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30.01.2020 International

Coronavirus: A Latent Prejudice Just Waiting To Happen

Coronavirus: A Latent Prejudice Just Waiting To Happen
LISTEN JAN 30, 2020

There is a growing danger of discrimination against those of Chinese origin because of the current viral health scare.

The Federation of International Employers ( FedEE ) is warning employers that they will face litigation and loss of reputation if they allow such prejudice to enter the workplace.

Such abuse is particularly a problem in France where one region's newspaper has just used a photograph of an Asian person in a mask under the headline "Alerte Jaune" (yellow alert). The newspaper has since apologised, but the Chinese community have started using the hashtag "JeNeSuisPasUnVirus" (I am not a virus). In Canada too there are reports from Toronto of stigmatisation of the Chinese community. Many reports of open harassment in public have been made and there is likely to be a surge of prejudice that may well centre on the workplace - not just in France and Canada, but all around the World.

According to Robin Chater, Secretary-General of FedEE, "This social disease will be institutionalised once those of Chinese origin are denied jobs, refused hotel accommodation or access to transport. Linking a disease to racial prejudice is something new, as it never arose over HIV/AIDS in respect to those of African origin or for those of Arabic origin over MERS. Perhaps it is driven by the same underlying spirit of economic envy as that which Trump's America has for China - a deep seated prejudice just waiting for the right trigger to emerge."

What is FedEE?
The Federation of International Employers ( FedEE ) is a leading corporate membership organisation for multinational companies. It was founded in 1998, with financial assistance from the European Commission. Today it is an independent body with corporate members all around the globe.

For further information please contact Eustace Fernsby at the FedEE Press Office on [email protected] and 0044 203 608 4412.