Season's Greetings

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News! This week I would like to highlight a free book titled “The Unequal Pandemic COVID- 19 and Health Inequalitiesavailable via the open access network OAPEN.

If you are interested in terminology issues, you may find new research on the “BAME” acronym for creative industries useful. You will also find below a report by PwC on the persistence of the ethnicity pay gap. The Shiva Foundation and Stop the Traffik have published a toolkit for SMEs on modern slavery, which invites organisations to think critically and responsibly about their supply chains.

In case you missed this month’s Black & Asian Heritage Mix, you can read it here.

Also, I just wanted to let you know it’s the last Black & Asian News issue for this year. Hope to be back next year. If possible, I will keep on tweeting. So please go to Twitter@Blackeresources  to stay up-to-date!

 Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

 Thushari Perera

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Please scroll down and just click on the title to access the full version of the resource you wish to read, thank you.

  UK NEWS

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 EDUCATION

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Hardship funding requests rise at English universities, BBC News, 9 December 2021

“The union’s president, Larissa Kennedy, said: “The funding available for those hoping to access education is not designed to cover the cost of living, meaning students are under extreme financial pressure.” She urged the government to bring back maintenance grants, introduce a rent cap and “redress exploitative housing costs”.”

Capita undercuts British Council to run Turing student exchange scheme, The Guardian, 8 December 2021

“Exclusive: Government strips council of role in programme, which replaced Erasmus after Brexit…Capita will be helped by organisations such as the Confederation of School Trusts, the Association of Colleges, the Sutton Trust and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which has experience administering student scholarship schemes.”

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

BAME BBC and Creative Industries Report

BAME acronym: UK broadcasters commit to avoiding catch-all term, BBC News, 7 December 2021

The research, which included interviews with journalists, academics and focus groups, found that the collective term had been “used to hide failings in the representation of specific ethnic groups”.”

After Love wins six at British Independent Film Awards, Televisual, 6 December 2021

“The winners have been announced for the British Independent Film Awards with the award for Best British Independent Film going to After Love, Aleem Khan’s directorial debut in which a recently widowed woman comes to terms with a shocking secret about her husband’s life.”

CONSUMER ISSUES

Shiva Foundation Stop Slavery Toolkit

Modern slavery can be hidden behind even the most innocent businesses, CityAM, 8 December 2021

…we are jointly calling on every business, regardless of size, to join the fight against modern slavery and think critically and responsibly about their own supply chains. Stop the Traffik and the Shiva Foundation have published a toolkit for SMEs to do this easily. Read the toolkit here.

UK: Businesses and investors call for new human rights due diligence law, Business & Human Rights Resource Center, 21 October 2021

“In October 2021, 36 companies, investors and business associations released a joint statement calling on the UK government to introduce a Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) law.”

EMPLOYMENT & WORK

PwC Ethnicity Pay Gap Report 2021

Ethnicity pay gaps persist but young people are optimistic, Personnel Today, 7 December 2021

The report found that:

  • White British people are, on a like-for-like basis, paid more on average than people from 11 of the 15 ethnic minority groups, even those in the same positions and with the same qualifications;
  • Significant pay gaps remain at a regional level, particularly among people working in London where ethnic minority groups earn on average £14.76 an hour – more than 20% less than their white counterparts who make £18.47;
  • White and black African mixed race people are paid on average 16% less than white British population.”

HEALTH & WELL-BEING

The Unequal Pandemic Book

Open Access Book: The Unequal Pandemic COVID- 19 and Health Inequalities, OAPEN, 2021

“Drawing on international data and accounts, it argues that the pandemic is unequal in three ways: it has killed unequally, been experienced unequally and will impoverish unequally. These inequalities are a political choice…”

As the Omicron variant spreads, front line doctors warn of the WORST HEALTH CRISIS IN 20 YEARS, Eastern Eye, 9 December 2021

“We are seeing a turnover of 15 to 20 per cent of nursing staff, for example, which is more than what we would normally expect. “Similarly, with junior doctors as well, many are deciding just to do locum [work]. “The problem is not having anywhere for patients to go to when we’ve seen them, so there’s a system wide issue… “Now, what we are faced with is patients coming into the emergency department but not having a bed to go to for 10, 12 hours, sometimes longer, which means that our departments are full of people who are waiting for a bed in the hospital.”

