Racism on the rise in UK af­ter Brexit vote: Watch­dog

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

RA­CIAL in­equal­ity is get­ting worse in the United King­dom with young black peo­ple and eth­nic mi­nori­ties suf­fer­ing “in­sti­tu­tional racism” and “un­fair­ness” in the fields of ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment and the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, a hu­man rights watch­dog has said.

e Equal­ity and Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion (EHRC) said in its lat­est re­port on Thurs­day that race was the mo­tive in 82 per­cent of hate crimes recorded in Eng­land and Wales with the two na­tions wit­ness­ing an “un­prece­dented spike” since Bri­tain voted to leave the Euro­pean Union on 23 June.

The re­port, en­ti­tled “Heal­ing a di­vided Bri­tain,” found that life chances for young peo­ple from eth­nic mi­nori­ties had got worse, be­com­ing “the most chal­leng­ing for gen­er­a­tions.”

The re­port high­lighted a 49 per­cent in­crease in long-term un­em­ploy­ment among 16 to 24-year-olds from eth­nic mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties since 2011, com­pared with a fall of 2 per­cent for young white peo­ple.

Black peo­ple re­mained much more likely to be vic­tims of crime, in­clud­ing mur­der, and to be more harshly treated in the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem.

It said that al­though ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment had im­proved, black col­lege grad­u­ates were typ­i­cally earn­ing 23 per­cent less than white grad­u­ates.

“If you are black or an eth­nic mi­nor­ity in modern Bri­tain, it can of­ten still feel like you’re liv­ing in a dif­fer­ent world,” David Isaac, the com­mis­sion’s chair­man, said.

“If you look across the coun­try, in re­la­tion to the way peo­ple live their lives, whether its in health, work or be­ing part of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem . . . the pic­ture pre­sents blacks, eth­nic mi­nori­ties, gyp­sys and trav­ellers as sec­ond class ci­ti­zens.

Neave Barker, re­port­ing from Lon­don, said that the re­port reaf­firmed what many Brits al­ready held to be true about un­fair­ness and racism in the UK.

“There’s noth­ing equal about Bri­tain about at all,” one black Lon­doner told Al Jazeera.

Omar Khan, the di­rec­tor of the Run­nymede Trust, an equal­i­ty­fo­cused think-tank, ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of tak­ing a “colour blind” stance in its sub­mis­sion to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Ra­cial Dis­crim­i­na­tion ear­lier this week.

While the UN com­mit­tee’s re­view found that Bri­tain has some of the world’s strong­est anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion leg­is­la­tion, it also “showed the gap be­tween that leg­is­la­tion and the re­al­ity of con­tin­u­ing ra­cial in­equal­ity in the UK”, Khan said. — Al Jazeera

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