Monday, October 25, 2010

European Ethnic Minorities: Discrimination & Rights Awareness

Recently, The European Agency for Fundamental Rights, conducted a survey among 23,500 people from selected immigrant and ethnic minority groups in all 27 Member States of the European Union. The purpose of the survey was to gauge the respondent’s feelings on personal experiences of discrimination and racial profiling. Much of the study focused on the Roma, who as a group experience significant discrimination within the EU.

The results of the survey were originally presented in 2009 at the Fundamental Rights Conference. Throughout 2010, the results were re-released in reports on key issues, such as Police Stops. The subject matters vary and more details can be found here:

Focusing on the Belgian experience, the report found:

“In Belgium, 85% of majority population respondents found the police respectful during their last police stop, compared to 42% of North African and 55% of Turkish respondents.”

Furthermore, it was overwhelmingly common that the minorities discriminated against were not likely to report their experiences. This also reaffirmed the reality that victims of discrimination were unlikely to report their situations, not aware of their right to file a complaint.

All of the outputs can be found at the above link.

While this is a different platform, the findings can easily mirror the situations in Canada. It seems that many cases of discrimination are left unreported as many are unaware of the methods to raise a complaint, unaware of their rights, and may be afraid to raise an issue against a powerful institution like the police.

How can we remedy such experiences and concerns? In this study, some solutions put forward were to encourage those who suffer to raise complaints, provide them access, and give them the sufficient tools to properly report. These are ambitious and beneficial goals which are within the scope of LEAP’s numerous projects including our partnership with Windsor Law’s Community Legal Aid Clinic.

What sorts of remedies would you bring forward? How effective would you expect them to be?

Lindsay Traves
(Windsor Law I)

1 comment:

  1. Many of these minorities who have been discriminated against during a police investigation may feel that bringing their complaint to the proper authorities will lead to further discrimination. They may fear that their story will be deemed 'fabricated' or 'illegitimate.' I believe that a billboard campaign encouraging people to report racial profiling would be beneficial. This campaign would likely work best in the 'inner-city' region of municipalities. This campaign is not a complete solution to the problem of racial profiling and discrimination, but it definitely will have a tangible effect in regards to decreasing the amount of people who are racially-profiled and discriminated against. These billboards will be easily seen by the police officers who sometimes facilitate discrimination, and may cause these officers to take a look at their own conduct, and in turn cause them to make the appropriate adjustments in the way they carry out their investigations. Matt G Law I