Government shows a lack of leadership on race equality

Sunday 21 August 2011 21.00 BST

The writers of your piece entitled UK riots: ‘Those who seeks to racialise this problem are taking us backwards’ (10 August) are right to warn against rushing to racialise the riots. There has been a lot of speculation on the role of race in the recent riots. But whatever the causes, policymakers need to respond to the racial inequalities that have implications far beyond violence on the streets.

Racial discrimination still affects the life chances of too many people in the UK. Evidence consistently shows that many minority ethnic communities experience poorer outcomes than the rest of the population in education, employment, health and housing. Yet the government has not undertaken any substantial work on race equality, and our work indicates that it is doing very little to ensure its policies do not worsen the currently existing inequalities.

This inaction is likely to come under scrutiny next week when the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination examines the government’s actions on challenging these issues. UKNGOs Against Racism, a group of organisations convened by the Runnymede Trust, will present a report, informed by a series of consultations with community groups across the UK, to the UN committee. Our submission is based on robust evidence and makes concrete recommendations for improving race equality.

We are calling for the government to develop a race equality strategy, outlining how it intends to tackle ethnic inequalities. Government must ensure that our laws and policies lead to more equal outcomes for the UK’s ethnic minorities. The government’s response to the inequalities in our society is particularly crucial given the need to understand the causes of the riots that have occurred across England recently.

Societies should be judged by how they treat their most vulnerable. The government should therefore live up to the high-minded principles it affirms domestically and internationally, and take strong leadership in improving the lives of ethnic minorities in the UK.

Rob Berkeley, The Runnymede Trust

Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell, African Peoples Advocacy

Chawapiwa Faith Muverengwi, African Women Support Project Foundation

Zlakha Ahmed, Apna Haq

Tony Lindsay, Cambridge Racial Incident Support Project

Jatin Haria, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights

Barbara Cohen, Discrimination Law Association

Roy Williams, Diversity in Yorkshire

Alan Anstead, Equality

Karen Chouhan, Equanomics

Chris Whitwell, Friends, Families and Travellers

Drazin Nozinic, Foundation for Refugee Education

Cat Goughnour, Independent Complaint’s Bureau

Matthew Brindley, Irish Travellers Movement in Britain

Ratna Lachman, JUST West Yorkshire

Dr. Nasim Hasnie, Kirklees Racial Equality Council

Sally Sutton, Lancashire BME Pact

Ila Chandavarkar, MENTER

Ruth Grove-Wright, Migrant Rights Network

Pat Elsmie, Migrants’ Rights Scotland

Patrick Yu, Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities

Mary Scrimgeour

Ratna Dutt, Race Equality Foundation

Elizabeth Henry, Race on the Agenda

Gary Craig, Racial Justice in North Yorkshire

Rita Chadha, Refugee & Migrant Forum of East London

Anjie Chhapia, Real Relaxing Retreat

Jamil Akhtar, South Asian Consortium Kirklees

Jayasree Kalathil, Survivor Research

Vandna Gohil, Voice4Change England

Mike Lewis, Welsh Refugee Council

Vivienne Hayes, Women’s Resource Centre

KlaraSchmitz, Research and Policy Analyst



~ by jonathanure on August 24, 2011.

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