A recent report outlines the forms of racism and discrimination suffered by more than one million immigrants who sought refuge in the European Union in 2015-2016. Politicians, the media and far-right groups are among those responsible.
leaves little room for doubt.
The study presented is based on responses given by 26 European Union member states, and sheds light on the fact that more than one million individuals tried to seek asylum in the area.
As an example, Italy and Greece carried out emergency management rather than planning multidimensional studies relating to shelter. Many member states are not implementing long-term strategies, rather seeking to turn themselves solely into transit countries. That is the case in Croatia, Hungary, Italy and Greece.
While several nations emphatically rejected Muslim immigrants, there were also cases where those coming from Africa seeking humanitarian aid were considered to be ‘economic’ or ‘illegal’ immigrants.
The report also mentions politicians and the media, accusing them of delivering racist, hateful and anti-immigrant discourses with complete impunity. Moreover, it notes that EU member states are increasingly prioritising national sovereignty over the principles of the block.
Another warning has to do with the increasing support of far-right and centre-right political parties and groups, which call the shots when it comes to anti-migratory discourse.
ENAR warns the problem is that such stances are being accepted and are spreading dangerously throughout the political spectrum.
Two particular cases notably influenced the criminalisation of Muslim immigrants. The terrorist attacks in France and Belgium in 2015 and 2016 were precursors to a wave of Islamophobic and hateful rhetoric towards immigrants. Likewise, the introduction of new border policies and anti-terrorist measures in some member states led to discrimination, which was witnessed by civil society and various organisations throughout the continent.
ENAR notes the high level of effectiveness achieved by Islamophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-European Union discourses stoked by far-right groups.
Nevertheless, the report does note integration efforts in some countries, where new arrivals are encouraged to adapt to ‘our values’, and which also seek to promote labour market integration.
The problem certainly arises when labour market integration falls solely on immigrants, who are faced with a series of obstacles such as restrictions, discrimination, their qualifications not being recognised and language. The result of all of this is that many end up working under the table or are exploited.
Photos: ENAR and Pixabay – (Translated by Abaigh Wheatley – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)