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Counselling centres Racial discrimination prevalent at work and school

Demonstration with people with torches

Demonstrators took the streets of Geneva in January to protest against racism and xenophobia in Swiss politics.

(© Keystone/Martial Trezzini)

Swiss counselling centres have reported 278 cases of discrimination based on colour, ethnicity and religion last year – down 10% on 2017.

The authors of the reportexternal link published on Monday say the reasons for the decrease are very diverse and the figures cannot be used to make general statements about racial discrimination in the country.

As in previous years, many reported cases occurred at the workplace and in schools, childcare or further education, according to the Federal Commission against Racism and the group humanrights.ch.

Verbal abuse was the main form of racial discrimination while xenophobia was the most frequently reported motive, followed by hostility against coloured people, the authors of the annual report say.

They caution that the data, compiled by 24 counselling centres across Switzerland, is unlikely to show the full extent of discrimination in Switzerland.

But the report wants to highlight the range of counselling offered by the centres, according to a press release.

Besides the 278 investigated cases, the centres also registered 108 cases without sufficient evidence, 27 cases where no racial discrimination could be proven as well as 59 cases where the victims reported cases but without an entitlement to further investigation.

Survey Majority of population see racism as key social problem

Almost 60% of the Swiss population consider racism an important social problem, a poll by the Federal Statistical Office has found.

This content was published on February 22, 2019 9:06 AM

swissinfo.ch/ug

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