Britain Condemned in Race Groups' Report to UN

The Birmingham Post (England), August 14, 2000 | Go to article overview

Britain Condemned in Race Groups' Report to UN


A damning verdict on the Government's record on race relations was today being delivered to the United Nations by human rights and race equality campaigners.

The group of 28 organisations accused the Government of 'giving comfort to racists' through its immigration policies and of failing to protect millions of black people from discrimination from the police, in the courts and at work.

The criticism is contained in a dossier submitted to the UN's Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Race Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva, which is due to deliver its own regular report on Britain within the next few weeks.

The campaigners' report, co-ordinated by civil rights group Liberty and anti-racist body the 1990 Trust, features representations from bodies including the Refugee Council, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and relatives of black people, who died in police custody.

It makes 49 recommendations for action, ranging from the creation of an independent Police Complaints Authority and Human Rights Commission to an end to detention for asylum seekers and training for teachers on tackling racist bullying.

Recent Government reforms in areas such as asylum and immigration and access to legal services have exacerbated rather than improved existing problems, it states.

Black people are six times more likely to be stopped and searched by police and are vastly over-represented in the jail population, in part because of the tendency for courts to hand down longer sentences to blacks than white or Asian criminals. …

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