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EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Thank you to those of you who retweet or ‘like’ my posts on WordPress or Twitter. Any comments on the Black & Asian News and the Black & Asian Heritage Mix’ will also be gratefully received.

According to the Guardian, unemployment rose to 1.74 million people this week, its highest level in five years and business shutdowns are disproportionately affecting women and ethnic minorities. A major new study by Kings College on attitudes to different forms of inequality in light of Covid-19 also found that the British public believes in the need to tackle geographical inequalities. Although HR specialists say that bias and nepotism are prevalent in the UK, the research found that “One in eight Britons think lower earnings and higher unemployment among black people are due to a lack of motivation or willpower”. The report “Unequal Britain: attitudes to inequality after Covid-19” also indicates that 4% of respondents believe that most black people have “less in-born ability to learn”.

There are also discussions on the need to tackle modern slavery in global supply chains both in Europe and in Britain. According to Thomas Reuters Foundation News, the Modern Slavery Act “does not place any legally binding standards on companies to undertake efforts to effectively address risks of labour exploitation in their business operations.”

Stay Safe,

Thushari Perera

BLACK EUROPE RESOURCES

Twitter @Blackeresources 

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CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

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BBC plans ‘gold standard’ for diversity and inclusion, Televisual, 25 February 2021

“The corporation says the  2021-23 Diversity and Inclusion Plan will create “a more diverse leadership team, boost career opportunities for people from all backgrounds, overhaul recruitment processes and increase accessibility for disabled staff.”

Pele was always about more than football, The Independent, 23 February 2021

“A new Netflix documentary explores the life of one of football’s greatest-ever players and the country that loved him like no other”

BBCS, Blue Zoo, Tiger win Youtube kids originals orders, Televisual, 23 February 2021

“This new global slate is part of the previously announced $100 million commitment to invest in the future of quality kids, family and educational programming. “Coming from an incredible caliber of creators, our new roster of shows celebrates the diversity of kids and empowers them to pursue their dreams and care for each other and the world around them,” said Nadine Zylstra, Head of Family, Learning and Impact for YouTube Originals.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah Interview Sparks U.K. Bidding War, Variety, 23 February 2021

“A BBC source confirmed that the public broadcaster is not involved in the process. “The BBC is not involved in a bidding war on this,” said the source. As of Wednesday, it’s believed that Sky is also out of the running, leaving ITV as the main contender.”

 

CONSUMER ISSUES

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New Research: People With Protected Characteristics More Likely To Pay A Poverty Premium, Fair By Design, 24 February 2021

“The findings indicate people with certain protected characteristics are disproportionately affected by extra costs when accessing essential services. This might be because insurance underwriting processes consider them a higher risk as they live in a deprived area or because of a health condition. Or they might prefer to pay with cash on receipt of a bill because it helps them with budgeting.”

OPINION: UK’s Modern Slavery Act will not prevent forced labour in China, Thomas Reuters Foundation News, 25 February 2021

“While it has raised awareness of the prevalence of modern slavery and encouraged a cluster of leading companies and investors to do more, ultimately, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s analysis of over 16,000 statements during the five years it ran its Modern Slavery Registry showed no significant improvements in the vast majority of companies’ policies, practice or performance.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

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Job losses in pandemic due to performance issues, say nearly half of Britons, The Guardian, 24 February 2021

“One in eight Britons think lower earnings and higher unemployment among black people are due to a lack of motivation or willpower…The authors said the overall findings showed “meritocratic and individualistic tendencies” are likely to temper calls for action on inequality.“

Will they come back? Why British construction lost its Eastern European workforce, Construction News, 24 February 2021

“The UK is not a very popular work destination anymore because of the pound’s low value. That was fine when the cost of living wasn’t too expensive. But cost of living is so high [many people] cannot face it. So Germany, Holland, Belgium are much more [attractive] destinations for East Europeans at the moment.”

EDUCATION

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UCL academics hit back at move to revoke university’s adoption of IHRA, The JC, 24 February 2021

“Staff warn definition is “an important safeguard” amid growing harassment of Jewish students”

‘A slap in the face’ – ex-pupil slams Edinburgh City Council’s ‘meaningless’ investigation into racism at city schools, Edinburgh Evening News, 24 February 2021

“A victim of racist abuse at an Edinburgh school has branded a council report into a string of complaints by former pupils a ‘slap in the face’.”

