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Racism 'all too common' for black people in EU

RACISM: A new study has highlighted the discrimination black people are facing in EU member countries

RACISM AGAINST black people in EU countries is “all too common”, a new study has revealed.

According to research by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) black people in the EU face unacceptable difficulties with regards to everything from finding somewhere to live to getting a job because of the racism they are subjected to.

Michael O’Flaherty, the director of the FRA, said: “In the 21st century, there is no excuse for racial discrimination. Yet black people in the EU today are still victims of widespread and unacceptable levels of discrimination and harassment simply because of their skin colour.

“We need to stamp this out once and for all. For this, Member States need effective and targeted policies and laws to ensure black people are fully included in our society.”

The study, Being Black in the EU, which surveyed 5,803 people, found that 30 per cent of respondents said they had been victims of racial harassment in the last five years, while 5 per cent have been subjected to physical abuse on the basis of their race.

The rate of racist harassment in the UK was 21 per cent, rising to 63 per cent in Finland. Some of the lowest rates for violence motivated by racism (3 per cent) were recorded by respondents in the UK.

Respondents from the UK were also the most aware about the anti-discrimination legislation in their country, with 87 per cent of those surveyed saying they were aware of their rights.

When it comes to finding a job, the research revealed that young black people are especially vulnerable. In some EU member states, 76 per cent of young black people are out of work and not in education or training. This figure compares to 8 per cent of the general population.

Racial profiling by the police was also highlighted as an issue. Of those surveyed, 24 per cent said they had been stopped by the police in the last five years and 41 per cent of those who had been stopped said they believed the interaction was an incident of racial profiling. For those stopped in the last 12 months, those who believed the stop was motivated by their ethnicity or immigrant background rose to 44 per cent. In Italy, 70 per cent of respondents believed this to be the case.

The FRA called on countries within the EU to employ methods specifically targeted at countering such discrimination such as workplace diversity audits and recruitment drives aimed at attracting black employees for public sector roles.

O’Flaherty said: “It is a reality both shameful and infuriating: racism based on the colour of a person’s skin remains a pervasive scourge throughout the European Union.”

The report has been created using the responses of immigrants and descendants of immigrants of African descent in 12 countries including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. Black Europeans who have settled in Europe for at least three generations were not included in the study.

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