One in three migrants in the UK have been subjected to verbal abuse in the UK, with the figure rising to just under half among migrants aged 16-24, according to research. Speaking about their experiences, migrants are targeted with abuse on average 12 times each since they've come to the UK.
In order to highlight the levels of abuse, online payment service Azimo commissioned a video of both people born in the UK and migrants reading real-life tweets and online comments from the public regarding migrants.
The comments range from complaints that the UK "stinks of kebab shops" and people should "stand up for their rights" because of it to suggesting all migrants should be sterilised, sent home or that the immigration problem should be sorted out "with a few AK47s".
Azimo, who surveyed a total of 3,016 people - 2,014 people born in the UK, and 1,002 migrants – as part of their research, said there are still many misconceptions about who is arriving into the country. According to research, 55% of the migrants said they were university-educated, compared to around 42% of the British population. A total 72% of native Britons also think migrants earn less than the average UK salary. However, on average, the highly qualified migrants earn close to £28,500 – ($41,000) more than the UK average salary.
When asked how many languages they speak, 29% of those who took part in the survey said they can speak three or more languages, compared to just 4% of the indigenous UK population.
Marta Krupinska, Co-Founder and General Manager at Azimo, said: "In the run-up to the EU referendum the debate about migration is becoming blurry with misconceptions. Running a money transfer business catering to migrants, we see hundreds of thousands of people who work hard, make a living, often succeed in their careers and support their families back home on top of all that – which is a very different view from the one often portrayed by the media.
"Fear and scare-mongering about migrants are causing real problems in our society – it's not an accurate reflection of migrants or the British public. We need to celebrate people from all backgrounds and truly value the skills they bring."
The company are encouraging people to raise awareness about the perception of migrants in the UK using the hashtag #BetterThanThat.