The year ahead and looking back: ENAR’s impact in 2017 and plans for 2018

ENAR’s continued work on legislative and policy developments at European level has once again led to some achievements in 2017 – despite a tense political context where our vision of a society ensuring full equality, solidarity and well-being for all seems a distant hope.

Change is happening. Excruciatingly slowly from the perspective of victims of racism and related discrimination and all those who support them, we are all aware of that. Still, the expected paradigm shift towards fully inclusive and caring societies is slowly making headway, under the radar of policy making, within large segments of civil society. We are contributing to this shift by holing out spaces of dignity, respect and equality in otherwise polarising and excluding legislation, policies and practices.

Our collective efforts will continue in 2018 to harvest and further spread these promising seeds. Because they are good for us and the constituencies we serve, of course, but also because they will bring us an inch closer to the dignified and inclusive societies we are all striving toward.

Michael Privot, ENAR Director

Key highlights in 2017

New data on migration from an anti-racism perspective

Our shadow report on migration and racism in the EU contributed key data and analysis on the impact of migration policies on racialised migrants. We launched the results of our survey of recently arrived migrants (over 5,000 respondents across 5 EU countries) which provides a unique insight into their experiences of overall well-being, employment, crime and housing, and gives a voice to the human beings behind the headlines and policies. Our practical toolkit for employers on the inclusion of refugees in the labour market was quoted by the UN Refugee Agency and the EU Fundamental Rights Agency as one of the best documents providing concrete steps for the labour market integration of migrants.

Afrophobia on the map

After several years of advocacy, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published a human rights blog on Afrophobia calling Europe to confront its legacy of colonialism and the slave trade. This is the first publication by a high-level human rights actor in Europe on the topic. We also managed to put Afrophobia of the agenda of both the European Parliament and the EU High level Group on Racism, Xenophobia and other forms of Intolerance for the first time ever.

Crucial analysis and positioning on women of colour

Our campaign on debunking myths on Muslim women and feminism was widely shared on social media. Our position on the European Court of Justice’s ruling on headscarf bans at work was very visible in the media and we also put intersectionality and discrimination against women of colour in the spotlight at the EU fundamental rights colloquium on women’s rights. This coincided with the first seminar of our Equal@Work platform dedicated to women of colour in employment.

Concrete inroads on equality data

Following years of advocacy, the European Commission published a new handbook on equality data collection, which includes concrete recommendations for Member States, and is working on guidelines on equality data collection.

Our plans for 2018

EQUALITY DATA: We will contribute to the work of the Fundamental Rights Agency and the European Commission on equality data, support members in their national advocacy strategies and continue to advocate for the European Commission to issue guidelines to Member States on how to collect safe and inclusive data to measure discrimination.

RACIST CRIME: We will continue to monitor and expose incidents of racist crime and speech across Europe. We will call for hate crime EU law guidance.

SECURITY: We will continue to call for human rights impact assessment of security policies. We will contribute to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency upcoming handbook on unlawful profiling and push for EU recognition of the issue of ethnic profiling. We will produce a toolkit for NGOs and a report on the impact of counter-terrorism policies on groups at risk of racism. We will also start developing a toolkit on preventing radicalisation among young people.

EMPLOYMENT: We will continue to call for the removal of labour market barriers affecting ethnic and religious minorities and migrants, including those working in the EU institutions. We will publish our yearly European Shadow Report on discrimination in employment and issue a toolkit for employers on women of colour in employment. We will hold our annual Equal@work seminar on diversity management with business, trade unions and NGO partners.

MIGRATION: We will work to ensure non-discrimination and equal rights are key elements of integration and employment standards and policies, such as the EU Blue Card Directive for highly qualified third country workers. We will follow up discussions about the future of the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and monitor the implementation of national action plans for integration. We will promote efforts to ensure inclusion of migrants in higher education curricula.

COMBATING FORMS OF RACISM: We will advocate for EU standards on National Action plans Against Racism which address specific forms of racism, including Afrophobia, Antigypsyism, Islamophobia and Antisemitism, and contribute to civil society consultations on National Action plans Against Racism in some Member States. We will publish a book on Antigypsyism and ensure combating Antigypsyism is central to EU and national Roma inclusion strategies. We will ensure the European Parliament takes a stand on combating Afrophobia in the European Union, including by organising a People of African Descent Week in the Parliament. We will hold a symposium on intersectionality of racism and other forms of discrimination.

MOBILISATION: There will be ongoing work to strengthen the ENAR network and mobilise communities towards substantive equality. We will support national projects by ENAR members on our strategic priorities. We will continue to engage minority-led organisations in the anti-racism movement. A key moment for the network will be the celebration of ENAR’s 20th anniversary at our Annual General Assembly.

COMMUNICATIONS: We will continue to make strategic use of traditional and social media to communicate our messages to our key audiences and help achieve our objectives. We will also strengthen our communication strategy, including by developing effective messaging and framing to shape the media and political discourse on racial equality.

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