Specific fundamental rights issues

AuthorEuropean Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (EU body or agency)
As the last in a series of FRA bulletins on the immediate impact of the COVID-19
pandemic on fundamental rights in the EU, this section returns to several
important issues covered in previous reports. It provides additional, updated
information on:
racism linked to COVID-19;
asylum and migration in the context of the pandemic;
COVID-19-related disinformation;
data protection and privacy concerns in the context of technological
tools to support exit strategies.
Bulletin#1 reported racist and xenophobic incidents linked to the COVID-19
pandemic targeting certain national or ethnic communities in many EU Member
States. Most related to incidents against people of assumed Chinese or Asian
origin. Since then, evidence indicates that the pandemic was increasingly
exploited as a pretext to attack minorities already subject to racial discrimination,
hate speech and hate crime, such as migrants, people with an immigrant
background and Roma, particularly on social media. The EU-wide interactive
map of COVID-19 impact on racialised communities released in May by the
European Network Against Racism, documents further hate speech and hate
crime incidents linked to COVID-19.
Some countries reported racial prof‌iling and disproportionate enforcement
of COVID-19 related restrictions with respect to people with North African
background, Black people and other ethnic minority groups.
FRA will include information on hate speech and conspiracy theories affecting
Jews in its annual update on national data collection on antisemitism, to be
published in September2020.
4.1.1 Racist hate speech and violence against minority groups
The Austrian NGO Zara reported in May that 43% of the 93 COVID-19 related
racist incidents registered since mid-March targeted refugees, often through
online hate speech. The Belgian equality body Unia received 19complaints of
alleged hate speech and hate crime linked to COVID-19 between 1April and
30June, mostly involving people of Asian origin, but also including social media
posts blaming migrants for spreading the pandemic.10 An article published in
Estonia under the headline ‘Barbecue party of Africans scared the people
of Tallinn’ claimed that locals felt threatened by a large group of black people

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