Racism in different forms and places is a common experience for the more than one million people of African descent in Germany.
Black people are often subjected to police identity control more than other groups. Also, they experience discrimination in public offices, at the workplace, while accessing healthcare, looking for apartment, in schools, in the justice system, in their neighbourhoods etc.
Finding out how and to what extent discrimination is experienced in the different areas of life is important for those affected to demand for change and for policy makers to be able to intervene.
Until now however there’s not been any survey to find out just how discrimination and racism impact Black lives in the country.
This is now about to change as Each One Teach One (EOTO) e.V., a Black community education and empowerment project, has launched the first survey of the Black experience in Germany, tagged #AFROZENSUS.
“Afrozensus is the first and biggest study on Black realities in Germany. It is organized and conducted by and for the Black community. Using quantitative and qualitative data, the survey is intended to highlight grievances as well as strengthen self-organization,” EOTO says.
“The aim is to gain as comprehensive a picture as possible of the experiences of people of African origin in Germany, how they assess their lives in Germany and what expectations they have of policy makers and society,” the organisation added.
“Results of the #AFROZENSUS online survey will be made available to communities and politicians. Thus, a population group in Germany that is strongly affected by intersectional discrimination can finally gain the visibility necessary for better representation of their interests.”
Joshua Kweisi Aikins, a human rights activist and political scientist who is the director of #AFROZENSUS, explained that official statistics are grossly inadequate to understand the nature, extent and victims of racism and discrimination in Europe.
A situation where the term ‘people with a migration background’, which groups people of African descent with Europeans, is often used to study issues of discrimination and inclusion is obviously defective. This is because the experiences of the groups within the category differ immensely. A Russian or Serbian will definitely experience racism and discrimination quite differently from a Ghanaian, for example.
“Anti-Black racism is specific and unique,” Aikins said. “It’s important that no forms of racism or groups of victims are hidden from official statistics,” he added.
To advocate for social change requires data as evidence, Aikins, said. “Advocacy needs data, figures, evidence.”
To prove that a problem exists, you have to show what people are affected, how many are affected, how they are affected – giving a full picture of the situation which makes it easy to find answers, Aikins explained. “We have to find out where interventions are necessary.”
Based on the results of the #AFROZENSUS online survey, which is supported by Germany’s federal government, concrete measures can be proposed by the Black community to policy makers on how to reduce racial discrimination and to protect and promote the rights of people of African origin in Germany.
The #AFROZENSUS online survey, which runs until the end of August, is being conducted in three languages – German, English and French.
“All our perspectives matter and contribute to the success of this first survey! Therefore, register and make the Black, African and Afrodiasporic people around you aware of #AFROZENSUS!” EOTO said in a call to the Black community in Germany.
To participate in the #AFROZENSUS survey go to: https://afrozensus.de/?lang=en