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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Managing diversity and prevent hate crimes and racism

The social fallout from the ongoing global economic crisis must not become an excuse to allow racism and prejudice to go unchecked.

Racism and discrimination have continued and in some places even increased, despite laws prohibiting them. It is a sad truth that violence, discrimination and hate crimes directed against ethnic minorities and migrants remain a daily reality throughout the UK. But people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and religions/beliefs bring a diversity to our societies that we know to be a driver not only for social change, but also for economic growth. This is an abundance of untapped potential that we would be ill-advised to ignore.”

The skills and talents of members of diverse groups in our societies – whether they are citizens of the countries in which they live or more recent migrants – need to be acknowledged, and furthermore to be better utilised.

A proactive approach that appreciates diversity while furthering inclusion would help to reduce racial discrimination and increase security, as well as helping to boost growth.

Periods of severe economic downturn can result in greater social exclusion, which often leads to a search for scapegoats – and it is then groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds are often the first to suffer.

In the countries most affected by the consequences of the economic crisis, there has been an increase in the appeal of extremist parties that are rooted in a profound hostility to ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.

We all need to think about how we manage diversity and challenge inequalities within our society.

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