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Step up efforts against racism, says EUMC December 1, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, EU, Racism, racism and discrimination, Racist.

The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) today presented its Annual Report 2006. The report looks at racial discrimination and racist crime data. It also includes an overview of positive initiatives. The EUMC finds that migrants and ethnic minorities remain discriminated against across the EU in employment, education and housing. However, most Member States are unable to assess how far they have come in breaking the vicious circle of deprivation, prejudice and discrimination, as they still lack key data to monitor how their social and economic policies affect ethnic minority and migrant communities. Political leaders have a responsibility to give greater priority to measures which actively combat racial discrimination.

“Our Annual Report takes stock of how far we have come in the European Union in bringing greater fairness, respect and dignity to all members of our societies. The key message is that Member States, EU institutions, decision-makers and civil society must step up their efforts against racism and xenophobia, which can have no place in our diverse societies,” said Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of the EUMC Management Board. “Roma are a particular target for racist violence and crime, both at the hands of the general public and public officials. Members of the Jewish community continue to experience antisemitic incidents. Rising Islamophobia is an issue of particular concern. In effect, in spite of some heartening examples of good practice, I stand here today unable to say that there has been a substantial improvement with regard to racism and xenophobia in the EU Member States.”

Beate Winkler, Director of the EUMC, underlined: “Political leaders have a responsibility to lead on measures in their Member State which actively combat discrimination, thus reducing the danger of exclusion and alienation that currently affect migrants and ethnic minorities. Decision-makers should throw their weight behind the national measures called for by the EU’s anti-discrimination Directives, especially in those countries where response to them has been slow.”

Beate Winkler further pointed at the insufficient data collection on racism in many Member States: “Most Member States still lack the necessary data to monitor how social and economic policies affect their ethnic communities. These data gaps can result in ongoing discrimination in key areas remaining unnoticed. As a result, some ethnic minority groups may experience discrimination without adequate response from the State. Take the example of racist crime, where only two of the EU’s 25 Member States have comprehensive data collection systems in place. It would be inconceivable for Member States not to collect the relevant statistics to inform fiscal or economic policies – and the same must be done for policies to combat racism and xenophobia.”

The EUMC report lists policy initiatives and measures to be taken by governments and EU institutions, which could promote equality, combat racial discrimination and encourage better relations between majority and minority communities. The EUMC calls in particular for:

  • Full implementation of EU anti-discrimination law and use of all its provisions including positive action to ensure full equality in practice.
  • Putting in place more effective and comprehensive data collection systems and structures to coordinate data collection at the national level.
  • Non-discrimination and equality impact assessment of Government policy and practice regarding religious symbols.
  • More discrimination testing by EU countries and development of national level expertise to extend discrimination testing to other areas beyond employment.
  • Development of comprehensive National Action Plans against racism and discrimination, including data collection and addressing key policy areas.

Anastasia Crickley concluded: “While discrimination against ethnic minorities persists across the EU, at the same time more and more initiatives emerge to combat discrimination and racism, both from public and private sectors. We have come some way, but we still have a long way to go. More targeted policies, the full implementation of EU anti-discrimination law and better data collection systems are necessary.”

C.a.r.d {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: EUMC

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