Dear Readers,

The UK has promised to resettle 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan. The scheme will give priority to women, girls and minorities considered ‘most at risk’ under Taliban rule. Migration experts are however more cautious about this announcement.

Amelia Gentleman from the Guardian writes: “Any new government scheme to resettle Afghan refugees would need to commit to firm targets for the number of people to be helped, to avoid the risk of dwindling political willingness to fulfil commitments, once the crisis has passed. Campaigners remember how a government promise to support 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children in Calais 2016, many of them from Afghanistan, ended up only helping about 380.”

Open Democracy interestingly observes that actually most Afghans don’t head west to Europe.

Relatedly, if you have not yet read much on the Nationality and Borders Bill 2021 initiated before the recent events in Afghanistan, I would recommend reading this interesting piece by Lucy Mablin, published by Border Criminologies, Oxford University.

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Keep Well & Stay Safe,

Thushari Perera


A digital resource on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Issues

Previous issues: Black & Asian News

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Afghan children-63175_640



Clive Myrie: Becoming host of Mastermind is a big, big job, BBC News, 20 August 2021

“It’s hard to imagine BBC News journalist Clive Myrie being fazed by any unfamiliar situation. In a career spanning three decades he’s travelled the world as a foreign correspondent, confronting war, death and misery in all their unpalatable guises, while maintaining a face of control and calm. The same is true of his delivery when hosting BBC One’s flagship news bulletins.”


Society of Editors withdraws claim that UK media is not racist, The Guardian, 18 August 2021

“When Dawn Alford was appointed as the new executive director last month, more than 100 journalists of colour pointed out that the organisation had done little to deal with the impact of its “insulting and ham-fisted blanket denial of racism”.”


One year on, have the soaps kept their promises following the Black Lives Matter movement?, Digital Spy, August 2021

“It’s been over a year since businesses, brands, the film industry, TV personalities and more promised diversity, inclusion and equality in all areas. Where many posted a black square on Instagram to show their support of the Black community, not everyone stuck to their promise of change.”



Brick Lane, Curry and Covid-19, LSE Blog, 16 August 2021

“Brick Lane in London is one of the world’s most iconic streets. Representations through literature, film and its reputation as the UK’s ‘Curry Capital’ have all contributed to its status, so much so that some British Bangladeshis claim that ‘There are three Bengals – west Bengal, east Bengal and Brick Lane’. Nevertheless, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Lane have been considerable. Seán Carey looks at the restaurant sector in particular, which is under threat as city workers and international tourists are both in short supply.”


Retailers urged to back new Bangladesh Accord, TUC Risks, 3 June 2021

“Top British retailers are being urged to renew an agreement that led to dramatic improvements in labour and safety standards at the garment factories in Bangladesh making products sold worldwide.”



Black and Minority Ethnic workers are still bearing the brunt of the pandemic, The Canary, 17 August 2021

“The unemployment rate for Black and Minority Ethnic workers has risen three times faster than for white workers over the past year. New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the unemployment rate for BME workers has increased from 6.1% in 2020 to 8% this year. In contrast, the rate for white workers has increased much slower – from 3.6% to 4% in the same time period.”


Taxi drivers suffer racist abuse on a daily basis – but don’t report it as it’s a ‘normal part of the job’, The Independent, 17 August 2021

“A shocking 93 per cent of taxi drivers taking part admitted they had suffered racial abuse from passengers, with attacks ranging from verbal to physical.”


HSBC banker who quit over racism report says efforts to hire more Black leaders failing, Yahoo/Reuters, 17 August 2021

“Clarke’s 48-page report, based on interviews with around 100 HSBC colleagues, said the bank had fewer than five Black, Indigenous or People of Colour (BIPOC) in senior leadership roles in 63 of its 65 markets, with the United States and Britain the only exceptions.”



30 hours free child care: ‘National scandal’ as children from poor families ‘locked out’ of early education, The Independent, 20 August 2021

“Poorest children are already on average 11 months behind their peers when they begin primary school”


UK academic sues university after losing role in critical race theory row, The Guardian, 16 August 2021

“Aysha Khanom claims discrimination after Leeds Beckett accused her of using ‘racist language’ in tweets”



Black, Asian and minority ethnic organ donors sought after pandemic shortfall, Denbighshire Freepress, 19 August 2021

“As of March 31, there were 1,237 people from these communities on the organ transplant waiting list, 29.5% of all people waiting for a transplant, NHSBT said.”


Poorer areas have fewer GPs as national shortage hits the least healthy more, The Independent, 18 August 2021

“Patients in areas with the worst health face a tougher struggle to see their GP compared to more affluent healthy areas”


The world is making billions of Covid vaccine doses, so why is Africa not getting them?, The Guardian, 16 August 2021

“While western governments get ready to administer booster shots, millions in Africa are still completely unprotected…while 50% of European, US and UK adult populations have now been fully vaccinated, the figure for Africa is 1.8%, well behind India, which has only vaccinated 8% of its population.”


