EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Twenty-seven people, including a pregnant woman and three children, drowned while attempting to reach Britain from northern France this week. However, as reported by the Morning Star, almost 300 asylum-seekers died while trying to cross the Channel to Britain between 1999 and 2020 and “No amount of crocodile tears or hand wringing by political leaders can mask their responsibility for fuelling a toxic race to the bottom that undermines the international protection of people seeking safety, forcing desperate people into ever more desperate measures.” It has to be hoped that the UK and EU countries will one day find a way to harmonise the asylum seeking and refugee system.

You will also find below several reports on various other race-related topics to read and explore as usual. The news story that caught my attention this week was an original article titled the “West weighs up costs of boycotting China’s Winter Olympics” by The Guardian.

 

Keep Well & Stay Safe!

 

Thushari Perera

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UK NEWS

 EDUCATION

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Projects to improve BAME students’ access to postgraduate research, Eastern Eye, 24 November 2021

“The projects, worth nearly £8 million, are innovative in scope, scale and focus to an extent that has not been seen in England before. Delivered over the next four years, they will improve access into research, enhance research culture and the experience for BAME PGR students, and diversify and enhance routes into a range of careers. The investment, by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – and the Office for Students (OfS), is well spread geographically, across English higher education providers and their partners.”

 Report: UK universities told to show ambition in graduate job targets, The Guardian, 24 November 2021

“Under plans to be overseen by the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator, universities will face sanctions if they fail to reduce dropout rates among disadvantaged students and set targets for the proportion going on to well-paid jobs at the end of their course.” IFS Report here.

Largest debt amassed by student in England is £189,700, The Guardian, 25 November 2021

“Those who graduated in 2020 took out an average of £45,060 in loans, according to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute which warns that graduates feel their debt is “draining, weighing them down, on their shoulders” and causing them “anxiety, pressure, worry and dread”.”

 

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

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Nutcracker dancers work with Chinese dance expert to remove racist stereotypes, Irish News, 22 November 2021

“Scottish Ballet said the Chinese and Arabian-inspired scenes in the Land of Sweets will have updated costumes and choreography to “remove elements of caricature” and better represent the culture and traditions which have inspired them.”

Prabhat Rao: Nurturing a new generation of British Asian classical musicians, Eastern Eye, 24 November 2021

“Musical maestro Prabhat Rao is keeping young British Asians connected to classical Indian tradition by taking on talented students and getting them to headline events like a forthcoming concert at The Bhavan centre in London on December 4.”

 

CONSUMER ISSUES

Stop Funding Hate Ehtical Consumer

How to challenge media hate, Ethical Consumer, November 2021

“A new guide from Stop Funding Hate and Ethical Consumer explains how you can help make hate unprofitable. Some UK publications are using hateful content to generate sensationalist stories, increase sales and push social division. Advertisers are a major part of their business model, providing up to half of many companies’ revenues. With hate crime on the rise in the UK, we can make hate unprofitable by persuading advertisers to pull their support from these publications.“

Amazon workers treated like ‘slaves’ and one employee at Rugby depot attempted suicide at work, CoventryLive, 24 November 2021

“Amazon warehouse workers have accused the retailer of making them work like ‘slaves’ or ‘robots’ ahead of this week’s Black Friday sales. This follows an investigation by The Mirror has revealed that almost 1,000 ambulances have been called to the company’s fulfilment centres since 2018, including to one at their depot in Rugby which was recorded as a suicide attempt.”

Next, Nike and Amazon: It’s time to pay your workers, Labour Behind the Label, November 2021

“10% of the apparel workforce may have already been laid off since the start of the pandemic. Millions more are at risk of being fired and have not received their full wages for months. The vast majority of these workers are women, in jobs with no respect for their labour rights, leading to a massive imbalance of power in the industry. Many report skipping meals, borrowing money to buy food, and struggling to afford vegetables or meat for their families as the pandemic’s economic crisis rages on.”

