Amnesty launches campaign on racism in the UK amid rise in reported hate crime
Amnesty International have announced a new emergency campaign to combat racism and xenophobia in the UK, prompted by reports of a rise in racial abuse in the wake of the EU referendum, with Kick It Out supporting the campaign.
The announcement comes amid news that reports to police of online hate crimes rose over the weekend since the referendum on 23 June. The UN has also raised concern over the reported rise.
Amnesty will conduct research into the rise in racism and xenophobia across the UK. The new research will examine reports of abuse and their causes, including the public and political discourse around both the EU referendum and the London mayoral election.
Amnesty has issued an urgent call on all local councils to condemn racism in all its forms, and to commit to ensuring that all local bodies and programmes have the support and resources needed to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia. Amnesty aims to get every local council to sign up to the commitment.
You can sign the commitment by visiting www.amnesty.org.uk/againsthate
Meanwhile Amnesty is encouraging people to show their solidarity with people experiencing abuse, using the #AgainstHate hashtag.
Kate Allen, Amnesty’s UK Director, said:
“Some people now feel licensed to express racist views in a way we haven’t seen for decades.
“The referendum campaign was marked by divisive, xenophobic rhetoric as well as a failure from political leaders to condemn it. We are now reaping the referendum rhetoric whirlwind.
“Amnesty is deeply concerned at reports of verbal abuse, attacks on buildings, racist slogans on t-shirts, calls for people to leave the country and other acts of intimidation and hate.
“People across the UK have suddenly found themselves in a country where they’re unsure of their future, their family’s future and the security of their jobs and homes. They need to be urgently reassured that they can feel safe, protected and welcome here.
“We’re simply not prepared to stand by and let hate become the norm in Britain.”
Kick It Out released a statement on Tuesday 28 June, following the reported rise of racist incidents following the results of the EU referendum. To read the statement, click here.