Stark warning issued after hospital night shift staff faced abuse, Coventry Live, 13 August 2021

“It comes after the hospital said it will not ‘pander to racists’…Speaking at a hospital board meeting, the chief executive said: “We will always treat people in an emergency situation, but patients who decline treatment from out BAME staff are declining treatment from us.”



Race and allocation: who are the new tenants getting social housing, and is it equitable?, Inside Housing, 13 August 2021

“Government stats reveal consistent race inequalities in social housing lettings, with some communities under, and others over, represented. Alex Turner digs into the data and asks what needs to change”



Peer condemned over Islamophobic comments during Afghanistan debate, Left Foot Forwards, 19 August 2021

“Lord Pearson of Rannoch has been condemned for making islamophobic remarks during a debate on Afghanistan in the House of Lords yesterday.”


Foreign ‘enemies’ strengthened by UK ‘caving in’ to Black Lives Matter, Tory peer claims in Afghanistan debate, The Independent, 19 August 2021

“Tory peer criticised for ‘divisive and despicable’ reference to BLM during emergency debate”


UK Government’s Anti-immigrant Rhetoric Is Fueling Racist Attacks Against Asylum Seekers, Scoop World, 18 August 2021

“Data covering the period from 1 January 2020 until 13 July 2021 presented a list of disturbing episodes occurred in hotels, barracks and similar state-funded accommodation hosting asylum seekers, including rape threats and verbal and physical abuses, such as stones and bottles being thrown, fireworks shot through the gate, eggings and an attempt to ram a refugee with a car. Last year, supporters of the fringe far-right group Britain First entered hotels used by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers and started banging on bedroom doors and intimidating asylum seekers.”


Why things don’t bode well for Afghans seeking asylum in the UK, The Guardian, 17 August 2021

“Analysis: For 20 years Home Office has gone to extreme lengths to return Afghans to country they risked their lives to flee”


Landmark UK court ruling due in ‘bride price’ dispute, The Guardian, 17 August 2021

“Woman has taken her ex-husband and his parents to court seeking full payment of her mahr…Pragna Patel, the founder and director of SBS, which has been observing the case, said she does not support any element of sharia law being introduced into UK law. She said: “We urge the courts and policymakers to do more to address what is a major gap in protection and justice for many black and ethnic minority women when they seek financial settlements in courts following the breakup of their marriage, over issues such as dowry and bride price, using principles of family, contract and civil law.””


The UK must open its borders to help Afghan refugees, The Canary, 16 August 2021

“Refugee Action summed up the situation: When Parliament reconvenes to discuss the crisis, the Government must recognise the cruelty of its current position, and abandon it. Can its message to desperate Afghan people really be that they must go to local embassies for visas and book commercial flights? Do they really think people in fear of their lives are going to wait around for a ‘safe route’ to be created by the UK Government, when it currently offers none?”


The UK could be breaking international law if Priti Patel’s anti-refugee bill passes, The Canary, 14 August 2021

“…According to London Immigration Lawyers, if the bill is enacted, it will also mean that: Border Force officers would have the power to turn back migrant boats using ‘reasonable force if necessary’…”



Persistent problem of hate crimes, Irish News, 14 August 2021

“In the 12 months up to March 31, the PSNI recorded almost 1,000 racist incidents and more than 700 racist crimes – a rise of 57 and 93 respectively compared with the previous year.”



600 UK churches sign up to welcome Christian arrivals from Hong Kong, The Guardian, 14 August 2021

“We must not repeat the mistakes of the Windrush era, say clergy”



Black & Asian Heritage Mix’



Anita Neil: Exhibition on first black British Olympian extended, BBC News, 15 August 2021

“An exhibition honouring the achievements of Britain’s first black female Olympian has been extended due to the level of public interest. Items from former sprinter Anita Neil have been on display at Wellingborough Museum to coincide with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The exhibition, due to end on 9 August, will now run until 2 September because of popularity with visitors.”


Scaling new heights, Red Pepper, 14 August 2021

“As competitive climbing makes its Olympic debut, Hannah Zia reflects on her love of the sport – and considers barriers to participation facing other women of colour…Where are the brown girls? What is to blame for this disparity?…“



‘Hatemoji’: Racially abusive ’emojis’ less likely to be detected online than words, study finds, ITV, 13 August 2021

“After England’s defeat in the Euros 2020 finals, there was an influx of online racial abuse directed at footballers Jadon SanchoMarcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka. In their published study findings, Oxford University researchers said there was “widespread racist use of the monkey, banana and watermelon emoji.””



City of London the target as climate campaigners plan two weeks of protest, Thomas Reuters Foundation News, 19 August 2021

“The City of London is the arch financier of the carbon economy. It supports 15% of global carbon emissions. It hosts BP, Shell, Glencore, Anglo American, and Russian oil and gas companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft.”


