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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Scots urged to stamp out racism
Television still
Adverts will appeal for racial tolerance
A 1m campaign to tackle racism has been launched after a study suggested that one in four Scots admit to being racist.

The Scottish Executive said that the initiative is the first government-sponsored campaign against racism in the UK.

Adverts will challenge commonly-held perceptions about attitudes towards those from different ethnic backgrounds.


We are under no illusion, Scotland has some way to go before it is free of prejudice and discrimination

First Minister Jack McConnell
First Minister Jack McConnell said acceptance of diverse cultures was fundamental to making Scotland more prosperous.

The campaign was launched in Edinburgh as the results of a survey commissioned by the executive were unveiled.

More than 1,000 Scots, aged 16 and over, were interviewed during the System Three poll.

More than half of them said they would be worried if more people from ethnic minorities arrived in Scotland.

Approximately 79% of those questioned said they believe they are warm and friendly to those coming from other backgrounds.

The survey also found:

  • nearly 50% of respondents said they had been exposed to racist behaviour, primarily as a witness

  • more than 10% of those who took part said they had been the victims of racist abuse

  • about 25% of those polled admitted to being strongly or slightly racist

  • nearly 50% said they did not believe that terms such as "Chinky" or "Paki" used in relation to food or shops was racist.

A similar figure regarded racism as a serious or very serious problem for Scotland.

Police figures have shown that the number of reported racist incidents is on the rise, currently standing at more than 3,000 a year.

The advertising campaign, which will run for five weeks, has the message: "One Scotland, many cultures".

It will include television, radio, cinema and billboard adverts, as well as a special website.

Advertising campaign

The aim is to raise awareness of racist attitudes and behaviour and highlight the negative impact this has on individuals and communities.

Social Justice Minister Margaret Curran described the launch as "a significant moment for Scotland".

She said: "Through this advertising campaign we are stating clearly and loudly that there is no place for racism in Scotland.

"I don't believe that anyone wants to live in a Scotland where a family or individual's potential is determined, not by their abilities, but by their postcode or the colour of their skin.

Jack McConnell
Jack McConnell said diversity is crucial
"We are under no illusion, Scotland has some way to go before it is free of prejudice and discrimination.

"But unless we rid ourselves of these evils, our pursuit of social justice, equality of opportunity, and economic prosperity will be seriously compromised."

Mr McConnell said: "I am convinced that making the most of the diverse cultures in Scotland is fundamental to a more prosperous Scotland.

"For a growing economy, we need a growing population.

"We must therefore make the most of all our talent and ensure that Scotland is a welcoming place for people from all cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Isabel Fraser
"The poll points to a major problem of racism in society"
Reevel Alderson reports
"There is a lot of education to be done"
See also:

03 May 02 | Scotland
21 Aug 01 | Scotland
21 Feb 01 | Scotland
11 Jan 01 | Scotland
03 Dec 00 | Scotland
14 Mar 00 | Scotland
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