NEWS25 October 2023

EU study highlights racism towards people of African descent

Europe Inclusion News

EUROPE – Almost half of people of African descent in the European Union face racial discrimination in their daily lives, according to research from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

European Commission crop

In the FRA’s second Being Black in the EU report, it found that 45% of people of African descent in the EU had experienced racial discrimination in the past five years, rising to more than 70% in Germany and Austria.

The report also said that 30% had experienced racist harassment and 58% said their most recent police stop was the result of racial profiling.

At work, 34% felt racially discriminated against when looking for a job and 31% when at work in the previous five years.

Housing and poverty were highlighted as major issues in the report, which said that 33% of people of African descent faced difficulties making ends meet and 14% were struggling to heat their home, both of which were twice as high as the general population.

The report added that 31% said they faced racial discrimination when looking for accommodation, and young people of African descent were three times more likely to leave school early compared with the general population.

To tackle racism and discrimination, the FRA called on EU countries to properly enforce anti-discrimination legislation and to identify and record hate crimes.

EU countries should collect equality data, including on ‘ethnic or racial origin’, to assess the situation and monitor progress, as well as developing specific policies to address racism and racial discrimination in education, employment, housing and healthcare.

The FRA added that equality bodies needed have the necessary mandates and resources to tackle discrimination and support victims of racism and that countries should take steps to prevent and eradicate discriminatory institutional practices and culture in policing.

For the report, the FRA surveyed more than 6,700 people of African descent living in 13 EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Data was collected through face-to-face interviews using a computerised questionnaire in nine survey countries - Belgium, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden – between October 2021 and September 2022.

Online data collection was carried out in countries where access to the population register, containing information on a person’s country of birth or their parents’ country of birth, was available for sampling, specifically Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Luxembourg.

Michael O’Flaherty, director at the FRA, said: “It is shocking to see no improvement since our last survey in 2016. Instead, people of African descent face ever more discrimination just because of the colour of their skin.

“Racism and discrimination should have no place in our societies. The EU and its member states should use these findings to better target their efforts and ensure people of African descent too can enjoy their rights freely without racism and discrimination.”