A United Against Racism march in Dublin

Source: Sam Boal via Rollwingnews

Black people face 'dire picture' of racism in Europe

Ireland has been ranked as the second worst among EU countries where black people have experienced “racist violence”.

IRELAND HAS BEEN ranked the second worst among EU countries where black people have experienced “racist violence”, according to a report published today. 

Entitled Being Black in the EU, the report is based on interviews carried out in 2015 and 2016 with more than 5,800 people in 12 EU countries including France, Germany and the UK.

The report found that black people in the EU continue to face “widespread and entrenched prejudice” in many areas of life, as well as racist harassment and attacks. 

Overall, 30% of respondents said they had experienced a form of racist harassment at some point in the five years before the survey, while in Ireland 51 % of people of African descent said they had experienced hate-motivated harassment, compared with 21 % in the UK. 

5% of those surveyed said they had experienced a violent attack. Among those, more than 10% said the perpetrator was a law enforcement officer. In Ireland,  13% of respondents said they had experienced racist violence, coming in joint second place with Austria while Finland ranked first with 14%. 

The lowest rates were observed in Portugal (2 %) and the United Kingdom (3 %).

Prevalence of perceived racist violence in 5 years before the survey, by country (%) 

Source: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

In all cases of violent attacks, more than 60% of respondents had not reported the incident to officials, with many saying they felt reporting would not change anything or that they did not trust the police.

“Racism based on the colour of a person’s skin remains a pervasive scourge throughout the European Union,” Michael O’Flaherty, director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), said in the foreword to the report.

The survey results paint a dire picture of reality on the ground. 

Skin colour was the most commonly identified ground of discrimination, mentioned by 27 % of respondents, with higher rates for men (30 %) than for women (24 %). The second most commonly identified ground of discrimination was ethnic origin at 19 %. Some 5% of respondents felt discriminated against because of their religion or religious beliefs.

The report also draws on respondents’ experiences of police stops. A quarter of all those surveyed said they had been stopped by police in the previous five years, with 41% among them characterising the last stop as racial profiling.

The FRA report also details respondents’ experiences of discrimination in the education, employment and housing sectors, with over a quarter of respondents saying they had faced unequal treatment in at least one of those areas in the previous five years.

For example, 14% said they had been prevented from renting accommodation by a private landlord because of their racial or ethnic origin.

The FRA urged governments to combat discrimination and racial profiling by police and to ensure that victims of abuse are able to seek redress.

“A particularly unsettling pattern is that younger individuals tend to experience more discrimination and exclusion than older individuals,” O’Flaherty said of the report’s findings.

With reporting from AFP 

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