The promotion of racial equality is the main objective of a new EU co-funded project being implemented throughout this year by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality.
I'm Not Racist, But... is a project co-funded by EU Progress funds. The Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers, the Jesuit Refugee Service and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are partners in the project.
Opening a conference to launch the project, NCPE's executive director Romina Bartolo said the vision was to develop a clear understanding of the situation of ethnic minorities and housing.
Dr Bartolo explained that this project also aimed to empower the African minority to get their voice heard, advocate for their rights and report discrimination; and to raise awareness on racial discrimination and promote cultural diversity.
Justice Minister Chris Said said that through the project NCPE continued to raise awareness and spur development in the area of equality.
He said that in 2010 NCPE received complaints concerning allegations of racial discrimination in access to visa and in access to bars and clubs.
The NCPE had continued to raise awareness on racial equality with the aim of empowering more people on their rights and responsibilities vis-à-vis discrimination in various economic and social spheres but the rate of complaints was very low.
To study the reasons for this under reporting, a study was carried out by the 'Strengthening Equality Beyond Legislation' project.
Outlining the main activities of I'm Not Racist, But..., NCPE's projects executive Lara Bezzina said the African minority would be given training in empowerment and reporting discrimination.
Video clips on racism would be produced and disseminated. An Anti-Racism Day would raise awareness on the relevant issues and a research study delving into the housing experiences of ethnic minorities and the concerns of property owners and their representatives would be carried out.
A representative from the Migrants Network for Equality gave the migrants' perspective of the project.