Racial discrimination, harassment remain commonplace in EU – rights agency report

Racial discrimination and harassment remain commonplace throughout the European Union, according to the annual report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), released on June 6.

“Recognising this, EU institutions adopted measures to counter antisemitism and to tackle racism towards Afro-Europeans,” FRA said in a statement on the report.

“People because of their skin colour, religious belief or ethnicity continue to face widespread harassment, discrimination, entrenched prejudice and discriminatory ethnic profiling across the EU, as FRA’s surveys show”.

For example, one in five black people and nearly three in 10 Jews experience harassment.

“All EU Member States should therefore develop national action plans to fight racism and racial discrimination. They should also take a tougher stance against hate crime and hate speech through effective recording, investigating, prosecuting and trying alleged incidents.”

Refugee integration progressed despite diverse hurdles, the report said.

However, almost four in 10 Europeans consider migration as problematic and almost half overestimate the size of irregular migration.

Also, allegations of migrants including children being push backed, sometimes violently, across the EU’s external border and police mistreatment persist.

“Such actions underline the urgent need for member states to act now to stop such abuse, and to ensure asylum and return procedures respect EU asylum law and people’s human rights.”

Child poverty rates in the EU improved slightly but still one in four children are at risk of poverty, FRA said.

“This means that, in one of the richest regions of the world, there are children who go to bed hungry and live in poor conditions with their health and education suffering.”

For children with foreign parents, it is as high as four in 10.

Children from an ethnic minority continue to be marginalised, FRA said.

For example, 15 per cent of Roma children experience segregated education.

“The EU and its member states should therefore ring-fence funding for measures to reduce child poverty. They should also enhance efforts to address discrimination of minority children to boost social inclusion and their integration,” FRA said.

Many people across the EU risk being left behind, as growing intolerance and attacks on people’s fundamental rights continue to erode the considerable progress achieved to date, finds FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019.

“Fundamental rights alarm bells are ringing across the EU as inequalities, harassment and prejudices continue to grow,” said FRA director Michael O’Flaherty. “We need robust responses outlining how rights benefit us all and provide the answers to the inequalities that are holding us back from a fair and just society where everyone can prosper.”



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292