Thursday, April 23, 2009
Gypsies suffer widespread racism in European Union
Ian Traynor in Brussels.
The Guardian, Thursday 23 April 2009
Racism and discrimination across the EU is far more widespread than previously thought, with Europe's estimated 12 million Roma, or Gypsy, population, being a special target, an EU agency warns.
In what is claimed to be the most comprehensive survey of victimisation suffered by Europe's minority and immigrant communities, the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency said "racially motivated crime is an everyday experience".
While all minorities reported disturbing levels of harassment, the Roma, scattered mainly across central Europe and the Balkans, and black people, were particularly singled out for abuse, the survey said.
Based on detailed questioning of almost 30,000 people in all 27 EU states, the survey found that 55% of immigrant or minority populations believed racism was rife in their countries, with more than one in three having suffered racist conduct, 12% being victims of racist crime and 4% being physically assaulted or threatened.
One in four Roma respondents said they had been assaulted, threatened, or harassed four times on average in a 12-month period. "They emerge as the group most vulnerable to discrimination," said Morten Kjaerum, director of the Vienna-based agency.
Levels of racism and discrimination were not reflected in police or official statistics, the report said, because of the victims' lack of confidence in the authorities.
Posted by Morgan at 6:50 PM