Racial discrimination can be used forever

European human rights organizations stress that further efforts are needed to eradicate racial discrimination, especially in the workplace

Michael O'Flaherty, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Jean-Paul Lehners, President of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) of the Council of Europe, and Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), stressed the need for changes to ensure that basic human rights are equally respected for all people across Europe. They called for international and national anti-discrimination legislation to be enforced, including through tougher sanctions, and for labor practices to be further developed to promote the diversity Europe needs so that it does not lose touch in today's global economy.

"All forms of racism are detrimental to the creation of a just, equal and rule-of-law society," said FRA Director O’Flaherty. “The laws are there, but often ineffective. We need to strengthen our policies and procedures to remove the barriers that ethnic minorities stand in the way of exercising their basic right to work. "

He referred to a recent FRA survey on minorities and migrants which highlights the scale of the problem. Almost a third of the participants reported that they had been discriminated against when looking for a job. Half of those affected saw the reason for this in their skin color or appearance, while a third attributed the discrimination to their name.

“Access to employment is a key to the successful and long-term inclusion of all people in society,” emphasized Jean-Paul Lehners, President of ECRI. “With their recommendations to the member states of the Council of Europe, we want to motivate all interest groups to open up to diversity and to create an inclusive working culture. Both sides will benefit from this - the employees from an improved working environment and the employers from better work results. At the same time, we are actively striving to counteract new risks of discrimination that result from the use of new technologies such as B. the artificial intelligence. "

"Far too often people's ethnicity or skin color is used as an occasion for discrimination, so that those affected do not have equal access to the labor market or equal opportunities in the workplace," added ODIHR director Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir. “Roma and Sinti, the largest ethnic minority in Europe, face a high degree of discrimination when looking for work. This is an essential factor that contributes to the economic, social and political exclusion of these people. Governments must make concrete efforts to address discrimination against Roma and against all other groups. "

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir highlighted that all OSCE participating States have committed themselves to adopting effective legislation to combat racial and ethnic discrimination in all areas, including employment, and that they are included in their action plan to improve the situation of the Roma and Sinti in the OSCE area have undertaken to set up specialized institutions and mechanisms to ensure the enforcement of this legislation.

Today's International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination makes it clear that it is imperative to tackle widespread racial discrimination in all areas of life. Also, as we are entering the International Decade for People of African Descent, we should tackle the widespread and ingrained prejudice and marginalization that too many blacks are still exposed to because of their skin color.

With the increasing automation of decision-making processes, policy makers should also be aware of the risk that there is a risk that computer applications, such as those used in recruitment or insurance risk reviews, may be influenced by prejudice.

Positive actions such as workplace diversity audits, actions to recruit minorities in the public sector, and anonymized recruitment procedures are simple practical measures that can help progress.

In 1966, the United Nations declared March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in memory of 69 people who had been killed six years earlier in Sharpeville, South Africa, during a peaceful protest demonstration against the apartheid regime.