German Federal Anti-discrimination Agency (Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes, Deutschland) European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
This petition is run by Asian Voices Europe
- To establish a hotline for racial harassment and hate crimes against Asians.
- To start training of police officers and prosecutors.
- To start an awareness-raising campaigns through public broadcasters.
Why is this important?We, ‘Asian Voices Europe,’ demand these three things on behalf of Asians and Asian Europeans amid Covid-19. The birth of our NGO stemmed from our current dire situations. Ever since the outbreak of Coronavirus, Asians and Asian diasporas have suffered countless incidents of harassment, discrimination, and violence, stemming in part from media's radicalization and stigmatization of the virus itself.
In this Coronavirus crisis, we have been seriously exposed to racism, ranging from insults to physical attacks. According to our survey alone, a total of 187 cases have been submitted. Most incidents consist of locals calling out “Coronavirus” in front of the victims, often combined with threatening gestures or insulting behaviors like spitting. These incidents have occurred in almost every country in Europe. About 10% involved physical threats or violence. While 80% of the victims were females, 84% of the attackers were men, often (65%) in a group of 2-3 young men. Most victims have suffered serious panic disorders, depression, and anxiety.
We are also concerned about how the various police forces have handled this issue. We have an impression that they do not take our sufferings seriously. For instance, on April 26th, a young Korean couple experienced racial discrimination, sexual harassment, and a light physical attack from a group of adults in the Berlin subway. However, the on-duty police dealt with it in a manner that fell far below our community's expectation. The police are reported to have told the couple, “If you came from a small country, and want to live in a big city, you have to endure this kind of discrimination” and advised them not to call the attackers “racists” because “Coronavirus mockery and ridiculing behavior without physical violence are not racism.”
We demand the German government prepare a proper guideline and training for police and prosecutors to handles such incidents. We understand the legality of racism can be a complicated issue in reality, however, the German constitution (Grundgesetzes: Article 3 of the Basic Law) guarantees our basic right by claiming "No person shall be favoured or disfavoured because of gender, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavoured because of disability.” Asians have been here in Europe for more than a century. We abide by the law, pay our taxes, and respect the local culture. We have the same right as any other community in Europe.
The continent of Asia is the biggest in the world in size and its current population reaches 4,6 billion, which is equivalent to about 60% of the total world population. There are 48 countries with distinct languages, histories and cultures. It's not fair to blame 60% of the world population for the outbreak of the virus.
Lastly, we demand the German government establishes a dedicated hotline for racial harassment and hate crimes against Asians along a language service for English speakers. New York City, for example, has launched a hotline for Asian Americans to report hate crimes and discrimination amid the coronavirus outbreak. It was established on March 23, will continue indefinitely, and providing resources to victims and potentially leading to civil investigations. New York State Attorney General Letitia James said “No one should live in fear for their life because of who they are, what they look like, or where they come from.” We are a community of law abiding citizens and we request that action be taken to protect our human rights.
*For your reference: "Don't Call me Corona"
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