Older people from ethnic minorities hard hit by pandemic and lockdown, University of Manchester, 7 December 2021

“In a collaboration between the University of Manchester’s Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) and The Runnymede Trust, a new briefing highlights how the pandemic has impacted older people from ethnic minority groups.” Read the briefing here.

Final report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities, Race Disparity Unit, Gov.uk, 3 December 2021

“This final report provides a further update on cross-government work to address the disparities highlighted by the PHE report.” Related Eastern Eye article here.

NHS Trusts Using “Covert Surveillance” To Monitor Patients Without Consent, Each Other, 30 November 2021

“NHS trusts are introducing a new high-tech system which enables staff to monitor mental health service users in their bedrooms via video, without their prior consent.”

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

End Systemic Racism

While we were distracted by No 10’s Christmas party, the government rubber-stamped its racist immigration bill, The Canary, 9 December 2021

“Ahead of the Commons vote, a Lords committee questioned the legality of the home secretary’s bill. Peers raised particular concerns about Patel’s plan to make border force officials push boats crossing the Channel back into French waters. The inhumane bill will grant immunity to border force staff if people die in these dangerous operations, while criminalising anyone trying to help drowning refugees and asylum seekers.”

Young Black voices must be heard when policies are being developed, Politics Home, 6  December 2021

“In July 2021, The Black Policy Institute (TBPI) pioneered the Global Future Leadership Programme, bringing together several young Black people from the United Kingdom and the United States…”

Police investigate Hastings RNLI lifeboat ‘blocking’ by people furious at them rescuing refugees, Hastings & St Leonards Observer, 3 December 2021

“Police are investigating a “disturbance” on Hastings beach where people reportedly blocked a lifeboat crew from going out to sea.”

It’s time to take to the streets before the government removes our right to do so, The Canary, 3 December 2021

“The bill sets out a series of new offences, sentences, and draconian anti-protest measures, such as penalties of up to 10 years for damaging a statue…It also threatens to further expand stop and search powers (which already disproportionately impact over-policed Communities of Colour)…”

Britain promised to take in these Syrian families. Instead, they’re scavenging through bins to survive, The Independent, 2 December 2021

As ministers condemn those crossing the Channel by boat, they say refugees should look to safe legal routes to reach our shores. But hundreds told they could have sanctuary as long ago as 2018 are still waiting, living in increasing desperation in a country whose economy has collapsed. Today they’re asking: why has the UK abandoned us?

Brook House detention centre whistleblower ‘abuse’ inquiry begins, BBC News, 23 November 2021

“A public inquiry into the mistreatment of immigration detainees has heard a BBC Panorama documentary revealed “shocking” treatment which had “no place in a decent and humane” system.”

 JUSTICE SYSTEM & POLICING

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A 975-day nightmare: how the Home Office forced a British citizen into destitution abroad, The Guardian, December 2021

“Richard Amoah went to Ghana for his father’s funeral and found himself barred from returning to Britain for two and a half years. Like other victims of the Windrush scandal, he is owed compensation – but what will he actually get?”

 SPORT

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Black children missing out most on physical activity in England, survey finds, The Guardian, 9 December 2021

“Activity levels have fallen and inequalities have widened during pandemic, says Sport England.”

 UK joins diplomatic boycott of China Winter Olympics, BBC News, 8 December 2021

“In a parliamentary statement, Mr Johnson said he typically did not support “sporting boycotts”. But he revealed there were no plans for ministers to attend the games over alleged human rights abuses in China. Beijing strongly denies the allegation.”

Cricket Scotland welcomes review into racism within Scottish game, The National, 8 December 2021

“Cricket Scotland has welcomed the move by sportscotland, the country’s national agency for sport, to carry out an independent review into racism within the Scottish game. Scotland players Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh have described Cricket Scotland as “institutionally racist” and called for an investigation.”

