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Press Release – 02.05.2000

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance Publications

STRASBOURG, 02.05.2000 - The Council of Europe’s European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has just published its annual activity report for 1999 along with a general policy recommendation and a collection of "good practices" for the media sector:

- The annual report describes the activities put in place by ECRI during its 1999 programme and also sets out the main trends in regard to the presence of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance across Europe. Persistent racial and ethnic discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and the provision of services; the continued presence of racism and prejudice in the operation of public institutions, including the judicial system and schools; an increase in complaints concerning racist attitudes and behaviour on the part of the police; the use of racist or xenophobic views in politics; new mass communication technologies increasingly being used for racist purposes by groups and individuals and, in particular, the Internet being used to disseminate racist messages are, amongst others, cited as matters of concern by ECRI.

- General Policy Recommendation No.5: "The fight against intolerance and discrimination towards Muslims": ECRI is concerned at signs that religious intolerance towards Islam and Muslim communities is increasing in countries where this religion is not observed by the majority of the population. It regrets that Islam is sometimes portrayed inaccurately on the basis of hostile stereotyping, the effect of which is to make this religion seem a threat, and recommends a series of measures to governments in different sectors in order to fight against intolerance and discrimination towards Muslims.

- A publication containing a compilation of 21 examples of "good practices" to combat racism and intolerance in the European media. These examples concern the press, radio, television, training, unions and associations and awards.