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Racism ‘shocking and shameful’ – EU survey

Black people in 13 member states face continued discrimination “because of the color of their skin,” a report says

Racism against people of African descent is on the rise in the EU, according to the findings of a report released by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on Wednesday.

The survey of first- and second-generation black immigrants in 13 EU countries found that around one-third of over 6,700 respondents said they had been racially discriminated against over the past 12 months – a rise of ten percentage points from a prior survey conducted six years ago.

“It is shocking to see no improvement since our last survey in 2016,” Michael O’Flaherty, director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, said in a press release on Wednesday. “Instead, people of African descent face ever more discrimination just because of the color of their skin.”

The data tracked in Germany and Austria reflected a sharp rise in claims of racist abuse, with around two-thirds (64%) polled in both EU countries saying they had experienced racial discrimination recently. This is a rise of 33% from the last survey, meaning that reports of racial abuse have doubled in the past six years.

However, France, Luxembourg and Portugal saw fewer instances of racism reported by black people compared to the previous survey.

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Among the difficulties faced by black immigrants in the various EU countries included discrimination in securing housing and employment, as well as aggressive harassment which can leave victims feeling “deeply traumatized,” the EU agency said.

“Let us say this yet again: racism has no place in Europe,” O’Flaherty wrote in the foreword of the report. “Being confronted with the true scale of racism is both shocking and shameful.”

He added that the research “should be a wakeup call for action on equality and inclusion for people of African descent.”

Elsewhere, the report also claimed that one in four black people said they had been stopped by police in the past five years – with around half saying they felt this was due to racial profiling. Young black people were also found to be more likely to leave education early than their white counterparts.

Despite the findings, the authors of the study said that many instances of racism in Europe “remain invisible.”

“Incidents of racial discrimination, racist harassment and violence often go unreported,” O’Flaherty wrote. “People’s voices go unheard.”

The poll surveyed black people living in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Sweden and Spain.


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