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Victorian human rights commission says racism complaints are up 90%

发布时间:2018-12-26 19:08:51作者:人大 来源:The Guardian 浏览次数:0 网友评论 0

 Commission believes African and Muslim communities are underreporting race issues

Protesters rally in Melbourne against racism in the media in July.
 Protesters rally in Melbourne against racism in the media in July. Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission says race complaints have risen by 88% this year. Photograph: Ellen Smith/AAP

Race complaints to Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission rose by nearly 90% in 2017-18, though it still believes African and Muslim communities are underreporting racism.

The commission’s annual report, which was among those tabled in a massive document dump in the state parliament on Tuesday night, reveals a 20% increase in formal complaints.

The report said there had been a 31% increase in complaints of sex discrimination and an almost 20% rise in complaints about sexual harassment, which the commission attributed in part to the #MeToo movement.

But the commissioner, Kristen Hilton, said in the report the most noticeable change was the 88% increase in the number of race complaints.

The commission handled 207 complaints in 2017-18, compared to 110 the previous year, though in 2015-16, there had been 196 race complaints.

Overall, most complaints were about disability discrimination (663), followed by sex (226), race (207) and sexual harassment (156).
 

In July, Hilton linked a 34% increase in the number of race-related incidentsto sensationalised media coverage of an “African gangs crisis” and directly criticised the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton.

The comments drew outrage from Victorian Liberals, who had flagged a fierce law and order state election campaign linked to the state’s alleged gangs crisis.

On Thursday, the acting commissioner, Catherine Dixon, told Guardian Australia she would not link the increase in race complaints to media reporting.

“Not at this point, because we’ve got underreporting in relation to African and Muslim communities,” she said.

“We’re certainly hearing through the inquiry line and through our engagement activities about experiences of racism but that hasn’t translated to explain a significant spike in complaints.”

Complaints trigger a formal process that the commission must resolve, while inquiries merely refer to the reporting of an incident. In 2017-18, race-related inquiries rose from 470 to 630.

“Where we can pinpoint things is the kinds of areas of public life where people are experiencing discrimination,” Dixon told Guardian Australia.

In 2017-18 nearly half of all race complaints related to employment, while a quarter were from consumers seeking goods or services.

Dixon said African-Australians had complained about not getting job interviews because of their names, or having to Anglicise their CVs.

“The other area is goods and services,” she said. “We’ve been getting complaints about the people being knocked back at bars because of the way they look and the particular background they are coming from. Particularly, people from the African community have raised that with us.”

Separate data from Victoria’s Federation of Community Legal Centres last month revealed there had been a 50% surge in the number people seeking help for racist hate crimes.


available at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/dec/20/victorian-human-rights-commission-says-racism-complaints-are-up-90 
 

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