Ethnic Data Monitoring to Support Racial Equality

According to a Eurobarometer survey, over one in two Europeans believe that discrimination because of one’s racial or ethnic origin is widespread. However, there is no data available across Europe on how amny people experience this discrimination. Without measuring it, it is impossible to challenge it.

The European Network Against Racism have launched a new report “Measure, Plan, Act: how data collection can support racial equality”, focusing on ethnic data collection with a particular case study of ethnic data collection in Ireland

Pavee Point advocates for the collection of disaggregated data on basis of ethnicity (inclusive of Travellers) within a human rights framework. This means there must be a universal question (asked of everyone, not just minorities), which is answered voluntarily and on the basis of self-identification, and that the collected data is aggregated and anonymised to avoid identification of specific individuals. Data must only be used for the purpose for which it was collected, must be available in a timely manner and must be analysed in consultation with organisations representing minority ethnic groups.

We need ethnic data collection to identify discrimination, combat racism and promote equality. Ethnic data would also enable us to monitor progress of policies and would provide strong evidence for further policy making. It is legal to collect ethnic data, but there is a clear requirement that all collecting must be done in the context of a strong human rights framework. 

From the executive summary:

“Equality data refer to all types of disaggregated data used to assess the comparative situation of a specific discriminated group or group at risk of discrimination, design public policies so that they can contribute to promoting equality and assess their implementation. Equality data collection has been increasingly recognised as the ‘missing link’ to ensure equality, both by international organisations including the European Commission and by groups affected by discrimination.

The report highlights the work done by Pavee Point and celebrates the grassroots work among Travellers to encourage their self-identification in the census proved effective.

In Ireland, disaggregated data have highlighted glaring inequalities faced by Traveller communities and provided official information about conditions Travellers face on a daily basis.

You can read the report here: