Non-Discrimination Ombudsman set to collect data on discrimination faced by people of African descent – The survey is now open for answers
Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is collecting information on discrimination faced by people of African descent in Finland. Data collection focuses on labor market and education sector. The survey is based on self-identification, meaning it is meant to be answered by people who identify as being of African descent and experience discrimination based on skin color. The questionnaire can be completed even if you have not experienced discrimination or have not previously filed a complaint about a discrimination case.
In 2018 the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published the Being Black in EU survey (which was part of a previously published EU-midis II survey). The survey researched racist harassment and discrimination faced by people of African descent living in the EU Member States. As many as 63% of the respondents in Finland reported having experienced racist harassment in the last five years. The corresponding figures for other Nordic countries, Denmark and Sweden, were 41 per cent and, for example, 21 per cent in the United Kingdom. The average for the 12 participating countries was 30 percent, which means the results in Finland were more than twice as high. However, in the contacts received by the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s office based on origin, being of African descent or discrimination based on skin color is not revealed to light. Therefore the Ombudsman sees it as pertinent to collect data on discrimination faced by people of African descent and the reasons behind the underreporting.
- The results of the FRA survey and research show that racism in Finland is a widespread social phenomenon, which affects the lives and well-being of Afro-Finns. With our survey we aim to gain a deeper understanding of racism, its multiple effects as well as attain information that will help us in addressing structural barriers and problems. At its worst, structural racism can prevent a whole group of people from living a life with equal opportunities, Non-Discrimination Ombudsman Kirsi Pimiä says.
- The purpose of the survey is to provide information on everyday experiences of discrimination against people of African origin and why they are not reported to us or other authorities. There is a great need for more research on this topic, Kirsi Pimiä continues.
Ombudsman is collecting information on discrimination experienced by people of African descent
The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman is collecting information on discrimination faced by people of African descent in Finland. The survey is based on self-identification, meaning it is meant to be answered by people who identify as being of African descent and experience discrimination based on skin color. The questionnaire can be completed even if you have not experienced discrimination or have not previously filed a complaint about a discrimination case. The focus of the study is particularly on discrimination in employment and education sector. Discrimination in employment refers to discrimination in access to employment, recruitment or termination of employment. Discrimination in the education sector can take the form of, for example, racial harassment, student selection student guidance or in the classroom setting.
How to fill out the survey
You will be able to respond to the survey via the survey link from September 12 to October 18, 2019. You can find the survey here. The survey can also be printed out and sent by mail or scanned and emailed. The survey is available in Finnish, Swedish, English or Somali and it will be anonymous. All information is handled, stored and reported confidentially. Based on the results of the survey the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s office will compile a public report from which respondents cannot be identified. The data in the report will used in developing the work of the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman to promote non-discrimination.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination occurs when one person is treated less favourably than another person on the basis of a personal characteristiAccording to the Equality Act, no person shall be discriminated against on grounds of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.
Discrimination is prohibited, regardless of whether it is based on a fact or assumption concerning the individual or someone else. Discrimination can also occur when a person is discriminated against because, for example, he or she is closely connected to a member of an ethnic minority, such as family member or relative (close discrimination). An act may be contrary to the principle of non-discrimination even if the author is mistaken, for example, as to his or her origin, age or sexual orientation (hypothetical discrimination). In addition to direct and indirect discrimination, the Discrimination Act includes harassment, denial of reasonable accommodation, and instruction or order to discriminate.