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60% of minorities fear discrimination

The majority of people from ethnic minority groups believe their skin colour and religion cause them to be discriminated against or even attacked.

A survey carried out by the Runnemede think-tank, which was seen by Voice-Online, found 60 per cent of respondents belonging to a non-caucasian racial or ethnic group feel they pay an "ethnic penalty" and this keeps them from achieving what they want in life.

Some 33 per cent of Afro-Caribbean respondents claimed they expect to be discriminated against when searching for a job and a further 44 per cent said they have experienced some form of prejudice while in the workplace.

Additionally, 65 per cent of black survey participants commented they feel either very or slightly worried about being attacked because of their race or religion - highlighting the challenges people in this racial group face on a daily basis.

Rob Berkeley, director of Runnymede, said: "Creating an equal and fair society where a person’s life chances are not affected by their race is possible, but only if we work together.

"The key to succeeding will be informing people about the continued existence of racism and the damage it causes to all of us, and sharing knowledge of what works in combating it."

Worryingly, despite Mr Berkeley's aim of abolishing racism in the UK, 79 per cent of those responding to the think-tank's survey believe it will take between 20 and 50 years to eliminate ethnic prejudices in the country.

Still, legislation against racial discrimination in the workplace has been bolstered in recent years and anyone that feels they are being denied an opportunity for a promotion or career advancement because of their religion or ethnicity could be entitled to launch a claim.

Warren Simpson, a West Midland firefighter of Jamaican descent, recently initiated legal action against his employer because he feels he is being denied the chance to get an executive position at the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service.

By Chris Stevenson