A third of BAME people have witnessed or experienced racial abuse since Brexit vote


One in three of Britain’s Black, Asian and minority ethnicity population have either witnessed or experienced racial abuse since last June’s vote to leave the European Union, a TUC poll finds.

Some 34 per cent have either experienced or witnessed abuse, with one in five – 19 per cent – witnessing or suffering racial assault.

Two fifths, 41 per cent, have witnessed racist remarks or opinions, and 38 per cent have seen racist material online. Just over a quarter, 27 per cent, have seen racist graffiti, posters or leaflets.

The TUC want to see the government:

  • Bring in rules about third-party harassment, which protect workers who deal with the public such as shop workers, street cleaners and bus drivers from abuse at work
  • Develop a full race equality strategy, which includes tough action to crack down on harassment and discrimination at work, online and in everyday life
  • Make sure the Equalities and Human Rights Commission has enough funding to take more legal cases and make sure the law reflects how contemporary racism plays out
  • Make private sector companies responsible for promoting equal treatment throughout their activities just as public sector organisations already are.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said: “Brexit has given racism a new lease of life. Discrimination has never gone away, but since the referendum racism has been on the rise.”

“The scale of abuse is shocking. We have to come together and draw a line in the sand about what is acceptable in modern Britain in 2017 – and the government has to take a lead. It’s unacceptable that shop workers, bus drivers and street cleaners face abuse from members of the public – and their employers don’t have to do anything to protect them.”

“Anyone who has been harassed or mistreated at work should talk to their union rep or join a trade union. And we all have a responsibility to call out racist harassment wherever we see it.”

Those polled are BAME adults currently living in Britain and in work, and it was completed by ICM on behalf of TUC.

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