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Report on racist and discriminative tendencies in Switzerland

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 The ‘Gfs.bern’ research institute has developed, under guidance of the Anti-Racism Service, a tool for monitoring ‘life together’. The pilot project included three representative surveys conducted between the years 2010 and 2014, to examine racist and discriminative tendencies.

The surveys were conducts on 2010, 2012 and 2014 in the form of personal (face to face) one-hour interviews. The survey sample included 1,000 Swiss citizens and 700 foreigners. The survey examined the development and prevalence of racial attitudes, xenophobia, hostility towards Muslims and anti-Semitism. The answers of those interviewed were summarized under key values. Wide-population attitudes were not determined based on individual answers but in relation to groups of answers only. People’s attitudes were defined racial or anti-Semitic only where several racial or anti-Semitic statement were made systematically.

Racial attitudes
Two key values were examined to determine racial attitudes. The first value referred to where a person feels disturbed by the presence of certain people due to their color of skin, language, religion or nationality. On 2012, this value was 5% and on 2014 it was 6%. The second value referred to people’s refusal to accept certain groups of people as potential neighbors. This value dropped from 17% on 2010 to 13% on 2014. On 2012 it was 8%.

Antisemitic attitudes
The percentage of people having antisemitic attitudes has declined, from 15% on 2010 and on 2012 to 11% on 2014. The same result was recorded in an additional telephone survey that was conducted to verify the first method. This, despite the increase that was recorded during the summer of 2014 in the number of antisemitic references on the internet.

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