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Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: 'the fight is far from won'

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 21 March 2016, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination adopted the following statement:

"While significant progress has been achieved globally in combating racial discrimination in the last decades, the fight is far from won. On the contrary, there are clear indications that these phenomena are on the rise in Europe. Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Anti-gypsism, xenophobia and intolerance towards migrants and refugees are widespread. The unrest caused by the difficult economic climate of the last few years and the migrant and refugee crisis is not the only factor aggravating the situation: some activists, political leaders and media are spreading irrational fears and surfing on intolerance in order to gain support.

The Committee renews its commitment against all forms of racism and reiterates that parliamentarians and other politicians should:

- abstain from stigmatising individuals or groups of people on grounds of their ethnic origin or cultural traits, and from using xenophobic language. They should also react when public figures indulge in such behaviour;

- refer to accurate data and information concerning migrants, refugees and foreigners;

- counter all forms of institutional racism, whether in dealing with exceptional situations such as the refugee crisis, or in ordinary administrative matters concerning citizens and foreigners.

The Committee strongly supports the No Hate Parliamentary Alliance and is determined to strengthen cooperation in this area with relevant international organisations. It calls on all members of the Parliamentary Assembly as well as members from observers and partner for democracy delegations to join the Alliance and actively participate in its activities.