Ethnic, religious discrimination on the rise in Italy

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Published on Dec 1, 2017
Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

The latest report by the National Office against Racial Discrimination, also known as UNAR, has found that episodes of racial or ethnic discrimination in Italy rose by over 17 percent last year. UNAR warns that discrimination is increasingly based on religious differences. More than 1400 complaints were recorded in 2014. However, many, especially undocumented migrants and Roma people, are just too scared to go to the police to report abuses and discrimination.

Anti-racism activists accuse Italian authorities of not taking effective action to prevent and prosecute racist and xenophobic violence in the country. They say prosecutions for racially-motivated violence are rare, with Italian officials downplaying the extent of the problem and failing consistently to condemn racist attacks.

Political rhetoric and media coverage linking immigrants and Roma people to crime have fueled an environment of intolerance in Italy. The Ministry of Labour and social policies has announced that the government would use the upcoming anti-discrimination week as a springboard for action, including moves to make obtaining Italian citizenship easier.

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