On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, marked by the UN General Assembly on 21 March each year, countries around the world are urged to step up their efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, remembering the day when the police in South Africa killed 69 people protesting against racial segregation of the population.
Racism, what’s the problem?
The figures relating to discrimination based on race and ethnic origin are very telling. Recent findings of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ Survey on Minorities and Discrimination shows that 38% of respondents were discriminated against over the last five years. North Africans (45%), Roma (41%) and Sub-Saharan Africans (39%) were particularly affected. Discrimination was greatest when it came to looking for work (29%). And this is only the tip of the iceberg since 88% of ethnic discrimination, 90% of hate-motivated harassment and 72% of hate-motivated violence were not reported!
What are equality bodies doing about it?
Our Members, European equality bodies, work hard to take an active and determined part in the fight against racism at the national level.
Equinet as the European Network of Equality Bodies takes the learning (good practices, successes, failures…) from the experience of our Members at national level and puts it at the disposal of all the stakeholders involved in this battle against racial discrimination.
Over the years, several of our publications have specifically addressed the issue of racism and how to address it, for instance:
- Extending the Agenda: Equality Bodies Addressing Hate Speech (2018)
- Fighting Discrimination on the ground of Race and Ethnic Origin (2016)
- Report on the Implementation of the race and General Framework Directives (2013)
- Equality Bodies Combating Discrimination on the Ground of Racial or Ethnic Origin (2012)
Focus on Ethnic Profiling
We also have an upcoming factsheet on Ethnic Profiling, based on the discussions in November 2018, where we had a first of its kind event co-organized with the Open Society Justice Initiative, bringing together more than 30 Equality Bodies from across Europe with civil society representatives and other expert speakers to discuss equality bodies’ roles in countering ethnic profiling. Read more about the seminar here.
Equinet will continue in the coming years to bring forward the on-going contribution of equality bodies to a Europe that is free of racial prejudice and discrimination.