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About JCWI

JCWI was founded in 1967 to ensure that the rule of law and human rights were respected in the immigration system. We are the UK’s leading immigration charity covering all aspects of immigration, asylum, and nationality law. Our clients comprise mainly of migrants from BAME backgrounds, and we frequently research, examine, and analyse the discriminatory effects of immigration policy.

Background


This cross-government commission to examine racial inequality in the UK has been ordered in response to widespread public unrest that took place in the Summer of this year as part of the global Black Lives Matter movement. This movement is credited in part with a significant impact in public attitudes in the UK, with YouGov polling following the demonstrations showing that 84% of black and other minority ethnic British residents think racism is a major problem in our society, and a Guardian poll revealing nearly two thirds of Britons of all ethnicities believe there is a fair amount or a great deal of racism plaguing our society today.


The protests and the findings of these and other national polls came at a time when it was coming to light that the Coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on black and minority ethnic people in the UK, with the highest rates of infections and deaths impacting black people, and the lowest impact on white people. It is clear that in 2020, Britain still has a long way to go before we can claim to be a fair, equal and tolerant society that provides equity and dignity to all our communities. This is shameful in and of itself but is made far more galling when the lack of action to correct this situation by the leaders of the country is taken into account.


While the issue of racial inequality has once again come to the forefront of the national conversation in 2020, however, the fact that black, brown and minority ethnic communities experience discrimination leading to poorer outcomes in education, employment, health and crime and policing is not new information. Repeated reports, inquiries, investigations and outright scandals have laid bare, again and again, the ethnic disparities that impact our society over the past decade and beyond, while startlingly little serious action has been taken to remedy the question. 

The breadth and vagueness of the questions asked in this response, and the concerning public statements denying institutional and structural racism in the UK made by those involved in this commission, suggest to us that this is not a genuine exercise. The questions themselves speak of a profound ignorance of the evidence, the expertise, and the years of labour that have been poured into past inquiries, investigations, and expert reports into these matters, all of which have been left to rot on shelves unimplemented.

The questions themselves are in some cases appallingly put. Question 9, for example, is an extraordinary example of begging the question. It assumes facts that are not in evidence.

Moreover the 10 questions put cover a huge breadth of topics, far outside the scope of such a short inquiry, with such an inexpert panel.

Our submission to this commission, therefore, rejects the very premise that this process is what this government needs in order to begin to finally tackle racial inequality and racism. We believe this is nothing more than an attempt to kick the issue further into the long grass and represents a poor use of the time of civil society organisations and individuals forced to provide, yet again, a data set that is as likely to be ignored as previous efforts have been. We intend to use this submission, therefore, to highlight some of the many existing inquiries and reports that have examined the issues of race inequality and whose recommendations have yet to be implemented. Once a determined attempt has been made to implement the findings and recommendations of those reports, the Government will find it far easier to engage with minority communities and expert organisations on what further steps are needed, what further evidence may need to be gathered.

Recommendations that must be implemented to address racial inequality in the UK: A nonexhaustive list

The publications listed below that correspond to each of the four areas of interest to this commission represent merely an indication of the breadth of available literature examining the evidence on the issue at hand that is available already. We encourage members of the commission to revisit all the other evidence that has been collected and made available to them on this topic and to consider the prompt implementation of all the relevant recommendations. We further recommend that the commission examine other reports that have been made available to government over the past decade, including all the outputs of The Race Disparity Audit 2016, the 2018 Shaw Review, as well as Wendy Williams’ 2020 Windrush Lessons Learned Review, and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants’ briefing on it.

Education

Employment & Enterprise

Health

Crime and Policing

Conclusion


The reports linked above represent only a small sampling of the meticulously researched data on racial inequalities in the UK that the government has available to it. Combined they represent uncounted hours of dedicated and skilled data collection and analysis presented in clear recommendations to the government intended to make the task of addressing these inequalities as straightforward as possible. We fear that this new consultation not only duplicates the tireless work that has already been done in this area but seeks to undermine it. Black, brown and other minority ethnic British people have waited long enough for their voices to be heard, their work to be recognised and their grievances to be addressed once and for all. It is time for a demonstration of true commitment to racial equality, demonstrated through tangible action.

 


For more information please contact:

Chai Patel
Legal Policy Director, JCWI
[email protected] - 0207 553 7463


Zoe Gardner
Policy Advisor, JCWI
[email protected] - 0207 553 7463

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