Racial harassment complaints on the rise in Western Australia

Thursday, February 17, 2011

SYDNEY - Figures released by Western Australia’s Equal Opportunity Commissioner show that racial harassment complaints have increased considerably in the state.

According to WA Today, there have been 23 formal complaints so far this financial year, which are five fewer than for the whole of the last financial year.

Commissioner Yvonne Henderson said that reports of harassment based on race were coming through faster than in previous years, and that there were no complaints of this nature in the area of goods and services in the previous financial year.We often hear stories of people getting targeted by security or staff in shopping centres because of their race,” Henderson said.

She also said that Aboriginals reported the highest number of racial harassment complaints, at 33 per cent.

Africans accounted for 26 per cent and people from Middle-Eastern countries represented 21 per cent of complaints.

“We have always had complaints of this nature, they have mostly been in employment and been based at work. What makes it different is that for the first time we have had a jump in racial harassment complaints in the area of goods and services,” Henderson said.

“It’s very different to race discrimination. They are really quite derogatory comments, where people have made comments that they’re not welcome in that shop,” she added. (ANI)

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