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EU fundamental rights agency reports rising discrimination in some EU states

[JURIST] The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) [official website; JURIST report] released its first major report [PDF text; press release] on racism and inequality in the European Union [official website] Tuesday, finding ethnic discrimination in employment, housing and education, as well as an increase in racist violence in many member states. Of the 11 reporting member states, racist crimes increased in Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Finland and the United Kingdom in 2005 and 2006. Figures decreased in Austria, the Czech Republic and Sweden. The FRA suggested that member states must do more to fight racism, noting that EU anti-discrimination legislation [EC backgrounder] has helped promote racial equality. The report also indicated that many of the victims of discrimination are unaware of their rights under the law.

While politicians are increasingly aware of inequality, the FRA found that several member states had failed to fully implement EU anti-discrimination legislation by the end of 2006, and that half of EU member states had failed to apply sanctions to violators. The FRA presented its report to the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs [official website] on Monday. EUobserver.com has more.

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