European Parliament adopts resolution on Fundamental Rights of People of African Descent
On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament adopted for the first time a resolution on the Fundamental Rights of People of African Descent. The Parliament calls on Member States and EU institutions to recognise that people of African descent are subjected to racism, discrimination and xenophobia, and that they are entitled to protection from this unequal treatment, both as individuals and as a group. The resolution further calls for positive measures so that people of African descent in Europe can fully and equally enjoy their rights.
According to the resolution, EU institutions and Member States should make greater efforts to fight ethnic discrimination and hate crimes and develop evidence-based legal and policy responses to these phenomena. Member States should also develop national anti-racism strategies that address the inequities that people of African descent face in areas such as education, housing, health, employment, policing, social services, the justice system and political participation and representation.
The resolution acknowledges previous research from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), which shows that people of African descent in Europe face high levels of racially motivated harassment and violence. A strikingly high number of people of African descent also report facing discrimination in the labour market and in finding housing. See the FRA report.
The European Parliament’s decision follows the EU’s first People of African Descent Week, which the Parliament hosted in May 2018. This event raised awareness of the 15 million people of African descent living in Europe and the difficulties and violence they face.