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Combating Afrophobia, or anti-Black racism, in Europe

Doc. 15306: collection of written amendments | Doc. 15306 | 24/06/2021 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1Afrophobia, or anti-Black racism, is a form of racism that targets people of African descent and black people and manifests itself through acts of direct, indirect and institutional discrimination, as well as violence, including hate speech. Based on socially constructed ideas of “race” and reflecting the groundless belief that certain “racial” groups are biologically or culturally inferior to others, Afrophobia seeks to dehumanise and deny the dignity of its victims.
2In spite of national antidiscrimination legislation and policies and international human rights obligations of Council of Europe member States, racism, including Afrophobia, is still rife in Europe.
3An estimated 15 million people of African descent and black Europeans are part of the population of our continent, either as migrants or established for generations. They come from all walks of life and have contributed to Europe’s development and culture for centuries. Their contribution is not adequately recognised and even the numerical size of this group is not acknowledged, due to data collection regulations in some countries that do not take into consideration ethnic origin. This lack of data hinders the design, implementation, and assessment of antidiscrimination measures.
4In 2020, the tragic death of George Floyd due to police violence, followed by widespread protests on both sides of the Atlantic, and the disproportionate impact of the Covid19 pandemic on people of African descent and black people (among other vulnerable minorities) have sparked new awareness among Europeans of the extent and severity of Afrophobia. Increased public awareness, together with strong support to anti-racist protests from political leaders at national and European level, have opened a window of opportunity that should be seized without hesitation.
5The Parliamentary Assembly observes that racism is rooted in colonial history and that the injustice of colonisation and enslavement is still reflected in today’s structural and institutional discrimination against people of African descent in Europe. Racism, including Afrophobia or anti-Black racism, fatally undermines the mission and core values of the Council of Europe and eradicating it must be an absolute priority for the Organisation and its member States.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 5, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly highlights the need to adopt an intersectional approach and to address the unique forms of discrimination faced by people of African descent in relation to intersecting grounds including age, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity."

6The Assembly reiterates that public figures, including politicians, have an important role to play in combating racism in all its forms, and firmly condemns the use of xenophobic and racist rhetoric and propaganda, particularly in these contexts. A proactive and concerted effort is required to counter racism, including Afrophobia; remaining silent in the face of its manifestations can only perpetuate inequality and discrimination.
7The Assembly stresses that education is key to combating racism and that the cultural industries, including traditional and online media, should embrace diversity and promote a culture of inclusion that firmly rejects racism and xenophobia.
8The Assembly recalls its Resolution 1968 (2014) “Tackling racism in the police” and most recently Resolution 2364 (2021) “Ethnic profiling in Europe: a matter of great concern”, in which it called on member States to take determined action against ethnic profiling through a range of measures, including ensuring diversity in the recruitment of police forces so as to reflect the diversity of the population, as well as Resolution 2339 (2020) “Upholding human rights in times of crisis and pandemics: gender, equality and non-discrimination”, which highlighted that people of African descent, among others, have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic due to persisting inequalities.
9The Assembly supports the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) proclaimed by the United Nations and supports the activities of its relevant specialised agencies, bodies and procedures, particularly at European level. It welcomes the adoption by the European Commission Anti-racism Action Plan 2020-2025.
10The Assembly commends the work of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), reiterates its full support to the Commission and highlights the need for Council of Europe member States to effectively implement its standards.
11In the light of these considerations, the Assembly calls on the Council of Europe member States to take determined action to eradicate Afrophobia, or anti-Black racism, and all other forms of racism and to:
11.1recognise Afrophobia, or anti-black racism, as a specific form of racism;
11.2endeavour to recognise the legacy and negative impact of colonialism, enslavement and the transatlantic slave trade and consider introducing reparations schemes and establishing ad hoc truth commissions to this end;
11.3develop national action plans to counter racism, associating people of African descent and black Europeans in the design, implementation and evaluation of measures; action plans should address structural discrimination, including at institutional level, as well as multiple and intersectional discrimination, in all areas including employment, political representation, policing, access to justice, goods and services, to healthcare, to housing and to quality education;
11.4raise public awareness of racism, including Afrophobia or anti-Black racism, by organising or supporting relevant campaigns and activities, including events such as the African Week organised yearly in Brussels or initiatives like the Black History Month currently observed in Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as cultural activities in libraries, archives and museums that acknowledge and empower people of African descent and black people and their positive contribution;
11.5ensure that colonial history is part of school curricula, as well as teaching about the historic presence of people of African descent in Europe and their contribution to its economy, culture and society;
11.6ensure that the negative and stereotypical portrayal of people of African descent is removed from educational material and from the media, including information and advertising;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 11.6, insert the following paragraph:

"adopt positive action policies to close gaps in the enjoyment by people of African descent of socio-economic rights, particularly as regards access to education, employment, housing and healthcare;"

11.7collect equality data disaggregated by ethnic origin, based on self-identification, anonymity and informed consent;
11.8support civil society organisations active in the area of antiracism and ensure they have adequate access to public funding.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 11.8, insert the following paragraph:

"support human rights defenders working on combating Afrophobia, protect them from violence including hate speech, harassment and physical attacks, conduct prompt investigation into such incidents, and prosecute those responsible."

12The Assembly invites national parliaments to:
12.1encourage the creation of caucuses and intergroups representing people of African descent within elected bodies at national and European level;
12.2ensure that rules of procedures and ethical codes prohibit the use of racist and xenophobic language, with adequate disciplinary sanctions for non-compliance;
12.3support the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance, its mandate and its functioning.
13The Assembly supports the initiative of updating and relaunching the Charter of European political parties for a non-racist society as a tool for combating racism and hate-speech, and for promoting political representation of racialised groups including people of African descent.