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Spain launches 021 helpline for victims of racism following rise in cases of discrimination

Spain launches 021 helpline for victims of racism following rise in cases of discrimination

Fines for offences range from minor (300 to 10,000 euros) to serious (10,001 to 40,000) or very serious (40,001 to 500,000)

Alfonso Torices

Madrid

Friday, 26 May 2023, 11:42

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Spain has launched a racism helpline, 021, in a bid to support victims of discrimination, persecution or hate crimes.

The country's Ministry of Equality has launched the helpline, which will act as a similar support service to the gender violence line (016) and suicide helpline (024). It will leave no record on phone bills and will alert emergency services, social services or police if necessary.

The helpline is not only a place for direct victims to contact, but also a service to phone for those who want to report offences or incidents of racism.

The service, also accessible online and by chat (628 860 507), seeks to guarantee the rights of the victims of racism, to bring to light this silent scourge which is on the rise, especially in cases related to the housing and education sectors.

The latest national survey of potential victims carried out in 2020 by the council for the elimination of racial and ethnic discrimination (Cedre), showed that 82% of those affected in Spain do not take the step of making a complaint or lodging a complaint.

One in five respondents, or their families, were discriminated against in enrolment or attendance at schools, colleges or other places of academic training. Those discriminated against are almost double the number incidents detected only seven years earlier, and the main victims are Asians and Romani people.

But the most cases of racism were in cases of housing. Up to 31% of respondents, twice as many as in 2013, suffered discrimination in their attempts to rent a flat or a room, or to take out a loan to buy a property. People from the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa suffered the most racism in these cases.

Fines for racism offences range from minor (300 to 10,000 euros) to serious (10,001 to 40,000) or very serious (40,001 to 500,000). The most serious offences are multiple discrimination, harassment and pressure from authority or officials.

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