Black people have been the target of “prejudice” and “racism” in the European Union (EU), according to an EU agency.
The report, titled “Being Black in the EU,” was published by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on Wednesday.
It reflects the dire situation of black people in the bloc despite the legal banning of racial discrimination on the continent.
Colored people living in the EU “face widespread and entrenched prejudice and exclusion,” it said. “Racial discrimination and harassment are commonplace. Experiences with racist violence vary greatly across countries, but reach as high as 14 %. Discriminatory profiling by the police, too, is a common reality. Hurdles to inclusion are multi-faceted.”
FRA’s director, Michael O’Flaherty, said in a foreword to the report that, “Racism based on the color of a person’s skin remains a pervasive scourge throughout the European Union.”
The report surveyed some 6,000 people of African descent in 12 EU member states, including the more prosperous and industrial countries of France, Germany, and the UK, which have significant numbers of colored people.
A quarter of all those surveyed said they had been stopped by police in the past five years. Many of them characterized the police stop as an instance of racial profiling.
The FRA said racial profiling is “an unlawful practice that undermines… trust in law enforcement authorities.”
UK police chiefs earlier this month raised concerns among black and ethnic minorities, as well as human rights advocates, by suggesting the expansion of controversial “stop and search” powers, which have disproportionately targeted black people.
Respondents in the EU survey had also experienced discrimination in education, employment, and housing sectors, according to the report.
More than a quarter of the respondents said they had faced unequal treatment in at least one of the aforementioned areas in the previous five years. Fourteen percent of the respondents said they had been denied access to renting accommodation by a private landlord because of their race or ethnicity.
The rights agency called on EU governments to take a strong stand against racism and discrimination.