EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Happy Diwali to those of you who celebrate it! Also, do you know it’s Islamophobia Awareness Month in the UK? You will find a lot of resources on this topic on the Islamophobia Awareness Month website. Ironically, as you will see in the European section of this newsletter, the Council of Europe had to withdraw images from a social media campaign promoting diversity among women and their freedom to wear the hijab.

In the UK section of this newsletter, three reports are highlighted. The first one is the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education’s report, which found there is a fourfold rise in minority ethnic characters in UK children’s books. The second report is HOPE not hate’s Building Back Resilient report that looks at how some of the communities most at risk of social division across the UK have been affected by the pandemic. The third report, and perhaps the most controversial, is the Human Trafficking Foundation’s report, which argues that legislation that would bring Modern Slavery provisions under immigration law within the Nationality and Borders Bill would conflate migration with trafficking.

Thanks for reading!

Thushari Perera

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UK NEWS

EDUCATION

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Faith schools: Government doesn’t know how many state schools select children on the basis of religion, inews, 1 November 2021

“The National Secular Society said the Department for Education’s refusal to record the information meant that “transparency and scrutiny is impossible.”“

Top universities failing to take black students, The Voice, 3 November 2021

“New initiative to tackle under-representation in Russell Group institutions…The Presidential Scholarships for Black Students is the first step in the College’s £10 million commitment to tackle the underrepresentation of black students over the next five years.”

My students never knew’: the lecturer who lived in a tent, The Guardian, 30 October 2021

“Lê says she led a double life, fearful that it might damage her professional reputation if people knew she was homeless. “I got good reviews from students. I marked 300 GCSEs in a hotel lobby. I even organised an international conference. I was working to a very high standard and I was incredibly focused,” she says. The University and College Union says the plight of young academics who are desperate to get a firm footing on the career ladder is getting worse.”

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

CLPE Ethnic Representation Books 2021

Report shows fourfold rise in minority ethnic characters in UK children’s books, The Guardian, 4 November 2021

“The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education welcomes steep increase in representation, but warns there are ‘no quick fixes’” Read the Report here

Scottish Ballet to make ‘important’ changes to The Nutcracker after anti-racism review, The Scotsman, 4 November 2021

“Scottish Ballet will be removing “elements of caricature” from Arabian and Chinese sequences in The Nutcracker as part of an overhaul of a production first staged 1972.”

CONSUMER ISSUES

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Azeem Rafiq: Major sponsors including Yorkshire Tea abandon Yorkshire Cricket over racism claims, ITV, 4 November 2021

“Emerald Group Publishing, primary commercial partners who held naming rights to Headingley Stadium, and Yorkshire Tea have followed shirt sponsors Anchor Butter in ending their association with the team.”

Uber Boats told to rename ‘slavery celebrating’ pier launched under Boris Johnson, MyLondon, 5 November 2021

“Thames Clippers river service Uber Boats is under pressure to change the name of a pier accused of “celebrating slavery”. The Plantation Wharf pier in Battersea – used for the Uber Boats service – was launched in 2015 under Mayor Boris Johnson in a project backed by his office.”

ENVIRONMENT

UN Climate Conference

The climate crisis is just another form of global oppression by the rich world, The Guardian, 5 November 2021

“…since 2015, the G20 nations have spent $3.3tn on subsidising their fossil fuel industries…”

COP26: Emissions of rich put climate goals at risk – study, BBC News, 5 November 2021

“The carbon footprint of the world’s richest 1% is on track to be 30 times higher than what’s needed to limit global warming to 1.5C, a study says.”

‘Deeply unfair’ to blame climate crisis on India and China, campaigners say, Euronews, 2 November 2021

“The UK’s cumulative historic emissions per capita are 5.5 times higher than China’s and 20 times higher than India’s, a Carbon Brief analysis of emissions between 1850 and 2021 shows.”

Indigenous islanders whose homes are sinking underwater march on Cop26, The National, 3 November 2021

“…aiming to “heal the legacy of colonialism”…Groups from Panama, Amazonia, Patagonia, Alaska and the wider USA were joined by activists as they progressed through the streets to the sound of drums and wood pipes.”

TECH

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Digital footprints contributing ‘more and more’ to climate change, Euronews, 2 November 2021

“ISIT-BE says that 80% of the data transferred nowadays is used for video. The higher the quality of the image, the more CO2 it emits. The remaining 20% is, on the whole, from websites and e-mails.”

