Reports addressed to Unia represent an important source of information for compiling statistics on racist behaviour. However, figures relating to these reports cannot be considered representative of what actually occurs in society because a majority of cases are not reported. These numbers are only an indicator of situations where such issues can occur. Also, not all reports have to do with actual cases of racist behaviour.
This is why we have chosen to list here the numbers relating to the case files we have opened based on these reports, as they seem the most relevant: these are reports over which Unia has competence and where the person who contacted Unia is awaiting an actual opinion or action on the part of the organisation.
Out of 2,059 case files opened by Unia in 2016, 698 concerned “racial” criteria, or 33%.
According to Unia’s numbers, it seems that the main racial discrimination case files opened concern hate acts committed on the internet, on the job market and in the goods and services sector (for ex. real estate rental, access to nightclubs, cafés, etc.).
Media (especially incitement to hatred on the internet) - 177 case files, or
Work (especially discrimination-based psychological harassment, hiring or dismissal issues) - 169 case files, or
Goods & services (especially problems relating to renting housing, insults in a shop or refusal of entry to a public place such as a nightclub or café, etc.) - 164 case files, or
Society - 60 case files, or
Police & justice - 64 case files, or
Education - 40 case files, or
Miscellaneous activities - 20 case files, or
Social security - 2 case files, or <
Other - unspecified - 2 case files, or <
The same trends appear when we analyse the figures from all reports, for each area of action:
In the “media/internet” area of action, 46% of new case files are related to racism.
“Hardly a day goes by without Unia opening a case file for hateful comments in the media. In 83% of cases these are online comments, especially those published on social media or online discussion forums. In 2016, Unia opened 276 case files that could be qualified as incitement to hatred. While in 2015 these hateful comments targeted refugees in particular, in 2016 they were often related to terrorism and the lumping together of foreigners/Muslims and terrorists. Therefore, we are most often called on for comments regarding racial criteria and religious beliefs (Islam in particular). The largest number of hateful comments are spread by social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), accounting for 38% of all case files in 2016.” (Unia, Annual Report 2016 Figures, p. 21)
In the “work” area of action, 29% of new case files relate to racism.
In the “goods and services” area of action, 31% of new files relate to racism. Racial discrimination mainly occurs in the housing sub-area of action, with refusals to rent, followed by, to a lesser extent, refusal of entry to nightclubs or cafés.