MINELRES: EUobserver: Racist crime on the up in eight EU states

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Thu Aug 30 08:57:43 2007

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Racist crime on the up in eight EU states

27.08.2007 - 18:01 CET | By Helena Spongenberg

The 27 European Union member states need to do more to ensure equal
opportunities for all, the first major report from the EU's recently
established Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) urges.

According to the 172-page report on "Racism and Xenophobia in the member
states of the EU" to be published on Tuesday (28 August), unequal
treatment and ethnic discrimination continues in employment, housing and

People face discrimination simply due to their foreign-sounding name,
while migrants and Roma often receive unequal treatment in housing and
limitation in their right to equal access to education.

Figures in the report also shows that racist violence and crime has
increased in a number of the member states in 2006. However, data
collection on the issue are still insufficient according to the Agency
and it is only possible to really see a trend in 11 of the 27 EU member

Racist violence and crime went up in Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland,
Poland, Slovakia, Finland and the UK, while it went down in Austria, the
Czech Republic and Sweden.

The remaining EU member states had inadequate data on such violence and
crime, while no data was available from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal
and Spain.

"There is ample evidence that racist violence and discrimination persist
and in fact are on the increase in parts of the EU," said Anastasia
Crickley from FRA.

"We must guarantee equal rights for everyone - not just on paper, but
also in practice," she added.

The agency argues however, that the EU's legislation on racial equality
is gradually stimulating positive change.

EU law

In 2000 the EU agreed to a race directive implementing the principle of
equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin,
and which each member state was required to incorporate within domestic

The Vienna-based agency started its work in March this year and was
built on the former European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia,
which came out with an annual report the issue.

As previous reports on racism and xenophobia also have suggested, the
new report points out that "there are continuing disturbing reports of
violence and malpractice against vulnerable minorities by agents of the
state - namely police, immigration and border control personnel." 

 2007 EUobserver, All rights

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