‘A third of Scottish children’ have experienced racism

Categories: Education, Leisure and Cultural Activities and Non-discrimination

14th April 2017

More than a third of children in Scotland experience racism, according to figures from Show Racism the Red Card. The charity, which delivers anti-racism education, says 37% of children and young people say they have been targeted - an increase of 19% from last year.

Show Racism the Red Card Scotland have been delivering a programme of anti-racism education to young people in Scottish schools in partnership with the Scottish Government Equality Unit and Police Scotland. The programme involves the delivery of workshops for young people to explore and understand contemporary racism including in anti-racism education; moving around the world; Islamophobia; challenging racism and the bystander effect and hate crime.

Prior to the delivery of a programme of education, the Red Card Team collects pre-data and on completion of the education programme, post-data in order to identify current attitudes and track changes in those attitudes, as well as to explore young people's experiences of inequality. The latest data analysis revealed that 29% of the young people they worked with had experienced racism.

This figure is 11% higher than stats for 2015-2016. However, what is more worrying is the sharp increase of experiences of racism between 13 of February the 6 April that indicates that 37% of young people they have worked with have experienced racism. This suggests an increase of 8% in just two months.

Pre-programme data indicates that 25% of young people found the incident extremely stressful, 39% found the incident stressful while 35% of young people did not find the incident stressful.

Young people were asked about what they do when they experience racism:

- 14% of young people said they just ignored it;
- 16% said they felt too awkward to do anything about it;
- 4% said they didn't do anything;
- 15% said they felt upset;
- 8% said they safely challenged it;
- 36% said they told an adult;
- 8% said they accepted it as a fact of life.

Nicola Hay, the charity's campaign manager, said Brexit and poverty were factors in the rise in incidents.

She said: "The figures sadly indicate a notable rise in young people's experiences of racism. It's likely that the spike in racist experiences is a result of Brexit almost legitimising racist and xenophobic views."

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