Council of Europe urges Spain to create independent anti-racism body
The Council of Europe is calling on Spain to “urgently” create an independent equality body. Spain and the micro-state of San Marino are the only members of the 47-strong Council that still lack an organization specifically designed to tackle racism.
The report by the Council’s European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), which was published on Tuesday, also criticized the lack of measures to integrate migrants, as well as the segregation of Roma children.
While the report acknowledged that there is less hate speech in Spain than in other European countries, it said that the government was not doing enough to address racism. In 2009, the Spanish government created the Council for the Elimination of Racial or Ethnic Discrimination to monitor racist behavior. But this body was never independent – it works within the Ministry of Health – and has taken very little action over the past years. In the report, the Council of Europe said that it “has been left practically inactive” and lacks leadership (its president stepped down in 2014.)