Racism and LGBTI-phobia account for two out of three cases of discrimination in Barcelona

Racism and LGBTI-phobia account for two out of three cases of discrimination in Barcelona

Thu, 10/03/2022 - 15:18


Inclusion. The overall volume of cases of discrimination recorded by the OND rose by 11% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

Once again, racism and xenophobia continue to be the main cause of discrimination in Barcelona this year, even though figures reflect a downward trend in recent years. The data come from the annual report by the Office for Non-Discrimination (OND), and also point to an increase in the volume of support for cases of LGBTI-phobia, which have doubled in recent years. In all, the OND opened 244 cases for discrimination in 2021.

Just two per cent separates the volume of cases handled by the Office for Non-Discrimination relating to racism and xenophobia (34% of cases) and cases of discrimination due to LGBTI-phobia (32%). Between them they account for two out of every three cases of discrimination in the city. Other reasons for discrimination include disability (9%), health (7%), gender (6%) and socio-economic situation (5%).

These are mainly situations which go against people’s right to moral integrity, in 37% of cases, while physical aggressions stood at 13% compared to the previous figure of 15%. Discrimination relating to the provision of services remains unchanged at 13%.

Over eighty cases of racism and xenophobia

Some 44% of the 84 cases of racism and xenophobia handled by the OND correspond to the violation of people’s moral integrity. Provision of services and access to housing account of the second highest number of cases, at 13% each. Other cases include 38 instances of racialisation and 46 on the grounds of ethnic origin, with the overall number of cases down by 95 compared to those recorded in 2020.

Complaints about insults, belittling, humiliation, threats and offensive comments about people returning to their country of origin have also increased, as have conflicts between local residents. Numbers remain unchanged when it comes to restrictions or denial of access by different banking entities in connection with people’s nationality or origin. In this sphere there are just nine cases open. At the same time, discrimination by private security bodies also remains unchanged.

More discrimination due to LGBTI-phobia in the city

While LGBTI-phobia accounted for 16% of the total number of cases in 2018, that figure now stands at 32%. Of the 78 cases detected last year, 50 were due to homophobia, 25 to transphobia and 3 due to lesbophobia. Over half of cases correspond to insults or humiliating or belittling treatment, while physical aggressions rose to 17%.

In this respect, the City Council is continuing to fight discrimination against LGBTI people by applying the protocol against LGBTI-phobia in Barcelona, through the OND, the LGBTI Centre and LGBTI rights organisations.

The Office for Non-Discrimination boosts mediation and intermediation

The Office for Non-Discrimination helps victims of discrimination by providing support and legal advice, in up to 300 cases, along with social guidance and help to empower victims, in 319 cases. Efforts on mediation and intermediation were tripled in 2021 too, rising from 13 cases in 2020 to 38 over the last year.

In many cases mediation and intermediation represent an ideal way forward, as on one hand they help repair the harm caused by the aggressors through recognition of responsibility and the resolution of the conflict. On the other hand, they generate commitment and learning on the part of the discriminator.

The OND also works on human rights training and the prevention of discrimination. In all, 1,119 people took part in training in 2021, among them 195 municipal workers. The rest were students in primary and secondary education, vocational training, civil society organisations and companies and other bodies seeking to make their staff aware and improve habits to ensure egalitarian treatment.