 

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

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Be Inclusive Hospitality launches second industry survey, The Caterer, 23 November 2021

“This year’s survey has set out to understand the status quo within all areas of hospitality including contract catering, pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants by benchmarking 2020 with 2021 results, facilitating learning and informing actions. The Inside Hospitality Report will be published in March 2022 and will become a free of charge resource for the industry due to sponsorship.”

Over £3500 pay gap between white and ethnic pharmacists revealed, Zenopa, 23 November 2021

“A study was conducted with over 1000 UK pharmacists which disclosed that there is a median pay gap of over 7% based on whether employees were white or of ethnic minorities.”

Building back better will ‘ring hollow’ without action on ethnicity pay gap, FE News, 22 November 2021

“The CMI calls on the Government to introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting for large employers (250+ employees) to align with gender pay gap reporting requirements.”

LGBTQ+ And Minority Ethnic Groups Worst Effected By Discrimination, The HR Director, 20 November 2021

“Almost a quarter of employees have experienced discrimination in the workplace, despite half of companies implementing diversity policies1, according to new research. Indeed surveyed more than 1,000 employees, 500 senior managers and 250 HR managers to analyse attitudes and experiences of diversity in the workplace.”

 

HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS

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England’s Vagrancy Act must be scrapped. But will its replacement be any better?, Open Democracy, 22 November 2021

“In February, following campaigning by Crisis and many other charities, the UK government officially announced its intention to repeal the 1824 Vagrancy Act, which gives police the power to arrest people simply for sleeping rough. But the government made no mention of the act in the Queen’s speech and has not committed itself to a timetable for repeal. It now seems likely that the act will remain in force throughout 2021 and into next year.”

 

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

IPPR Towards True Universal Care

Report: Towards true universal care: Reforming the NHS charging system, IPPR, 23 November 2021

“The system of charging migrants for healthcare in England has become increasingly stringent in recent years…Other countries in Europe operate fairer systems to provide healthcare for residents without immigration status.“

Briefing Paper: Ethnic Minority Older People, Histories of Structural Racism and the COVID-19 Pandemic, Runnymede Trust & CODE, November 2021

“…there has been very little investigation into why the impacts have been felt so acutely among this group..”

Review to be launched into racial and gender bias in medical devices, The Independent, 21 November 2021

“It comes as research found oximeters, which help spot early signs of dangerous falls in oxygen levels in Covid patients so they can be given urgent care, are less accurate on people with dark skin.”

 

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

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The government’s approach to refugees slammed as ‘cruel and ineffective’, The Canary, 25 November 2021

“Following the deaths of 27 people attempting to cross the English Channel, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, Enver Solomon, attacked the government’s approach to refugees.”

Channel migrants crossing – latest: France urged to accept UK patrol offer as Patel admits ‘no quick fix’, The Independent, 25 November 2021

“Calais MP rejects Boris Johnson’s offer of British police in French waters, saying UK would do same.”

WeBelong Deintegration Generation

Report: The Deintegration Generation: We Belong Report, We Belong, 22 November 2021

“’The Deintegration Generation’ builds upon our previous research reports showing the various ways that ‘Limited Leave to Remain’ as an immigration status results in the isolation, stigmatisation, and impoverishment of young people in the UK today.”

 British Army officer Preet is in Pole position to break barriers, Eastern Eye, 23 November 2021

““Derby-Born Captain Preet Chandi, nicknamed Polar Preet, is set to become the first woman of colour to do a solo unsupported trek to the South Pole…“As an Asian woman, as a woman of colour, as someone who is different from others out there, I wanted to do this to break the stereotype. I want to make this normal.””

 UK visa scheme for prize-winning scientists receives no applications, New Scientist, 22 November 2021

“Exclusive: A fast-track visa route for Nobel prize laureates and other award-winners in science, engineering, the humanities and medicine has failed to attract any applicants.”

Sikh Women's Aid

Report: Domestic and sexual abuse of silenced Sikh women revealed, The Guardian, 20 November 2021

“First ever report shows 70% of respondents have suffered at the hands of a partner or members of their extended family…The findings of the report will be used by SWA to create services tailored to the specific needs and cultural nuances that victims of abuse within the Sikh Panjabi community face.”

