SAY NO TO RACISM
Dear Professor Triggs,
It is sad that there is a 60% increase of racism related complaints and one wonders if this could be partly to the former Prime Minister John Howard’s lack of support in combating racism after he dismantled the Multicultural Minister’s position.
It is sincerely hope that the Abbott Government will do something about it during his first term as we should not tolerate it in the 21st century.
We will continue to do our part as we did in the past.
Unity Party WA
Environmental friendly - save the trees - use email.
UPWA is the only political party that calls a spade a spade.
Women bearing the brunt of racism, forum told
The Australian Human Rights Commission says there has been a 60 per cent increase in the number of racism related complaints it has received in the past year.
Commission president Gillian Triggs told a forum on women and racism in Sydney today the complaints have been made by both genders but women bear the brunt.
Professor Triggs says unfortunately immigrant and refugee women suffer a "triple whammy" effect when racially vilified.
"It's a combination of factors. It's both gender (because) they're women. It's race because of their particular racial background, but it's also more nuanced in that we have to think of the cultural and linguistic backgrounds which add to those disadvantages," she said.
Professor Triggs says the rising number of complaints could be because of media attention given to a number of high profile incidents, particularly on public transport and social media.
"I think because people are more aware of it, they're now coming to us to complain about it, people are standing up for themselves," she said.
The forum was hosted by New South Wales Citizenship and Communities Minister Victor Dominello and organised by the Immigrant Women's Speakout Association.
Speakout president Pallavi Sinha says legislation needs to be toughened to give women more access to help, and that it is a problem that has a disproportionately negative effect on immigrant women.
"More research is needed so we know the extent of the problem and how a more targeted approach dealing with women is needed," Ms Sinha said.
The president of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Stepan Kerkyasharian, says despite 20 years of racial vilification Laws there has not been one successful complaint.
"Racism in 2013 is taking different forms than in the past, with global technology causing new challenges," Mr Kerkyasharian said.
"It is critical that Federal, State and Territory Governments, along with human rights agencies, ensure cultural diversity is upheld in Australia."
He says individuals must also take a stand against racism too.
Mr Kerkyasharian says a NSW Government review of the state's racial vilification laws is due shortly.
"I would like to see a review of all Australian legislation regarding racial vilification across all jurisdictions, to give some teeth to legislation dealing with racism and discrimination," he said.
Jane Corpuz-Brock from the Immigrant Women's Speakout says there is a lot of bullying against immigrant women in the workplace.
"Their appearance is labelled, people try to mimic them, the way they speak. Muslim women wearing the hijab have trouble getting work. As soon as a potential employer sees them they say no thanks to offering them a job, even if they have a good resume," she said.
Ms Corpuz-Brock says 80 per cent of the women who come to the Speakout in Sydney's west are seeking help after being racially slurred.
She says it entrenches the disadvantage against immigrant women.
NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Linda Burney - the first Aboriginal Australian elected to the NSW Parliament - also addressed the forum.
Ms Burney told the event that sexual violence is regularly linked to racism for indigenous women, often within very small towns.
"It makes you feel sick, racism," Ms Burney said.
For anyone who says racism isn't an issue in this country and that people should just got on with it, we are a great multicultural society, there is no two ways about it, but let's not pretend.
"You only have to scratch the surface and a great underbelly of racism will spew out, in unparalleled ways."