European Parliament backs action against discrimination and harassment of people of African descent

The European Parliament today for the first time supported a report on the fundamental rights of people of African descent. Harassment and discrimination towards people of African descent remains commonplace in much of Europe.

S&D Group spokesperson on the issue Cécile Kyenge, who has herself been subject to repeated racially motivated attacks said:

“There are an estimated 15 million people of African descent living in Europe. These people are far more likely to be the victims of hate crimes, abuse and discrimination, than the majority of the population. Racial profiling and discrimination by police forces remains a common problem in many EU member states. The European Union has a duty to act to ensure that the fundamental rights of people of African descent are fully protected.

“Many of these issues stem from a history of colonialism that has not been properly addressed in the EU. Colonial archives must be opened up to ensure an honest conservation can take place about the crimes and injustices committed by western countries in Africa.

“The European Commission must make this a priority. We are calling for dedicated team to be set up with specific focus on Afrophobia issues and more funding to be made available for programmes focused on People of African descent.”

S&D Group MEP and author of the report Claude Moraes said:

“Just last night, members of the England football team were subject to a stream of racist abuse from opposition fans. This is just the most recent and high profile example of something that is all too common. People of African descent are routinely harassed and discriminated against across Europe. Too often, the response from authorities is just a slap on the wrist rather than meaningful action. This is unacceptable.

“We have seen a worrying rise in racist abuse and language in politics in Europe and around the world in the last few years. Our colleague Cécile Kyenge has repeatedly been the victim of that abuse and we stand in full solidarity with her in her ongoing court battles.

“Today the European Parliament backed its first ever comprehensive report on the rights of people of African descent, following the conclusions of the recent EU anti-discrimination week. This is a Europe wide issue that needs a European response