Press Release

Stop racist harassment and ethnic profiling in Europe

megaflopp ©, 2020
Racist harassment, violence and discriminatory ethnic profiling are commonplace in Europe. Following the current protests that are spreading across the continent, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) calls on EU Member States to step up their efforts and effectively fight discrimination, harassment and violence against black people.

“No one should be targeted just because of the colour of their skin. No one should be afraid of a police stop, just because they are black. There is no space for racism and racial discrimination in the 21th century and we need to work together to eradicate racist practices once and for all in Europe,” says FRA director Michael O’Flaherty.

The findings of FRA’s 2018 report “Being Black in the EU” shed light on the widespread discrimination black people face in the EU. It showed that many black people in Europe experience racist harassment and violence, including at the hands of the police:

  • racial harassment – 30% of respondents say they have been racially harassed and 5% were attacked in the five years before the survey;
  • discriminatory profiling in police stops – 24% of respondents were stopped by the police in the five years before the survey. Among those, 41% felt the stop constituted racial profiling.
  • gender aspect – men are three times more likely to be stopped than women (22 % vs 7 %), and they are more likely to consider the most recent stop as racial profiling compared to women.
  • underreporting – only 14 % of the most recent incidents of racist harassment were reported to police or other services.
  • not reporting attacks by police – a majority (63 %) of victims of racist physical attack by a police officer did not report the incident to anybody, either because they felt it would not change anything or because they do not trust the police.

FRA renews its call on Member States to fight discriminatory ethnic profiling, better support victims of racism and properly prosecute perpetrators.

To support Member States in this, FRA published a Guide on how to avoid unlawful profiling to help raise awareness and support police officers in avoiding this practice.

FRA stands ready to further support EU Member States with its data and expertise.

Background information:

The “Being black in the EU” report drew on experiences of nearly 6,000 black people in 12 EU Member States. The experiences were collected as part of FRA’s second survey on experiences of minorities with discrimination. For country data, see our Data explorer.

For more information, please contact: or +43 1 58030 653