In an anti-racism and anti-Islamophobia gathering that took place in Belgium back in 2018, a beaming light was shone upon the unwavering and widespread racism that persists against individuals of African lineage. As declared by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), this form of racial discrimination remains relentless and pervasive.
Upon conducting a study among the black population living across 13 EU territories, it was unveiled that several of these individuals face the unsettling battles of discrimination and violence in their everyday lives. In instances like Germany, there has been a significant rise in individuals experiencing discrimination, the figures almost doubling since the previous study in 2018. Such alarming revelations thus serve as a wake-up call as suggested by the EU agency.
The struggle that black individuals face in securing employment and housing opportunities along with incidents of harassment that leave them deeply affected underlines the persistent pattern of bias and discrimination they face because of their skin colour. These findings of the FRA highlight the recurring injustice facing numerous black individuals in the EU.
Based on a survey of over 6,700 first- and second-generation black citizens residing across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, and Spain, it was found that the current year’s findings depict a concerning lack of progress in dealing with racism in comparison to findings from five years ago. Almost half of the African descent individuals who were surveyed have experienced racial discrimination, with an alarming increase from 39% in 2016 to 45% in 2022.
Michael O’Flaherty, director of the FRA, commented on the stark reality of racial bias in present EU societies where black individuals routinely face unfair treatment while seeking jobs or homes. In response to these growing concerns, Germany’s government has already taken a step to appoint its first anti-racism commissioner, Reem Alabali-Radovan.
Lower rates of harassment and racial discrimination were observed in Poland, Sweden, and Portugal among the 13 EU countries that were surveyed. This information surfaces at a time of increasing racialistic incidents and actions within certain EU countries, putting a spotlight on the need to fight against racial discrimination that has no place in a progressive society like Europe.
Against these shocking findings, Mr. O’Flaherty acknowledges the great extent of this scourge, expressing a deep sense of shock and shame. Despite the magnitude of the issue, steadfast resolve can be found in the shared promise of FRA to continue their work to ensure equality and dignity for all.