 

WIDER EUROPE NEWS

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NGOs ask von der Leyen to intervene on delayed corporate human rights law, Euractiv, 9 December 2021

“The European Commission should keep its promises and uphold corporate human rights obligations according to an open letter sent to President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday (8 December) signed by 47 civil society and trade union organisations. The letter came after the Commission again delayed discussions on new rules subjecting EU-based and operating companies and their international value chains to stricter controls on respecting human rights issues such as child labour and environmental rights.”

Fortress Europe: the millions spent on military-grade tech to deter refugees, The Guardian, 7 December 2021

“Air surveillance…Sensors and cameras…Surveillance centres..Deterrents…Artificial intelligence… A machine scans refugees and migrants’ facial expressions as they answer questions it poses, deciding whether they have lied and passing the information on to a border officer. The last trial finished in late 2019 and was hailed as a success by the EU but academics have called it pseudoscience…”

 The Secretive Prisons That Keep Migrants Out of Europe, The New Yorker, 28 November 2021

“Tired of migrants arriving from Africa, the E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures them before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias.”

 BELGIUM

Mixed-race women lose crime against humanity suit, MyMcMurray, 9 December 2021

“According to the lawyers, the Belgian state’s strategy was aimed at preventing interracial unions and isolating métis children, known as the “children of shame,” to make sure they would not claim a link with Belgium later in their lives. Legal documents claim the children were abandoned by both the state and the church after Congo gained independence, and that some of them were sexually molested by militia fighters.”

CYPRUS

Cyprus: Asylum-seekers blocked at Green Line to Europe, VoxEurope, 7 December 2021

“The 184-kilometre demilitarised Green Line that divides Cyprus and its capital Nicosia is the crossing-point that migrants use to get to the southern part of the island, which is part of the EU. Overwhelmed by the flow of migrants, the Cypriot authorities accuse Turkey of deliberately sending migrants through the north. In response they are adopting controversial and drastic measures.”

FRANCE

Anti-independence ads accused of ‘profound racism’ against indigenous New Caledonians in court action, The Guardian, 9 December 2021

“Urgent appeal lodged to stop the broadcast of cartoons calling on New Caledonians to vote against independence from France in this weekend’s referendum.”

France: Caught between enlightenment and bigotry, Politico, 8 December 2021

“Five months before next year’s presidential election, opinion polls consistently show that more than 30 percent of French voters are attracted to one of several far-right candidates who want to stop immigration, deport more foreigners, reserve jobs and public housing for French nationals and make life more uncomfortable for the country’s estimated 6 million Muslims.”

Investigation launched into brawl at French far-right rally, The Guardian, 7 December 2021

“Dozens detained after protesters attacked at campaign rally for presidential candidate Éric Zemmour…One man was filmed repeatedly punching a female protester, and another woman was led out with blood running down her face.”

GERMANY

What are the main tasks for Olaf Scholz and Germany’s new government?, Deutsche Welle, 9 December 2021

“The coalition parties are planning a series of reforms to make getting German citizenship easier. Naturalization is to be possible after five years, or after three years if the applicants have distinguished themselves in terms of integration. Children born in Germany to non-German parents will automatically get citizenship if one of the parents has been resident in the country for at least five years. According to the coalition agreement, migration should be “forward-looking and realistic”, while “irregular migration” should be cut down.”

SPAIN

WHO reply to Spanish Newspaper on Omicron

Spanish newspaper apologises for racist Omicron cartoon, 5 December 2021

“Outrage after Spanish newspaper publishes racist cartoon of Omicron, implying the variant originated in SA and spread in Europe.”

THE NETHERLANDS

Ari Lennox’s Racial Profiling Incident in Amsterdam is a Reminder That Europe Isn’t As Progressive As We Think It Is, Femestella, 8 December 2021

“Most reporting on this situation, and even the apology from her management team, frame Ari as the inconsolable over-reactor but there have been no further investigations into how the KLM staff member spoke to Ari that led to her feeling racially harmed. There also hasn’t been any information on anti-racism or de-escalation training received by the airport’s military police and KLM staff.”

SWITZERLAND

UN body concerned at rise of racist hate speech in Switzerland, Swissinfo, 3 December 2021

“The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has flagged up a rise in racist hate speech over social media channels in Switzerland.”

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