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

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Study finds stark class difference in UK pregnancy outcomes, Open Access Government, 2 November 2021

“The study, published in The Lancet, used data from over one million pregnancies in England. Currently, the NHS has a target – to halve stillbirth and neonatal death rates by 25% in 2025. At this point in time, healthcare experts acknowledge that socio-economic deprivation and non-white background are known risk factors for worrying pregnancy outcomes.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

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Mayfair casino found guilty of discrimination by accommodating racist requests, CityAM, 2 November 2021

“An employment tribunal has found that exclusive London casino Crown Aspinalls racially discriminated against one of its dealers by allowing a request by a patron not to have black dealers at their table.”

Black Professional Women face ‘concrete ceiling’ in career progression, University of Manchester, 1 November 2021

“Black Professional Women in England face an almost impenetrable ‘concrete ceiling’ when it comes to career progression, according to from The University of Manchester and Lancaster University. There are more than 1.2 million Black and mixed-race women of Black heritage in England, many of whom work in organisations in diverse sectors and of varying types and sizes. “

Brexit: UK meat being sent to EU for butchering due to staff shortages, The Independent, 3 November 2021

“‘It’s all a bit desperate,’ says industry chief as British producers send to Ireland and re-import for sale…But the transport and administration costs involved in moving meat carcasses between the UK and the EU country means spending £1,500 for each lorry load of carcasses.”

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

Hope not Hate Building Back Resilient

Building Back Resilient: Strengthening communities through the COVID-19 recovery, HOPE not hate, 1 November 2021

“The post-pandemic landscape poses enormous challenges for ensuring hope over hate. HOPE not hate’s Building Back Resilient report looks at how some of the communities most at risk of social division across the UK have been affected by the pandemic, and recommends that ‘levelling up’ needs to go beyond improvements to the economy, ensuring that initiatives which strengthen cohesion and community resilience are funded.”

Windrush Lessons Learned Review: call for evidence, NAVCA,4 November 2021

“This call for evidence is aimed at any persons who have interacted with the Home Office either as an individual, or as part of an organisation that has worked or engaged with the Department in some way over the last 18 months… This call for evidence was issued on 21 October 2021 and will run until 21 November 2021.”

JUSTICE SYSTEM & POLICING

Human Trafficking Foundation

New HTF Report: The Voice of British Survivors of Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking Foundation, 1 November 2021

The Voice of British Survivors of Modern Slavery (November 2021) A Post-Event Report Summary of the Experience and Challenges that British Child and Young Adult Survivors Face in the UK… The timing of this report is particularly pertinent as it is published while the Government is attempting to pass legislation which would bring Modern Slavery provisions under immigration law within the Nationality and Borders Bill. This legislation would conflate migration with trafficking, overlooking, to all intents and purposes, while impacting, this large cohort of British victims.”

RELIGION

Islamophobia Awareness Month

What is Islamophobia Awareness Month?, Islamophobia Awareness, November 2021

“Islamophobia Awareness Month highlights the threat of Islamophobic hate crimes and showcases the positive contributions of British Muslims to society.”

When is Diwali 2021? Start date, meaning behind Hindu festival of lights and how it is celebrated, inews, 4 November 2021

“Diwali symbolises the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.”

Anti-Muslim hate crimes make almost half of religiously aggravated offences, says Home Office, Evening Standard, 2 November 2021

“Hate crime offences recorded against Muslims reached 45 per cent of all recorded religious hate crimes in the year ending March 2021 – a similar proportion to the previous year. The 2,703 offences against Muslims included acts targeted towards more than one religious group and instances where the assumed religion of the victim was not the same as their actual faith group.”

Boris Johnson accused of ‘insult to British Muslims’ after failing to respond to Islamophobia concerns for a year, The Independent, 2 November 2021

“Prime minister warned he is ‘answerable to MPs’ after failing to answer November 2020 letter demanding action”

SPORT

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Cack-handed as ever, Yorkshire CCC has been devoured by Azeem Rafiq scandal, The Guardian, 3 November 2021

“Is Yorkshire CCC institutionally racist? The view from the outside, based on the report findings, surely has to be yes. Does that mean that all those in the club are racists? No, of course not. It means that they don’t have the processes in place, they haven’t organised themselves, they don’t educate their players and administrators, and they don’t acknowledge what has to change.”

Man jailed for racially abusing Rashford, Sancho and Saka after Euro 2020 final, The Guardian, 3 November 2021

“Jonathon Best livestreamed himself on Facebook. Best sentenced to 10 weeks in prison.”

WIDER EUROPE NEWS

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Council of Europe removes hijab diversity campaign tweets amid backlash, Euronews, 3 November 2021

“The Council of Europe has withdrawn images from a social media campaign promoting diversity among women and their freedom to wear the hijab.”

