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A ‘window of opportunity’ for determined action to stamp out Afrophobia or anti-Black racism

Racism, including Afrophobia or anti-Black racism, is still “rife in Europe”, according to PACE, but recent increased public awareness of the problem has created a “window of opportunity” for determined action to eradicate it.

Approving a resolution based on a report by Momodou Malcolm Jallow (Sweden, UEL), the Assembly called on Council of Europe member States 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 help stamp out Afrophobia, as well as positive action policies.

Listing a series of steps governments should take, the parliamentarians also called for the removal of “negative and stereotypical portrayals of people of African descent” from educational material and the media, including information and advertising.

It urged governments to address structural discrimination – including in employment, politics, policing, access to justice, goods and services, healthcare, housing and education – and to raise awareness, fund anti-racism groups and organise cultural activities to empower Europe’s estimated 15 million Black people and people of African descent.

The Assembly said the widespread protests on both sides of the Atlantic following the tragic death of George Floyd, as well as the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people of African descent and Black people, had increased public awareness of the problem, and “opened a window of opportunity that should be seized without hesitation”.

Mr Jallow told the Assembly how – as a Swedish parliamentarian – he personally has faced racist abuse.