We’ll never be accepted’: Yorkshire’s Asian community absorbs Rafiq story, The Guardian, 19 November 2021

“The cricket racism scandal has led some to consider why good people say nothing about bigotry and abuse.”

 

JUSTICE SYSTEM & POLICING

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Former officer says he was racially abused by ‘institutionally racist’ Leicestershire police, Channel4, 23 November 2021

“A former Leicestershire Police officer says he was subjected to racist abuse when colleagues called him “Blackie Chan”, and that on several occasions a banana was left by his locker.”

Black and Jewish people say they are facing ‘racist and inhumane treatment’ in Wakefield Prison, The Canary, 24 November 2021

“In the last month, prison guards have physically assaulted Black and Jewish prisoners, denied them access to food and letters, and encouraged one prisoner to attempt suicide.”

 

ROYALS & THE MONARCHY

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The Princes and the Press: BBC chairman defends ‘sympathetic’ royal film after Palace criticism, The Independent, 24 November 2021

“Richard Sharp said the corporation is sensitive to royal issues after Bashir scandal – but says programme ‘got it right’.”

 The Princes and the Press: BBC responds to claims against documentary, BBC News, 23 November 2021

“Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House said the programme, The Princes and the Press, had made “overblown and unfounded claims”.”

 

TECH

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Instagram impacts teen mental health in the West. What about everywhere else?, Rest of World, 17 November 2021

“The Facebook Papers reveal scant research on the effect of social media on teens in the Global South. India is Instagram’s largest market with around 180 million users…”

 

SPORT

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West weighs up costs of boycotting China’s Winter Olympics, The Guardian, 22 November 2021

“The UK, with one economic engine gone missing due to Brexit, is not keen to lose the other through Chexit, at least until other markets have been established in south-east Asia. Johnson secured few favours from the Chinese at Cop26 on the climate crisis, but his natural stance is to oppose sports boycotts as self-defeating. His instinct is that sports diplomacy should help, not hinder, relations.”

Majid Haq calls for investigation into alleged institutional racism at Cricket Scotland, The Scotsman, 24 November 2021

“Scotland’s all-time leading wicket taker has called for an investigation into Cricket Scotland after accusing the organisation of being “institutionally racist”.”

 Commission receives over 2,000 responses about discrimination in cricket, East Lothian Courier, 23 November 2021

“…The Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket (ICEC), set up by the England and Wales Cricket Board in March, opened an anonymous online survey on November 9 asking for people’s views on the culture of the game and its chair, Cindy Butts, said there had already been a huge response…On Monday, Yorkshire announced that 36 people contacted their independent whistleblower hotline…”

 New racism scandal rocks English football, The Guardian, 20 November 2021

“Diversity report alleges that the FA’s referee system is obstructing black and Asian people from reaching elite levels of the game.”

 

WIDER EUROPE NEWS

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Reject Hate Supplement, The Parliament Magazine EU, November 2021

“A special supplement looking at the state of Muslim-Jewish Relations in Europe and how to build relationships for a better world…This year, the European Commission released figures showing that online Antisemitic and Islamophobic content skyrocketed during the pandemic.”

 Report: Values and Identities: Overwhelming support for EU values in all EU countries says new Commission report, EU Reporter, 18 November 2021

“The report, underpinned by a new Eurobarometer survey, shows that the traditional political divide in Europe, based on socio-economic interest, is shifting towards political behaviour driven by individual values, attitudes and identities…The most important identities to citizens are their family and national identity.”

OECD Social Mobility

Report: Does Inequality Matter? How People Perceive Economic Disparities and Social Mobility, OECD, 18 November 2021

“The recovery after the COVID-19 crisis requires policies and reforms that tackle inequalities and promote equal opportunities. However, the implementation of such reforms requires widespread support from the public. To better understand what factors drive public support, this report provides a detailed cross-country analysis of people’s perceptions of and concern over inequality. It documents how concern over income disparities has risen in OECD countries over the long run. Nowadays, in most countries a large majority of the population believes that income disparities are too large and that intergenerational mobility is low.“

 Reducing the impact of the coronavirus on disadvantaged migrants and ethnic minorities, European Journal of Public Health, 9 November 2021

“While some countries’ vaccination policies explicitly include undocumented migrants, this is far from the rule: only nine EU member states have explicitly mentioned undocumented people in their vaccine strategies.”

