Alerta Discriminación: Discrimination alert app to report racist or xenophobic situations

  • A new app created by the organisation Red Acoge enables users to report forms of discrimination they have suffered or just witnessed.
  • ‘Alerta Discriminación’ is one of the experiences you can learn about at the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace, to be held in Matadero Madrid from 5 to 8 November this year. Registration for the event is now open.

If you feel you have been discriminated against or have witnessed someone else being victimised, you can now report it using your mobile phone with a new free app for Android or iOS.

Red Acoge has designed a pioneering app to report situations of racial discrimination at any time that otherwise would go unnoticed. In addition to lodging a criminal complaint with the police, you can use the app, available in Spanish, English, French and Arabic, to report more than one aggravating circumstances simultaneously.

‘Alerta Discriminación’ is one of the experiences you can learn about at the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace, to be held in Matadero Madrid from 5 to 8 November this year. Registration for the event is now open.

How does the app work? What happens when you file a complaint?

Using the app is really easy. You just have to answer a few questions after reporting a case of discrimination. You can request legal advice through the same app, and Red Acoge will get in touch with you soon afterwards.

The app has been downloaded by some 150 active users so far, and more than 100 complaints have been recorded since it was launched in November 2017. Some of such complaints include multiple discrimination actions, some of which are more frequent than previously thought. A Moroccan mother of a 12-year-old girl told her daughter’s schoolmates call her ‘terrorist’ or say things like ‘You like the smell of death’ or ‘Are you going to plant a bomb?’.

‘Alerta Discriminación’ has been used to report a number of cases involving migrants from Cameroon or Morocco who were looking for house rentals. When they phoned the owners, they were told, ‘We don’t take migrants’ or ‘Our idea is to not have tenants like them’ (a comment made by a home owner to a friend of one of the victims of discrimination).

Red Acoge is an association made of 18 organisations based in different Spanish regions. Established in 1991, it has since stood up for the rights of migrants and refugees. In addition to the new app – the first one of its kind to be launched for mobile devices –, Red Acoge has started the campaign #ElRacismoEsUnBulo… ¿o no? (Racism does not exist… or does it?), aimed at raising awareness of both discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnicity and the extremely low willingness to report cases of discrimination. Mostly, people experience this type of discrimination when trying to rent a house, find a job or access public places or services. The victims perceive these situations as normal events of daily life, which are not reason enough to file a formal complaint.

‘Alerta Discriminación’ will be just one of the 300 experiences that will be part of Panel 7 on racism and xenophobia in the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace.

One more time, Madrid is playing host to the world’s most relevant event on peace in cities. At the Forum, people will share experiences from all over the world. The Spanish capital is considered as a meeting place for local leaders, international organisations and networks, scholars, development NGOs, and the general public, who are interested in thinking about, discussing, and finding solutions for urban environments to eradicate racist attitudes and actions.

You can download the app or read more about the Forum here.