The number of British children seeking help for racist bullying increased dramatically last year, a charity has warned.
In a report, titled “Can I tell you something?” and published on Wednesday, the children’s counseling service ChildLine said over 1,400 people aged under 18 in the UK reported they were experiencing racist bullying in 2012-13.
The figure shows an increase by 69 percent when compared with some 861 cases recorded in the previous year.
The charity also said contacts about cyber bullying, self-harm and suicidal thoughts have soared by 87, 41 and 33 percent respectively since 2011-12.
ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen said the rise in the number of calls to its 24-hour service from troubled youngsters should be a “real wake up call,” adding, “Far too many of the nation’s children seem to be struggling and in despair.”
James Kingett, of the charity Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC), also said the heated public debate about immigration is inflaming race tensions in classrooms.
“The rhetoric at the moment around immigration is incredibly pervasive. The prominence of the immigration debate may have had a knock-on effect, filtering down in classrooms,” Kingett said.
The statistics come a week after a survey by the youth charity The Prince’s Trust found that around 32 percent of jobless Britons aged between 16 and 25 had thought about taking their own lives whilst about 24 percent had self-harmed.[Read more]