A billion children at ‘extreme risk’ from climate impacts – Unicef, The Guardian, 20 August 2021

“Report launched with youth activists including Greta Thunberg paints ‘unimaginably dire’ picture”



Smoking Guns tni

Smoking guns: How European arms exports are forcing millions from their homes,  TNI, 28 July 2021

“The nexus between the arms trade and forced displacement is rarely explored and the role of European arms trade policies that facilitate gross human rights violations in third countries is often absent from displacement and migration studies. This report joins the dots between Europe’s arms trade and forced displacement and migration.”


The truth is most Afghans don’t head west to Europe, Open Democracy, 20 August 2021

“My research shows that, until recently, many Afghans, especially young men, did not necessarily head to Europe to become refugees. Many of the young men I worked with in Afghanistan and Turkey in 2017 and 2018 had other, more mundane motivations for migration. These young Turkmen-speaking men from northern Afghanistan embarked on dangerous journeys through Pakistan and Iran to reach Turkey. There, they found jobs in the country’s construction and service industries, or as cooks, waiters, and cleaners. A few worked in a garment factory, and the clothes they made were exported to markets in the Middle East and Europe.”


Lightning rod to increase hate’: Politicians weaponise violence against Afghan women and girls to ‘legitimise racism’, The Independent, 19 August 2021

“‘Despite misogyny being fundamental to the worldview of the far right, there are now extremists out there who are pretending to care about women’s rights,’ says expert”


Fear of refugees must not shape the response to Afghanistan’s crisis, The Guardian, 18 August 2021

“Western leaders are panicking about a new surge in migration. But we can – and should – help those fleeing the Taliban”



EU leaders condemn Belarus for migrant surge, Deutsche Welle, August 2021

“Some EU officials have claimed Minsk is using “hybrid warfare” by deliberately sending migrants to Lithuania. Poland has sent additional troops to its border with Belarus to handle the influx.”



Macron says that Afghanistan must not be ‘sanctuary for terrorism’ again, France24, 16 August 2021

“He said almost 800 Afghans including translators and cooks who helped France on the ground had already been taken to French territory and dozens more who remain in Afghanistan would be helped to leave.”


French Caribbean islands submerged by fourth wave of Covid infections, RFI, 16 August 2021

“One inhabitant in fifty on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe has tested positive for coronavirus, while the number of Covid deaths has reached unprecedented proportions on Martinique. Both iislands now face three weeks of strict lockdown. Vaccination uptake in Guadeloupe and Martinique has lagged far behind the national average.”



German court rejects appeals over killings by neo-Nazi group, Belfast Telegraph, 19 August 2021

“A Munich regional court found Zschaepe guilty in 2018 of 10 counts of murder for her role in the killing of nine men, eight of Turkish origin and one of Greek, and a police officer between 2000 and 2007.”


Germany and Netherlands suspend deportation of migrants back to Afghanistan, Belfast Telegraph, 11 August 2021

“The two countries halted sending Afghans back to their land of origin because of the security situation in the country.”



Meet the Middle Eastern migrants trapped in Lithuania, Deutsche Welle, 18 August 2021

“Lured to Belarus with promises of easy EU immigration, Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans are now trapped in Lithuania. Abbas al-Khashali and Hamza al-Shawabkeh met them there.”



Portuguese government to review legislation against racism, Euractiv, 29 July 2021

“Portugal has said it will review its anti-racism laws, including those concerning fines and sanctions, the government announced in its national plan against racism published on Wednesday.”



Second Spanish flight leaves Kabul with 110 Afghans on board, El Pais, 20 August 2021

“The presidents of the European Commission and the European Council are tomorrow due to visit the air base in Madrid where asylum seekers will be processed”


Spain receives the first Afghan asylum seekers who will later be sent to other EU countries, El Pais, 20 August 2021

“The armed forces have set up a camp at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base in Madrid that can hold up to 800 people. The evacuees will spend a maximum of 72 hours there before being processed”



Grandmother’ headline: Okonjo-Iweala commends Swiss press council for calling out newspaper’s sexism, The Cable Nigeria, 19 August 2021

“On Tuesday, the Swiss Press Council, a self-regulatory media ethics organisation, faulted Aargauer Zeitung’s reportage. It examined charges that the paper’s choice of words had been motivated by gender discrimination and/or racial discrimination. The media regulator, however, said it had not been able to determine whether discrimination on the basis of skin colour had played a role.”



Ukrainian Olympic gold medallist says he was racially abused in the street, Reuters, 13 August 2021

“A Ukrainian wrestler who won his country’s only gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last week said he was racially abused in the street on Friday on his return from the games. Zhan Beleniuk, 30, is a two-time world wrestling champion who became Ukraine’s first Black lawmaker when he entered parliament for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People Party in 2019.”


Image Credits: Pixabay, Transnational Institute (TNI)

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