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Joint Statement of the Council of Europe, the FRA and the OSCE on the occassion of International day for the Elimination of Racism

March 22nd 2011

On the occasion of the International day for the Elimination of Racism the Council of Europe, EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)released a joint statement declaring that in order to fight racism and xenophobic States should ensure that:

  • Barriers to education, health care, housing, and employment are removed. Such policies should include the reintegration into mainstream schools of Roma children currently enrolled in special schools, and desegregation in the area of housing;
  • Adequate data are collected about the participation of vulnerable groups in these areas, in order to target policies better and to allow their impact to be assessed;
  • Legislation prohibiting racially motivated crime is introduced and enforced, along with training for law-enforcement officials in preventing and responding to these offences;
  • Measures are taken to address discrimination on other grounds in addition to ethnicity;
  • National bodies responsible for the protection of human rights are mandated and adequately resourced to monitor the prevalence of racism and related intolerance and to take measures to promote equality, including advice and support for victims;
  • Measures are taken to increase awareness of rights and complaints mechanisms, in order to address low reporting levels;
  • Journalists are provided with training to challenge prejudice and stereotypes, in order to encourage informed and nuanced public debate; and
  • Educational programmes and awareness-raising campaigns are designed to challenge prejudice and stereotypes and strengthen a climate of mutual tolerance and intercultural dialogue.