Edinburgh council bosses apologise over racism claims after kids say they were called ‘monkeys’ and ‘slaves’, Daily Record on MSN, 22 February 2021

“Council bosses said that although schools demonstrated ‘many effective examples of responding appropriately to alleged racist incidents’, the overall conclusion of the investigation was that ‘more could be done’…A council statement added: “In addition, an annual equalities award (Saroj Lal award) will shortly be announced. This has been created in honour of Saroj Lal (1937-2020), Edinburgh’s first Asian primary school teacher and a leading figure in the campaign for race equality and social justice in Scotland.”

Reversing the shocking lack of diversity in Further Education, CMI, 24 February 2021

“Attracting hundreds of expressions of support from organisations and individuals, the Black Further Education Leadership Group (BFELG) laid bare the worrying under-representation of Black, Asian and ethnically diverse leaders in further education – an often-forgotten sector.”

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

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Covid risk higher for South Asian communities despite government drive to address disparities, The Independent, 26 February 2021

“Disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minorities is ‘largely a result of higher infection rates’, says Cabinet Office’s Race Disparity Unit”

 

Adopting an anti-racist medical curriculum, BMJ, 19 February 2021

“Dismantling structural racism means that “healthcare professionals must recognise, name, understand and talk about racism competently.” [9] Real change will only be achieved if the medical curriculum is reformed to equip trainees with the tools to tackle historic inequalities. Now is the time to rethink what we do, what we have learned, and what we will teach future generations.”

 

Councils urged to vaccinate homeless as fears grow over ‘postcode lottery’, The Big Issue, 18 February 2021

“Local leaders who went against Government advice and vaccinated vulnerable homeless people have urged local authorities to follow in their footsteps and offer jabs to rough sleepers as an “urgent public health duty”.”

HOUSING

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Gumtree ‘No foreign nationals’ ad for Northern Ireland property reported to police, Belfast Telegraph, 23 February 2021

“The law as regards racial discrimination in selling or letting houses or any other premises is quite clear. Under the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 it is unlawful to discriminate on racial grounds in selling or letting any premises through an advertisement or through an estate agent.”

 

A person died while homeless every nine hours in 2020, The Big Issue, 22 February 2021

“The Dying Homeless Coalition is calling for a national enquiry into homeless deaths after finding 976 people died without a permanent home last year”

GOVERNMENT & COMMUNITIES

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Parliamentary ping pong over genocide amendment in the UK, EURACTIV, 24 February 2021

“UK lawmakers will have to reconvene for their next battle of parliamentary ping pong after the House of Lords on Tuesday again amended the Johnson government’s Trade Bill, seeking to tighten the rules to prevent UK governments from agreeing on trade deals with countries that have committed genocide.”

Half of migrants feel unrepresented, survey finds, Holyrood, 23 February 2021

“Respondents to the survey conducted by JustRight Scotland, a human rights charity, cited a lack of migrants and people of colour in the Scottish Parliament as a key reason.”

The food system in the UK is full of contradiction: UK food poverty: The right to food is a human right, War on Want, 16 February 2021

“The food system in the UK is full of contradictions. On the one hand, millions of people have difficulties accessing and affording food, but on the other, there is no shortage of food, or indeed wealth, in the country. Furthermore, despite the immense financial profit that is made in the food sector, farm workers and food retail staff both in the UK and abroad have serious financial worries.

 

POLICING & JUSTICE SYSTEM

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JUSTICE launches timely report on racial disparities of children in the youth justice system, JUSTICE, 25 February 2021

“This Working Party of JUSTICE, which publishes its report Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System on 25 February 2021, seeks to examine the causes of BAME disproportionality in the Youth Justice System (YJS) of England and Wales.”

SPORTS, FITNESS & OUTDOORS

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Seedorf on lack of Black managers in Europe: ‘No equal opportunities’, ESPN, 22 February 2021

“”I played 12 years in Italy: after [coaching] Milan, despite having done a great job, I received no calls,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Holland is my country, yet again, zero calls. “What are the selection criteria? Why do great champions have no chance in Europe where they wrote pages of football history?”

