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Government steps up fight against racism

The government has announced plans to step up the fight against racism. It said on Wednesday that it was allocating SFr15 million ($8.8 million) for projects to promote human rights and combat racism across the country.

A special unit is to be set up within the interior ministry to coordinate the different projects and liase with cantons and organisations.

The money is expected to cover the period from 2001 to 2005. It's not yet clear how the funds will be divided up, but the government said SFr2.5 million had already been allocated for projects to run in schools.

It said the new measures were a clear sign that the government intended to follow through promises made to fight anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia. The promises were made in response to the 1999 independent Bergier report, which criticised Switzerland's wartime role.

The new measures were needed to increase awareness of human rights and the existence of discrimination against certain groups in society, the government said.

swissinfo with agencies


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