RACE HATE crime against children has reached a 3-year high,1 an NPSCC investigation has found. This included crimes against children under one.
Childline held 2,617 counselling sessions about race and faith based bullying between 2015/16 and 2017/18. Girls were more likely to speak to Childline than boys, and children aged 12-15 were the most likely to get in touch.
Children told Childline they were being targeted because of how they looked, and reported being told to “go back to their own country”.
Some tried to change their appearance using makeup, while others said they didn’t want to tell their parents because they were worried about upsetting them.
In a statement provided to NSPCC, one young girl said: “My friends won’t hang out with me anymore because people started asking why they were friends with someone who had dirty skin.
“I was born in the UK but bullies tell me to go back to my own country. I’ve tried to make my face whiter before using makeup so that I can fit in.”
The findings follow a recent survey which revealed racism against black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) people has risen since the Brexit vote.
Those from an ethnic minority background who said they had been targeted by a stranger rose from 64 per cent in January 2016 to 76 per cent in February this year, The Guardian reported.
People from a black background reported the highest increase in discrimination. Seventy-four per cent of those surveyed said they had been subjected to abuse or discrimination in February and March of this year, compared to 65 per cent in October 2016 and 59 per cent in January 2016.
Atiyah Wazir, a counselor for the telephone service, added: “Over the eight years that I’ve volunteered as a counselor it is just as heartbreaking every single time a child tells you they wish they looked different.”
“These children have been made to feel shame and guilt and sometimes daren’t tell their mums or dads about it because they don’t want to worry or hurt their feelings. I want every child to know that this bullying is not OK, they have nothing to be ashamed of, and Childline is always here to listen.”