 

WIDER EUROPE

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Open Letter: Uber must recognise its workers, EUObserver, 24 February 2021

“MEP Leïla Chaibi: ‘We will not let Uber buy its way into changing EU laws to suit its interests. The European Commission will present a directive on platform workers by the end of the year’”

Why is new EU trade policy using WTO as a figleaf?, EUObserver, 24 February 2021

“While producers in Europe need to live up to demanding labour standards, the European Commission does not make the slightest move to protect them against competition from countries that use forced labour on a massive scale.”

Anti-racism commission publishes new report on Norway, conclusions on Spain and San Marino, Council of Europe, 23 February 2021

“In its new report on Norway published today together with the government’s comments, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) calls on Norwegian child welfare services to further strengthen their assistance to struggling families with a migration or minority background in order to avoid the severe measures of placing children in foster care, limiting or even cutting contact between children and their biological parents and adoption without their consent.”

BELGIUM

Employment: Ambulance company fined for origin discrimination, The Brussels Times, 25 February 2021

“A court in Ghent has fined a private ambulance company €4,000 for discrimination on the basis of national origin, for only the second time since the relevant law was passed 40 years ago, Unia reports.”

FRANCE

What has killed more people in France since 2000? Islamic terrorism or ‘la chasse’?. OpenDemocracy, 23 February 2021

“Playing to the gallery of anti-Muslim prejudice is something that successive French presidents have engaged in since the former Front National movement began its rise in the 1980s”

France: Protesters oppose move to disband anti-migrant group, The Washington Post, 20 February 2021

“Generation Identity has influence throughout France and beyond. It contends its members are whistle-blowers on a mission to preserve French and European civilization, seen as undermined by newcomers, notably Muslims. Critics contend it is a militia espousing a racist cause.”

GERMANY

Tareq Alaows, who fled to Europe in a rubber boat, plans to run for Germany’s Greens party in elections this September, Thomas Reuters Foundation News, 25 February 2021

“Almost six years ago Tareq Alaows drifted across the Aegean in a rubber boat before walking most of the way from Athens to Vienna. Now the migrant who fled military conscription in Syria is trying to win a seat in Germany’s parliament.”

Report: More right-wing extremism in the German army, EuroActiv, 24 February 2021

“Germany recorded 477 new suspected cases of right-wing extremism in 2020, compared to the 363 discovered in 2019, according to the annual report on the status of Germany’s armed forces presented on Tuesday by the parliament’s Armed Forces Commissioner Eva Högl.”

 

Everyday racism is problem in Germany: Foreign minister, Andalou Agency, 19 February 2021

““There are more than 33,000 right-wing extremists in Germany, 13,000 of whom are willing to use violence, and this trend is increasing,” he said, referring to the latest report of the BfV, the country’s domestic intelligence agency.”

IRELAND

Family of George Nkencho calls for full public inquiry into shooting, Belfast Telegraph, 11 February 2021

“The 27-year-old was shot dead by gardai outside his home in west Dublin on Wednesday December 30.”

ITALY

Migrant landings in Italy rose in 2020 to 34,000, ISMU, ANSAMed, 23 February 2021

“In 2020, a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy saw an increased in migrant landings to 34,000, according to the 26th annual migration report published by the ISMU foundation and available online. The growth in the number of migrant boat landings happened after two years of decreases: 23,000 in 2018 and 11,000 in 2019.”

NETHERLANDS

Five Rotterdam cops reprimanded for racism in WhatsApp group, NLTimes, 25 February 2021

“Five Rotterdam police officers were given a written remand for making racist statements in a chat group with colleagues in 2019. This is the lightest possible form of punishment the police can impose on employees, ANP reports.”

SPAIN

Europe-bound migrants found hidden among glass bottles, toxic ash in Spain, TVNZ, 22 February 2021

“A video released by the police also shows another incident in which an officer first finds a motionless leg sticking out of a large plastic bag containing ash from the city’s incinerator, a material that is considered highly toxic.”

Image Credits: Pixabay

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