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2012, austerity, economy, Europe, European Union, general, violence

Czech Helsinki Committee/ENAR: Economic decline raises racial discrimination and racism around Europe

The economic crisis is having a negative impact on members of ethnic minorities and migrants, making them particularly vulnerable to unemployment and insecure labor conditions. Commercial decline is also creating concerns among the wider public and spurring on racist behavior. Many countries are also making financial cuts in the area of anti-racism, leading to reduced activity in the fight against racism and xenophobia. Those are some of the conclusions of the European Network against Racism (ENAR), which has published its Shadow Report on the State of Racism in Europe 2010-2011 on the occasion of the International Day against Racism, 21 March.

The Shadow Report on the Czech Republic is available here:

The Shadow Report on Europe is available here:

The report on Europe, based on data gathered by civil society organizations fighting against racism throughout Europe, emphasizes that ethnic and religious minorities face discrimination and social exclusion in Europe in all areas of life, from education to employment, from housing to politics. For example, in Spain, an immigrant was fired from his job for asking for a contract after working 10 hours a day, six days a week, for two months and being paid a total of EUR 600. In Romania, the average life span of a Romani person is 10 years shorter than that of other Europeans, and almost half of Romani children do not receive vaccinations.

Racially motivated violence, committed both by neo-Nazis and other perpetrators, is on the rise along with the growing success of ultra-right movements and parties in Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Poland and the United Kingdom. The report also emphasizes that people of African origin are particularly subjected to racial discrimination and racism in several EU Member States, as their visibility increases their vulnerability. In the United Kingdom, for example, people with dark skin are six times more likely to be subjected to controls and searches than are light-skinned people. In Spain as many as 36.8 % of landlords refuse to lease real estate to people from sub-Saharan Africa.

Even though the EU Member States have implemented anti-discrimination legislation, only a few cases have been submitted to the bodies entrusted with adjudicating them, and legal regulations are often not applied in practice. The President of ENAR, Chibo Onyeji, said: “Today in particular, on the International Day against Racism, it is disturbing to see that discrimination and racism continue to be such omnipresent, significant phenomena in the EU. Politicians must demonstrate more initiative. Equal access to education, employment and housing are essential to building a prosperous, united society, which is even more important during a time of economic crisis. We cannot allow entire groups in the population to be left out.”

“Unfortunately, it is necessary to say that the situation in the Czech Republic is not any more favorable in this regard than elsewhere. On the contrary, we have noted that in many areas the quality of minority people’s lives has rapidly deteriorated. The report on the Czech Republic shows that the approach taken by the media is contributing to the rise in hatred of minorities among the broader public, as the media does not report in a balanced way and often provides insufficient space to minorities and their perspectives,” says Czech Helsinki Committee director Markéta Kovaříková.

via – Czech Helsinki Committee/ENAR: Economic decline raises racial discrimination and racism around Europe.



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