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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Poor marks on racism

A survey on racism in Europe, released by the Vienna based European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, has been widely publicised in the international press. The report states that tracking the scope of the problem is difficult because a number of European nations fail to provide basic data on racial violence and other forms of discrimination. Malta is one of the countries mentioned amongst the culprits. From the International Herald Tribune:

Most European Union nations are doing little to report racist incidents or discrimination, particularly in the sectors of employment, housing and education, the EU's racism monitoring agency said Tuesday. The agency gave EU governments poor marks in its report for 2005 on the state of racism and xenophobia in the 25-nation bloc, concluding that the EU as a whole must increase efforts to fight to combat discrimination.

Beate Winkler, director of the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia, said most member states "still lack the necessary data to monitor how social and economic policies affect their ethnic communities." She told reporters that this lack of information "can result in ongoing discrimination in key areas remaining unnoticed."

"Unfortunately we cannot sit here ... and say that the situation has improved," said Anastasia Crickley, who chairs the EU agency's management board. She called on EU governments to adopt an approved EU law setting out a standard definition of racism. Once all member states can use a single definition, they will be able to collect information on racist attacks. The report said only Britain and Finland had "comprehensive" systems in place to report on racist violence, collecting details about victims and the locations of incidents.

It said no official data was available at all on racist violence and crime from Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta. "As a result, some ethnic minority groups may experience discrimination without adequate response from the state," Winkler said. The agency said statistics were essential in fighting the root causes of racism and xenophobia...
Download report here

Anonymous Aaron said...

Dear Robert,

I was really shocked to read that Malta is lagging behind in this area. The Labour Youth Forum (FZL)(Hamrun branch) participated until this very day in 5 youth exchanges all tackling racism, discrimination and xenophobia in Europe. Our contribution was significant and appreciated. In January 2007, 25 organisations will be meeting in Paris not only to discuss the topics mentioned above but to launch a new youth international / supranational organisation. I will be there on behalf of the Labour Youth Forum Hamrun since i`ll be one of the founding members of this organisation. Hopefully my presence, my ideas and my contribution will amend the perception about Malta given in this report. 

Friday, December 01, 2006 8:33:00 AM

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