Speaking Catalan is the fourth reason for discrimination in the city of Barcelona. This is the conclusion of the Barcelona Discrimination Observatory Report, presented on June 29th. The presentation of the document, whose 116 pages can be accessed here, had the participation of members of the Platform per la Llengua, an entity whose main objective is the promoting the use of the Catalan language in various social spheres in the territories of Catalan language and culture.
Catalan language and LGBTI community, targets of discrimination in Barcelona
The report presents ten discrimination targets in Barcelona during the year 2020. The first reason for discrimination in the capital of Catalonia is linked to skin color and national origin (racism and xenophobia), Responsible for 34% of prejudiced attitudes. In second place appears the discrimination against the LGBTI community, with 24% of cases. It is worth remembering that last week the Catalan Parliament declared Catalonia “territory of freedom for LGBTI groups".
The third target of discrimination in Barcelona (11%) are the people with some kind of disability, Specially to physical handicap. In the fourth position, the cases of discrimination against the use of the Catalan language are responsible for 9,8% cases of discriminatory treatment in Barcelona. As indicated in the report, 70% of the cases of discrimination against the use of Catalan originate from the private entities or companies, 25% are set in public service departments.
As the Barcelona Discrimination Observatory report indicates, cases of linguistic discrimination are portrayed in the form of verbal violence, and in the form of “differentiated treatment” in the provision of services or access to information. According to Plataforma per la Llengua, cases of discrimination against people who spoke in Catalan had a great growth in 2020, in different areas. The NGO also denounces that the linguistic discrimination suffered by Catalan speakers continues “without explicit official recognition” by some administrations which, according to the NGO, “accept or normalize the imposition of the Spanish language”.
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Language Policies and Human Rights
The report on discrimination in Barcelona cites the plan drawn up by the Catalonia's Human Rights Framework (EDHC) for the “effective fulfillment” of the commitments of the European Charter for regional or minority languages. This plan, in the section on linguistic rights of Catalan speakers, sets out proposals and recommendations for public administrations to guarantee these rights. It is worth remembering that, in 2020, the UN recognized the Catalans as a national minority, and detected “gaps and omissions” on the part of the Spanish State in relation to the Catalan language and the Basque language.
The EDHC plan also includes proposals to intensify language policies aimed at migrant people, in order to “promote social cohesion” through knowledge of the official languages in Catalonia (in addition to own language, which is catalan, the Castilian and Aranese Occitan are official in the territory).