The alarming rise in racist and Islamophobic bullying amongst children reported by the NSPCC last week should come as a wake-up call to society to stem the rise of xenophobia,
Figures released last week by the children’s charity showed a staggering 69 percent annual increase between 2012-13 in reports of ‘racist’bullying.
These include Islamophobic bullying with children calling Childline to report they are being called “terrorists” and “bombers” by classmates.
The findings support observations made by other anti-racism charities working with children such as Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC). Charity spokesman James Kingett told the Independent: “We work with around 50,000 young people every year and issues around Islamophobia have been very prevalent over the past 12 to 18 months. That idea that all Muslims are terrorists or bombers is a particular problem. We’re getting that from kids with no Muslim classmates through to those in diverse schools with many Muslims.”
The IHRC believes the figures reflect rising levels of xenophobia, particularly Islamophobia, in everyday life. The xenophobic climate created by prevailing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and discourse has seeped into classrooms.
IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “The damaging effects of the far right agenda for children is a wake-up call for teachers, parents and politicians. The sheer level of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim feeling it is generating in society is poisoning a new generation of children and having life-shaping consequences for their victims.”
Notes to Editors:
The Independent’s new report can be found at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/racist-bullying-farright-agenda-on-immigration-being-taken-into-classrooms-9045148.html
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
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