Europe must take a lead in the fight against racism, the Secretary of Church's Commission for Racial Justice said in Strasbourg last week. Rev Trotman was speaking at a meeting of more than 250 NGOs meeting ahead of the European Conference on Racism. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson asked: "How come in countries with such good economic development, xenophic tendencies are still paramount?" She wanted to know why such rich countries were developing a 'fortress Europe', effectively excluding people from less developed countries from even short-term employment, when there is a shortage of manpower in Europe. Michelynn Lafleche, from the Runnymeade Trust, who recently published a report on multi-ethnic Britain, said it was a matter of great concern and sadness that while NGOs from all 41 member states of the Council of Europe were debating and agreeing the position against racism, the UK media industry often incited mass racist panic through innacurate and sensational reporting. The Forum has put 13 crucial amendments to the Council of Europe's draft general conclusions likely to be taken to the UN World Conference in South Africa next year. The Commission is part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, an ecumenical body representing 31 member churches on issues such as racial justice, international affairs, interfaith relations, mission, church and society.
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