Topic: Combating Racism and Xenophobia
Delegate: Griffin Ransom
School: Williamston High School
Xenophobia and racism are very related but have different meanings. Xenophobia is a dislike of or prejudice against people from outside the state. Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, it may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity. Although racism and xenophobia are relevant all over the world, they both have been around for a long time creating discrimination, which can sometimes result in violence, and even from time to time culminating in genocide. Currently the globe has seen an increase in xenophobia and racism. Stated earlier, these are not new, they have become more visible and accessible with the use of the internet and social media.
The percentage of ethnic groups of Sweden are 80.9% Swedish, 1.8% Syrian, 1.4% Finnish, 1.4% Iraqi, and 14.5% other. Sweden has launched a National Plan to combat racism, similar forms of hostility and hate crime. The Swedish Media Council has received resources to tackle online xenophobia and intolerance among children and youth and the Defense Research Agency has been tasked to monitor extremist Internet propaganda. Another issue that goes along with racism and xenophobia is hate speech. Recently, the number of incidents of racist and xenophobic hate speech has been rising over recent years, in particular in the context of large-scale arrivals of migrants and refugees and in spite of serious efforts by the Swedish authorities to prevent such hate speech. The main target groups are migrants, Muslims, Blacks and Roma. A plan was created to help the fight against racism and xenophobia, the plan set out a structure for coordination and follow-up which laid the groundwork for long-term strategic work in the areas of improved coordination and monitoring, more knowledge, education and research, greater support and dialogue with civil society, strengthening of preventive measures online, and a more active legal system towards hate crimes. The groups that are targeted most and focus on anti-Semitism, Afrophobia, anti-Gypsyism, Islamophobia and racism against the Saami people.
For the future of racism and xenophobia Sweden will continue to use the National Plan and other programs that are set to combat racism and xenophobia, but for the UN Sweden would like to work towards implementing the plans within other countries fight towards xenophobia and racism.
- Griffin Ransom