RACISM: POOR DATA ON RACIST CRIME HAMPERING EFFORTS, SAYS EU AGENCY.

Position:Statistical data
 
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Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and most of the new member states do not collect such data, says the EUMC annual report for 2004, which was presented to the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on November 23. And among member states that do compile records, the data reveal wide inconsistencies: the United Kingdom reported 52,694 incidents from 2003-2004, while France, with about the same population, recorded only 1,565 incidents in 2004. "Most member states lack the necessary data to monitor how social and economic policies affect their ethnic communities", said EUMC Director Beate Winkler. "That means they are unable to assess how far they have come in breaking the vicious circle of deprivation, prejudice and discrimination."

Nonetheless, the agency is confident enough to identify the groups most vulnerable to racist crime as ethnic minorities within the national population, Jews, Muslims, North Africans, people from the former USSR and Yugoslavia, refugees/asylum-seekers and Roma.

Recent improvements in the situation include moves by some member states to make it easier to prosecute racist crimes, and to toughen penalties on conviction, and the November 2004 EU Council of Ministers adoption of 'common basic principles' on integrating immigrants into the host society.

However, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and...

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