A new report, authored by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) of the United Kingdom, has revealed that racism has risen in the country since the national referendum -more commonly known as Brexit – saw the UK removed from the European Union, in June, 2016.
The EHRC is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom, which was established by the Equality Act in 2006. It is a merger of three defunct commissions charged with the responsibility of promotion and enforcing equality and non-discrimination laws in England, Scotland and Wales.
EHRC titled the damning report ‘Healing a Divided Britain’. The Commission found that life chances for young people from ethnic minorities are increasingly worsening in the country, making it the most challenging for these young generations.
In the report, EHRC stated clearly that 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.
The report published on August 18, 2016 revealed race was the motive in 82% of hate crimes recorded in England and Wales. It further revealed these two nations witnessing an unprecedented rise in racism, since Brexit.
According to the details of the report, there has been a staggering 49% increase in long-term unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds ethnic minority communities, in the United Kingdom, since 2011. Meanwhile, on young white people, the report found that there has been a 2% fall in long-term unemployment. This shows that as the conditions of young minorities in the country are deteriorating, that of ethnic young majorities (Whites) are improving. This puts minorities in the country at highly disadvantaged positions in the country.
Also, the report said 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 is said in the report again, that young black college graduates are earning 23% less than their white counterparts.
In an interview with Al Jazeera English, chairman of EHRC, David Isaac said the report confirmed the speculation that racism is real in the United Kingdom.
“If you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you’re living in a different world. If you look across the country, in relation to the way people live their lives, whether it’s in health, work or being part of the criminal justice system … the picture presents blacks, ethnic minorities, gypsies and travelers as second-class citizens,” he said.
Mr Isaac called for the government to take urgent action in addressing these findings, to ensure a peaceful and stable country in the future.
Before the publication of this report, racial equality activists in the United Kingdom had accused the country’s government of woefully failing to address racial inequalities across the criminal justice, education, employment, health, housing and political participation, at the just ended United Nations summit on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, held in Geneva.
Omar Khan, a participant of the summit and the director of the Runnymede Trust, said while it was found out at the summit that the United Kingdom has one of the world’s strongest anti-discrimination legislations, the legislations are not being enforced on the ground, making it just a mere written document. The Runnymede Trust is an equality-focused think-tank in the United Kingdom.
Commenting on this current report, Mr Khan urged all civil society groups in the United Kingdom to come together and challenge the country’s government; properly tackle racial discrimination/human rights abuses against ethnic minorities, and build a stronger future for all racial groups in the country.
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