Saturday. 28.01.2023

Survey on racism suffered by Africans in employment and education launched

In 2018, the 'Being Black in the EU' study ranked Finland as the Member State were people with African descent experienced more racist harassment. Now, Non-Discrimination Ombudsman Kirsi Pimiä intends to collect information on everyday experiences of discrimination suffered by Afro-Finns, particularly in employment and education.


The 'Being Black in EU' survey published in 2018 by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) researched racist harassment and discrimination faced by people of African descent living in the EU Member States. As many as 63% of the respondents in Finland reported having experienced racist harassment in the last five years.

The corresponding figures for other Nordic countries, Denmark and Sweden, were 41%  and, for example, 21% in the United Kingdom. The average for the 12 participating countries was 30%, which means the results in Finland were more than twice as high.

However, in the contacts received by the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s office based on origin, being of African descent or discrimination based on skin color is not revealed to light. Therefore the Ombudsman decided to launch a survey in order to collect data on discrimination faced by people of African descent and the reasons behind the underreporting. 

Racism, "a widespread social phenomenon"

"The results of the FRA survey and research show that racism in Finland is a widespread social phenomenon, which affects the lives and well-being of Afro-Finns. With our survey we aim to gain a deeper understanding of racism, its multiple effects as well as attain information that will help us in addressing structural barriers and problems. At its worst, structural racism can prevent a whole group of people from living a life with equal opportunities", Non-Discrimination Ombudsman Kirsi Pimiä says.

"The purpose of the survey is to provide information on everyday experiences of discrimination against people of African origin and why they are not reported to us or other authorities. There is a great need for more research on this topic", Kirsi Pimiä added.

Discrimination in employment and education

According to a press release published by the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman's office, the survey is based on self-identification. This means it is meant to be answered by people who identify themselves as being of African descent and experience discrimination based on skin color.

The questionnaire can be completed even if the respondent never experienced discrimination or have not previously filed a complaint about a discrimination case.

The focus of the study is particularly on discrimination in employment and education sector. Discrimination in employment refers to discrimination in access to employment, recruitment or termination of employment. Discrimination in the education sector can take the form of, for example, racial harassment, student selection student guidance or in the classroom setting.

How to participate

Participants will be able to respond online from 12 September to 18 October 2019. The survey can also be printed out and sent by mail or scanned and emailed.

The survey is available in Finnish, Swedish, English or Somali languages and it will be anonymous. The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman says all information will be handled, stored and reported confidentially.

Based on the results, the Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s office intends to compile a public report from which respondents cannot be identified. The data in the report will be used to promote non-discrimination.

If you want to respond to the survey, you can access the questionnaire by clicking HERE

Survey on racism suffered by Africans in employment and education launched