Date: 
Thursday 5 October 2017

Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane is bringing the anti-racism message to a screen near you.

On 5 October, the Commissioner launched two Community Service Announcements (CSAs) for broadcast on national TV and for streaming to desktop computers and hand-held devices around the country.

The CSAs depict casual racism in the workplace and the provision of goods and services.

“Racism frequently occurs at work and while people are doing everyday things such as catching a bus, riding a train, or flagging a taxi,” Dr Soutphommasane said.

“This might come as a surprise to Australians who tend to think that racism is a thing of the past. But independent research and the experiences of many people tells us otherwise.

“The Scanlon Foundation’s Australians Today survey, for example, found 54% of respondents with an African background and 59% of Indigenous respondents experienced racial discrimination in the previous 12 months.

“At the Commission, 54% of Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) complaints received in 2015-16 were made by Indigenous Australians and a large number of complaints related to employment.

“These everyday and often casual expressions of racism are unacceptable,” Commissioner Soutphommasane said.

“We have developed these Community Service Announcements because we want to raise awareness of everyday racism and its impact.

“We’d like to get people thinking about what they can do to help put a stop to racism.

“We hope these CSAs help create a culture where people are able to identify racism and have the confidence to respond appropriately and safely.”

Free-to-air television networks will screen the Commission’s Community Service Announcements (CSA) for the next two months.

The Commission will also stream the CSAs to social media, hand-held devices and desktop computers from its Racism It Stops With Me website.

Watch and share these videos:

 

 

Key Facts:

The scenarios depicted in the Commission’s 2017 CSAs highlight casual or everyday racism in a work environment and in the provision of goods and services. The people who experience racism in these CSAs are an Aboriginal man and a woman with an African background.

Independent research has found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with an African background frequently experience racism at work or while using public services such as transport. The Commission’s own data supports those findings.

Who experiences racism in Australia?

  • In 2015-16, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accounted for 54% of complaints received by the Commission under the Racial Discrimination Act.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Indigenous Australians account for approximately 3% of the Australian population.
  • Reconciliation Australia’s 2016 ‘Barometer’ survey found 37% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experienced racial abuse in the previous six months.
  • The Scanlon Foundation’s Australians Today survey recorded 59% of Indigenous respondents had experienced racial discrimination in the previous 12 months.
  • The Scanlon Foundation survey also found 54% of respondents with an African background had experienced discrimination in the past year, rising to 77% of South Sudanese respondents experiencing discrimination during that period.

Racism at work

The Commission’s complaint statistics for the most recent reporting period (July 2015 – June 2016) show:

  • 21% of complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act were received in relation to employment (107 complaints)

The Scanlon Foundation’s Australians Today survey found:

  • 22% of respondents with an African background (excluding South Sudan) experienced discrimination at work, and 61% of respondents with a South Sudanese background experienced discrimination in this context.

Racism in the provision of goods and services

The Commission’s complaint statistics for the most recent reporting period (July 2015 – June 2016) show:

  • 18% of complaints under the Racial Discrimination Act were received in relation to the provision of goods and services (91 complaints)

Reconciliation Australia’s 2016 ‘Barometer’ survey found:

  • 32% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents experienced racial discrimination from “local shop owners and/or staff”, compared to 8% of respondents from the general community.

More information:

Visit the Racism. It Stops With Me website: https://itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au

What can you do?

Watch and share the videos!