Migrants, minorities hit by high level of discrimination in EU

Migrants and minorities in the EU face "shocking" levels of discrimination and most fail to report incidents to authorities, an EU report showed.

Migrants, minorities hit by high level of discrimination in EU

Migrants and minorities in the European Union face "shocking" levels of discrimination and most fail to report incidents to authorities, a report from the bloc's main rights body showed on Wednesday.

The survey, covering 23,000 people from all EU countries, showed that ethnic minorities were regularly discriminated against in all aspects of their daily lives from the workplace to classrooms to hospital waiting rooms.

Roma people were the worst affected group, followed by sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans, the survey, published by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), said.

"The results reveal shocking evidence about the discrimination faced by minorities in everyday life," it said.

The European Union, which enacted legislation against discrimination in 2000, had previously never polled such a wide swathe of its population on the issue, researchers said.

"The figures are, for many groups, quite shocking," Jo Goodey, who led the research, said. "For us, this underlines the fact that this is a problem which needs addressing."

The most significant area of discrimination was at work and in the process of looking for jobs, "which of course is crucial if you think we are in a time of economic downturn," she added.

Minorities were also unfairly treated in the areas of health, housing, education and law enforcement, with one in five North Africans reporting that they had been stopped by police because of their race, Goodey said.

More than 80 percent of people questioned said they had not bothered to report discrimination to any authority because they believed nothing would happen. Almost half of all respondents were unaware of laws against discrimination, FRA said.

"I've worked in human rights for 25 years and I was surprised by the magnitude of discrimination and also the lack of recording," Morten Kjaerum, director of the agency, said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2009, 08:30
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