Black people face growing racism in EU: Study

25 Oct 2023 11:02pm
Image for illustrative purposes only. – FILE PIX
Image for illustrative purposes only. – FILE PIX

VIENNA - Black people in the EU face increasing levels of discrimination, with nearly half saying they have been affected by racism, according to a report published Wednesday.

45 per cent of respondents to an EU survey said they had experienced racism in the five years, compared to 39 per cent in 2016.

The highest levels of discrimination were found in Germany and Austria, where over 70 per cent of those surveyed said they are exposed to racism.

"It is shocking to see no improvement since our last survey in 2016. Instead, people of African descent face ever more discrimination," Michael O'Flaherty, director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) said in a press release.

For the report titled "Being Black in the EU" almost 6,800 people of African descent in 13 EU countries - including France, Germany and the UK - were surveyed between 2021 and 2022.

Yet in recent years the Black Lives Matter movement has helped to heighten "the community's awareness," Rossalina Latcheva, in charge of racism and discrimination issues at FRA told AFP.

But she also warned that the discourse on migration is "very often linked to a threat", impacting how black people "are perceived".

The report also highlights injustices prevalent in the labour market, with over 30 per cent of people reporting discrimination.

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"It takes a long time to access a job and to stay in the labour market," said Latcheva, noting that overqualified people are undervalued and "placed in low level jobs".

When it comes to access to housing, family names and accents can also be "a hindrance".

As a result, a third of the respondents have difficulties to "make ends meet", compared to 18 per cent of people generally.

The report also denounced the practice of racial profiling, stating that 58 per cent perceived their last police stop in the year before the survey to have been influenced by their colour of their skin.

This development has lead to a lack of trust in the police, especially in France, which has been singled out in recent years by international organisations for police violence.

In light of the report's findings, Latcheva recommends that political decision-makers should "work together with the police and increase training".

She also urges member states to collect data to combat the discriminatory practice effectively.

"Member States have to improve effectiveness of the regulation and adopt dissuasive sanctions," she said.

Only nine per cent of people nowadays report discrimination because they fear that "it will not change anything". - AFP