By Alexandra Enberg
IZMIR, Türkiye (AA) - With the exception of hate crimes based on general xenophobic and racist motives, Afrophobia is the most common motive found among reported hate crimes in Sweden, according to a new report.
Hate crimes against Afro-Swedes are often characterized by physical violence and more than 1,000 cases are reported yearly, but only a few lead to a conviction in court, said the report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
The victims of Afrophobic hate crimes are often young, in particular the violent incidents, where four out of 10 are under age 18. The youngest was only 7 years old.
Hate crimes against Afro-Swedes occur in many different contexts – on streets, squares and public transport, but also in schools and in the workplace.
Most offenses are committed by strangers, but it can also be neighbors, colleagues, or schoolmates, according to Lisa Wallin, an investigator at the crime prevention council.
There are really few safe spaces where Afro-Swedes never run the risk of being subjected to this type of crime, Wallin told Swedish public broadcaster SVT.
The report is based on around 430 cases of Afrophobic hate crimes reported to the police, as well as interviews with suspects.
- Men more often perpetrators
In six out of 10 reports, men are the perpetrators. However, there is no large gender difference between women's and men's vulnerability to Afrophobic hate crimes, according to the reports the crime prevention council reviewed.
In just over a quarter of the reports where the plaintiff was a woman, there were sexualized or misogynistic expressions. Men were targeted more for their professional roles.
Serious violence and hate crimes are one dimension, but then there are also micro-aggressions and the experience of discrimination which affects the health of Afro-Swedes, said Wallin.