 respondents said they had been a victim of a physical attack in the last five years, ranging from 14% in Finland to 2% in Portugal. The figure was 3% for the UK.

“The survey paints a dire picture of the reality on the ground,” said the agency’s director, Michael O’Flaherty, in a preface to the report. Referring to the EU’s 2000 racial equality directive, he said: “Almost 20 years after adoption of EU laws forbidding discrimination, people of African descent face widespread and entrenched prejudice and exclusion.”

O’Flaherty wrote that: “Racial discrimination and harassment are commonplace,” adding that discriminatory profiling by the police is “a common reality”.

Most people who took the survey were first and second-generation immigrants, who come from, or have at least one parent from a sub-Saharan African country. The study also includes people from British and French overseas territories, including the Caribbean.

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