Ctra. Montcada, 596
08223 Terrassa Barcelona
Terrassa is a city located about 28 km from Barcelona. The historical background of its growth, linked to its industrial status and the influx of migration, have made Terrassa a highly diverse city, sharing many aspects with other European municipalities. It’s the fourth largest city in the Catalan economy.
According to the 2020 population report, Terrassa has a population of more than 220,000, nearly 14% of whom are foreign nationals. There are people from about 125 nationalities (with the Moroccan community comprising the largest proportion, around 5'80% followed by 0.55% from Romania; 0.53% from Colombia; 0.53 from Senegal; 0.51% from China; 0.50 from Venezuela; etc.). During 2019, 44.6% of the new residents were people of foreign nationality.
The diversity of languages, customs, beliefs and worldviews, offers us new social opportunities addressed by an intercultural perspective. However, it also increases complexities, which must be addressed, regarding reception, coexistence, cohesion and social inclusion.
Terrassa City Council is aware that aspects or strands such as racial or ethnic origin belief, religion as well as age, disability, sex and sexual orientation are aspects of vulnerability that can give rise to discrimination, and hence inequality. The city has an established track record in promoting equality and non-discrimination. And is also participating in several European projects with the aim of improving our social policies.
Regarding diversity of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, the City Council has a specific department that focuses on these aspects of inequality. The Citizenship Service (www.terrassa.cat/ciutadania) is responsible for providing reception services, information and advice to foreign people living in the city; promoting mutual understanding and positive interaction between people of different backgrounds and incorporating the intercultural and anti-racist perspectives into municipal public policies.
So, one of the biggest challenges is to detect and eliminate situations of racism in municipal action, guaranteeing equal treatment and non-discrimination in all our interventions. In this sense, we offer training for the officers of the city council in order review any discriminatory practices by the municipal services themselves.
These challenges require complicity and work with civil society and social agents, to recognize diversity, guarantee citizenship rights and promote intercultural dialogue. That is why we also have a programme, in collaboration with the NGO SOS Racisme, aimed to prevent, detect and deal with situations of racism in the city.
In 2019 SOS Racisme drafted a strategic document "Terrassa without Racism. Proposals for progress in this direction", based on a thorough field study and consists of a series of proposals and measures to be carried out at city level, as one more step towards achieving a Terrassa free of racism. https://www.terrassa.cat/informe-racisme
In addition, the City Council, in collaboration with this NGO, offers the Response and Complaint Service for Victims of Racism (SAiD), a free service for people or groups who have suffered racist discrimination of any kind. The ultimate goal of SAiD is to restore the rights of persons, but sometimes an individual case can turn into a process of social change.
Moreover, we would like to highlight the project Connected Equalities. Intersectionality in Local Public Policies, a pioneering action carried out in 2018 and 2019, which aimed to incorporate intersectionality in the development of municipal policies. One of the products of this project was the "Toolkit to incorporate intersectionality into local policies". This toolkit can be used to make a self-assessment in the different phases of development of a project, taking into account the different areas of inequality that exist and any intersections between them.