On 28 November 2018, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) launched a report on ”Being Black in Europe”. The report draws on findings from FRA’s second EU minorities and discrimination survey (EU-MIDIS II). The findings of the new report indicate how black people regularly experience racial discrimination, racist crime, racial profiling and social exclusion.
“In the 21st century, there is no excuse for racial discrimination. Yet black people in the EU today are still victims of widespread and unacceptable levels of discrimination and harassment simply because of their skin colour,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “We need to stamp this out once and for all. For this, Member States need effective and targeted policies and laws to ensure black people are fully included in our society.” Read the report here.
Equinet was present at the launch event of the report at the European Parliament in Brussels on 28 November. The newly released report points out important topics which equality bodies tackle in their daily work. In view of the recent Equinet seminar on how equality bodies can tackle ethnic profiling, it was important for Equinet to take part of the discussions and learn more about the findings from the report.
The Being Black in the EU report reveals the many challenges black people face:
- Racial harassment: 30% of respondents say they have been racially harassed in the last five years; 5% have been physically attacked. Member States should therefore make greater efforts to better support victims of racism and to properly prosecute perpetrators;
- Racial discrimination also remains problematic. Around a quarter of black people experienced racial discrimination at work or when looking for work. Young black people are especially vulnerable; in some countries, up to 76% are not in work, education or training compared to 8% of the general population. Member States should therefore develop targeted measures to counter such discrimination. This could include diversity audits in workplaces and public sector recruitment drives among black people.
- Housing: 14% of respondents say private landlords will not rent accommodation to them. This is especially problematic, as only 15% own property, as opposed to 70% of the EU’s general population. In addition, 45% live in overcrowded housing compared to 17% of the general population, pointing to the need for Member States to improve the quality of housing and to eradicate housing exclusion.
- Discriminatory profiling in police stops: 24% of respondents were stopped by the police in the last five years. Among those stopped, 41% felt the stop constituted racial profiling, which undermines trust in policing and community relations. To counter this, Member States should develop specific, practical guidance for police officers so they can avoid unlawful profiling – FRA’s will publish a guide on how to avoid unlawful profiling on 5 December. Guidance on community policing would also help.
[(Of particular importance for equality bodies is the FRA Opinion 3 of the report, stating that:
EU Member States should ensure that equality bodies can fulfil their tasks, as assigned by the Racial Equality Directive. This entails ensuring that equality bodies are allocated sufficient human, financial and technical resources. When doing so, Member States should give due consideration to the European Commission’s recommendation of June 2018 on standards for equality bodies, particularly as regards their independence and effectiveness.
ENAR Recommendations on fundamental rights of people of African descent in Europe
The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) has published numerous policy recommendations on the fundamental rights of People of African Descent in Europe, based on the FRA survey “Being Black in the EU”. The briefing outlines some reflections on the most central findings of the report and the adequacy of existing EU measures and policies to combat racial discrimination, racism and xenophobia against people of African descentin Europe.
Read the policy recommendations here.