CYPRUS

Cyprus grapples with highest number of asylum seekers per capita in EU, Irish Times, 29 October 2021

“Roughly 15,000 people whose asylum applications failed have not been deported due to failures in implementing a coherent EU policy, as well as a lack of agreement with the countries they come from, he added.”

FRANCE

French screen star Brigitte Bardot fined for racist diatribe, LocalFr, 4 November 2021

“French screen legend turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was on Thursday fined €20,000 by a court on France’s Indian Ocean island of La Réunion over a 2019 diatribe where she described its inhabitants as “savages”.”

France says will provide shelter, end surprise evictions for migrants in Calais, France24, 3 November 2021

“In a report last month Human Rights Watch accused police of making migrants’ lives a misery by systematically tearing down their tents, regularly confiscating their belongings and harassing NGOs trying to provide them with aid.”

Senegal’s Mohamed Mbougar Sarr wins top French literary prize, The Guardian, 3 November 2021

“Prix Goncourt goes to 31-year-old’s novel The Most Secret Memory of Men, praised for its ‘stunning energy’”

Opinion: France heats up its war on all things ‘woke’, The Washington Post, 2 November 2021

“Months after having identified “Islamo-leftism” — a so-called trend that nobody was able to precisely define — as wreaking havoc in universities, French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has found a new opponent: “wokeism” and “cancel culture.””

France chief rabbi calls Jewish presidential candidate an ‘antisemite’, The Jerusalem Post, 2 November 2021

“Tribune Juive, a mainstream French-Jewish paper with many conservative readers, on Oct. 28 published an editorial that harshly criticized Korsia for labeling Zemmour an antisemite and rejected the charge as unfounded.”

GERMANY

Oury Jalloh death: German prosecutors accused of obstructing justice, Deutsche Welle, 3 November 2021

“A new reconstruction of the 2005 burning death of Oury Jalloh in a police cell has again underlined flaws in the official explanation. The Sierra Leonean man’s family believe original investigators obstructed justice.”

How migration is fuelling the remarkable rise of cricket in Germany, Euronews, 28 October 2021

“The main factor behind this has been the increase in people moving to Germany from the cricket-mad countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka over the past decade. In particular, 2015 was a key moment for the sport, when an estimated 180,000 Afghans sought asylum in Germany.”

ITALY

Eritreans of Italian descent demand Rome finally grant them citizenship, The Guardian, 13 October 2021

“Group of more than 300 descendants of people born under Italian rule accuse state of ‘crime of colonial racism’”

‘Regardless of their origins, all our players are Milanese’: A migrant soccer team fighting racism in Italy, InfoMigrants, 29 October 2021

“The St. Ambroeus soccer team in Milan brings together refugees, asylum seekers and local youth. It is a way to reduce their isolation, but also to fight against racism in the country.”

IRELAND

Miss England and Miss Ireland hit back at trolls after they were both racially abused following their wins, Metro, 27 October 2021

“Pamela Uba, who is 26 and a former asylum seeker, won Miss Ireland earlier this year – becoming the first Black winner in its 74-year history. Rehema Muthamia, 25, was later crowned Miss England after reaching the final under the new category of Miss All African Colours.”

Discrimination in Academia: ‘Racism is a Word Many of Us Avoid’, University Times, 25 October 2021

“A survey from the Higher Education Authority has found that staff from minority ethnic backgrounds are paid less and are less likely to be on permanent contracts.”

PORTUGAL

Tackle racism in AI, BLM co-founder tells tech bosses, Thomas Reuters Foundation News, 4 November 2021

“On Wednesday, Facebook announced it was shutting down its facial recognition system citing concerns about its use. Microsoft said last year it would await federal regulation before selling facial recognition technology to police. Police in the United States and Britain use facial recognition to identify suspects.“

SPAIN

Moroccans are Top Foreign Contributors to Social Security in Spain, Morocco News, 22 October 2021

Moroccan workers accounted for 267,031 of those workers. This data indicates Morocco remains the primary source of foreign labor in Spain, followed by China with 104,557 people. Of Spain’s foreign workers, 1.45 million were from non-EU countries, while 790,351 originated from countries around Europe.”

SWEDEN

Sweden launches commission on injustices suffered by Sámi people, Euronews, 4 November 2021

“Sweden’s government says it will set up a special commission to investigate the indigenous Sámi people. The “truth commission” will examine the Swedish colonisation of Lapland and its “historical” attitudes to the minority.”

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