 Making the Child Guarantee a success – Children’s civil society to drive national action, Eurochild, November 2021

“Eurochild has launched a taskforce of leading child rights organisations in 9 EU countries to drive and support the implementation of the European Child Guarantee and tackle the rising levels of child poverty across the EU. 1 in 4 children in the EU face risk of poverty or social exclusion, with children facing a higher risk of poverty than working age population or people of older age.”

Video: EU under pressure to match US action over Xinjiang, Deutsche Welle, 16 July 2021

“The US Senate has passed a bill that would ban the imports from China’s Xinjiang region, where Washington believes the Muslim Uyghur minority is being forced to work. Will the EU take similar actions?”

 

ALBANIA

Commission keeps mum over Albania’s asylum seekers, Euractiv, 23 November 2021

“More than 1,400 Albanians sought asylum in EU member states in August 2021, a 46% increase compared to July and more than double that of June, reverting to a pre-pandemic trend, according to EU data… common reasons for applying for asylum include lack of jobs, low wages, corruption, and a weak rule of law. Many also seek asylum due to ‘blood feuds’, a form of revenge killing, organised crime involvement, being the victim of crimes such as trafficking, and even political persecution.”

AUSTRIA

Islamophobic raids hid Austrian government failure to prevent a terror attack, OpenDemocracy, 24 November 2021

“While the Austrian government busied itself with its Islamophobic agenda, its intelligence services missed vital intelligence about a real terrorist attack.”

 BELARUS

EU to blacklist transport companies involved in human trafficking amid Belarus border crisis, Euronews, 23 November 2021

“In the midst of the geopolitical confrontation unravelling at the Belarus-Poland border, the European Commission has unveiled new plans to punish transport companies that aid and abet the smuggling and trafficking of people. The draft law will apply to all kinds of transport – land, air and sea – and will empower the executive to suspend a range of rights, including the right to provide transport services, to fly over and transit across EU territory and to refuel and carry out maintenance.”

FRANCE

France attacks EU commission for meeting Muslim youth organisation, TRT World, 24 November 2021

“Two French ministers have lashed out at the European Commision after the Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli met the pan-European Muslim youth association the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO).“

 Macron calls for ‘not giving in to lies’ as protests against mandatory jabs in Guadeloupe unfold, Euractiv, 23 November 2021

“Fires and looting have been taking place for several nights, prompting local authorities to close schools and introduce a curfew between 6 pm and 5 am.”

FINLAND

New revelations about “the treatment of blacks and foreigners in some Finnish Universities”, Diaspora Magazine, 8 November 2021

“Diaspora Glitz Magazine (DGM)’s ongoing study since two months ago with members and stakeholders of the Finnish academia and listening to the life stories of some Africans and foreign academics, correlates and coincides with structural discrimination whose fight programme has been approved on 28 October 2021, within Prime Minister Sana Marin’s “Equal Finland” Programme.”

GERMANY

Germany: Post-Merkel government set to ease migration, citizenship rules, Deutsche Welle, 25 November 2021

“Dual citizenship, family reunions for refugees and more visa opportunities are a few of the pledges made by the parties of the new coalition. Activists and state integration ministers alike had long backed such changes…Merkel’s conservatives: No such ‘brutal openness’ on migration…”

SLOVAKIA

Slovakia issues apology for forced sterilizations of Roma women, Deutsche Welle, 25 November 2021

“Thousands of Roma women were forcibly sterilized in Slovakia for decades, a practice that continued until 2004. Now the government has made a formal apology.”

SWITZERLAND

Pressure builds for a diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games, Swissinfo, 25 November 2021

“Switzerland is likely to want to see what other countries do first. The White House has reportedly been consulting allies about forgoing the Games amid lingering tensions between the US and China.”

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