Ireland ‘among worst’ for racism

IRELAND ranks among the worst countries in Europe in terms of discrimination against ethnic minorities from sub-Saharan Africa, a European report has revealed.

The Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) surveyed more than 23,000 people from ethnic minority and immigrant groups about their experiences of discrimination, racist crime, and policing in the EU. Members of the Roma people said they suffered more discrimination across the whole of Europe, but in Ireland sub-Saharan Africans were more likely to be discriminated against.

According to the report: “Looking at a breakdown of the results according to specific groups in member states, the ‘top 10’ experiencing the highest levels of discrimination over a 10-month period were, in descending order: Roma in the Czech Republic (64%); Africans in Malta (63%); Roma in Hungary (62%); Roma in Poland (59%); Roma in Greece (55%); Sub-Saharan Africans in Ireland (54%); north Africans in Italy (52%); Somalis in Finland (47%); Somalis in Denmark (46%), and Brazilians in Portugal (44%).”

The survey also showed the overwhelming majority of respondents did not report their experiences of discrimination, and also in many cases did not report assaults, threats and serious harassment.

The report stated: “The main reason given by all respondents for not reporting discrimination was the belief nothing would happen as a result of reporting.

“Another common reason for not reporting was lack of knowledge about how to go about reporting. On average, 82% of those who were discriminated against in the past 12 months did not report their most recent experience of discrimination either at the place where it occurred or to a competent authority,” it said.

There was also a distrust of the police, particularly among the Roma community.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties said it was dismayed with the findings and queried why many of the functions of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), abolished last year, had still not been absorbed into the Office of the Minister for Integration.

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