According to a research, England is “systemically racist,” and the UK government is violating its human rights commitments under a key UN convention aimed at ending racial discrimination.
The Runnymede Trust, whose chief executive Halima Begum has referred to Boris Johnson as an “entitled Bullingdon Club brat,” stated institutional procedures and customs continue to hurt ethnic groups in its report.
The think tank’s research also discovered that the government is in violation of various articles of the United Nations’ International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).
The think tank’s most recent study, which was written in response to an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) procurement, included testimony from more than 100 civil society organizations.
The Runnymede Trust, whose chief executive Halima Begum (pictured) once referred to Boris Johnson as an “entitled Bullingdon Club brat,” said the UK government is in violation of its human rights commitments in its report. Its publication comes amid condemnation from the Prime Minister, the Duke of Cambridge, and others over the wave of racist abuse directed at black football players.
Minority ethnic groups experience persistent gaps in health, criminal justice, education, employment, immigration, and politics, according to the report.
The authors predict that the government’s new approach to equalities will fail to improve these results, and may even exacerbate them, according to the authors.
They also cast doubt on findings released earlier this year by the UK’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Differences (Cred), which determined that the system is no longer ‘deliberately rigged’ against ethnic minorities in the UK.
They claim Cred’s finding “misrepresents the scope and complexity of the concerns” and contrasts sharply with the information presented in the current report.
The evidence reveals that racial inequality has gotten worse in several areas since the last shadow report in 2016, according to the report.
The government’s Election Integrity Bill, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and the new immigration plan, it argues, all ‘particularly alarming.’
The government’s immigration policies, it argues, “are in clear violation of ICERD,” and the new Immigration Law could represent a “serious threat” to ethnic minorities’ rights.
They further claim that the government has failed to implement key recommendations made by the ICERD in 2016, including providing protection to victims of dual or multiple discrimination and making caste a legal feature of race.
Disproportionality in the criminal justice system, health inequities, and a spike in hate crime are all issues of worry, according to senior policy officer Alba Kapoor.
‘There are very clear evidence that things are considerably worse in certain regions than they were before, and also that impending legislative options that are being put forward have actual ramifications in each of these locations in terms of the rights of black and minority ethnic people,’ she said.
‘Especially around health inequities, the fact that these were not listened to five years ago, we now see the very real repercussions of that in the devastating death rates for black and minority ethnic groups during this crisis,’ she added. Nevertheless, Dr Halima Begum, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, who in 2019 called the prime minister an “entitled Bullingdon Club brat,” said progress has been made.
‘But, race has become an unnecessarily polarizing issue in the national debate, and many people of our black and minority ethnic communities continue to face severe disparities in their life prospects,’ she added.
‘From stop and search to gaps in maternal health, lower levels of house ownership to wage and professional prospects, this analysis presents more evidence that a colorblind approach to equality will not be the most effective method to achieve social mobility,’ the report said.
Additional suggestions include working with social media platforms to combat online instigation of racial hatred and ensuring adequate reporting and data collection mechanisms for hate crimes.
‘The contentious and dishonest Sewell report into race disparity represents the worst wasted opportunity to properly confront institutional racism in the UK,’ said Lord Simon Woolley, a former Government adviser on race and director of Operation Black Vote.
‘In stark contrast, our shadow report offers a series of strategic proposals that, when taken together, present a desperately needed comprehensive race equality policy suited for the twenty-first century,’ a Cred spokesman said.
‘We stand in solidarity with those black English footballers who have been subjected to disgusting racist insults after performing admirably for us all,’ he said.
‘We know what it’s like to be singled out and harassed online because of your race from our own experiences as commissioners, both before and after our report was published.’
There cannot be no safe haven for racists,’ a government spokesperson said, adding that the government will respond to the damning recommendations as part of its action plan to address disparities. ‘We have achieved great progress and have gone well beyond our obligations to the ICERD since our last report in 2015, and we will offer an update in due course.’
‘The Runnymede Trust’s shadow report is riddled with mistakes, and it is overly simplistic in claiming that structural or systemic racism is to blame for all of the inequalities detailed in the report.’