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Discrimination & intolerance: the worrying trends

Interview with Christian Ahlund, ECRI Chair
9'20'' 26 May 2016 Council of Europe Strasbourg

Christian Ahlund, Chair of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), describes the growing anti-immigrant sentiment and Islamophobia in Europe, identified among key trends by ECRI in its annual report for 2015. With the unprecedented, high number of migrants fleeing war, persecution and poverty, a commitment of European countries to democratic principles and human rights-oriented migration policies is needed. Some governments have been openly hostile and introduced restrictive border-control measures, while other countries have developed a “welcome culture”.

The Islamist terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen during 2015 were misused by populist political parties to stir up prejudice, and ECRI observed both a rise in anti-Semitism and continued discrimination against black persons, Roma, Travellers, historical ethnic minorities and LGBTI people. ECRI also found that austerity measures exacerbated the situation of vulnerable groups in several European countries.

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