The European Parliament has demanded bloc-wide action including “reparations” to fight “structural racism” which manifests in people of African descent in Europe getting lower school grades and increased police scrutiny, according to Brussels.
In what was described as a “landmark” resolution passed on Tuesday with 535 in favour to 80 votes against, and 44 abstentions, EU member states were ordered “to develop anti-racism policies and stop discrimination in the fields of education, housing, health, criminal justice, political participation and migration”.
“In light of increasing afrophobic attacks, MEPs call on the European Commission and EU member states to acknowledge the racist, discriminatory and xenophobic suffering of Afro-Europeans, and offer proper protection against these inequalities to ensure that hate crimes are suitably investigated, prosecuted and sanctioned,” EU Parliament said in a statement.
“MEPs condemn the mistreatment of people of African descent in police custody, citing the numerous violent incidents and deaths that have occurred while in custody. They also note the frequent use of racial and ethnic profiling in criminal law enforcement, counter-terrorism measures and immigration control, and urge member states to end this practice.”
Calling on Brussels to establish a dedicated team of officials focused on combating ‘Afrophobia’, and to adopt “a workforce diversity and inclusion strategy” to boost the proportion of staff with an African background in its workforce, the resolution also orders the Commission to raise spending on taxpayer-funded programmes dedicated to helping EU residents with African origins.
In addition, it demands reparations, and that countries across Europe ensure every child receives “comprehensive” schooling on slavery and colonialism, in the context of Africa.
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“The resolution encourages EU institutions and member states to address and rectify past injustices and crimes against humanity, perpetrated in the name of European colonialism. These historic crimes still have present-day negative consequences for people of African descent,” alleges the statement.
“MEPs suggest carrying out reparations, such as apologising publicly and return stolen artefacts to their countries of origin. Parliament also calls on EU countries to declassify their colonial archives, as well as to present a comprehensive perspective on colonialism and slavery in the educational curricula.”
It adds: “Approximately 15 million people of African descent currently live in Europe. They face persistent discrimination and are subject to deeply rooted negative stereotyping.
“Evidence suggests that Afro-European children receive lower grades at school than their white counterparts, and their rate of early school leaving is markedly higher.”
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The resolution was drawn up by Congolese-born MEP and pro-mass migration activist, Cécile Kyenge, who last year argued that racism in Europe must be combated by “assisting” native EU citizens to come to terms with “the change of population” she claimed would be an inevitable part of globalisation.
MEPs’ signing of the resolution came shortly after institutions including the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) issued a statement instructing countries in the bloc to establish new rules favouring ethnic minorities in the workplace.
According to the self-styled human rights organisations, it is vital that EU countries engineer equality of outcome between migrant populations and natives in the continent’s jobs market in order to ensure the bloc is equipped with “the diversity Europe needs to remain relevant” in a global economy.
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