EDITORIAL

Stephen Lawrence Day 22 April 2022

Dear Readers,

Welcome back to the Black & Asian News!

Today is Stephen Lawrence Day. You can find out more on him and his legacy via the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation here.

Britain’s decision to outsource its refugee responsibilities to Rwanda was widely discussed by the media, refugee lawyers and even the Church of England in the past two weeks. As you will see below, I have therefore included several news articles covering different aspects of this governmental plan, which is part of a larger series of measures put forward in the Nationality and Borders bill.

At the same time, there are talks about the introduction of the Global Business Mobility visa, trade with India and the study of China in UK schools and universities.

Keep Well & Stay Safe,

 

Thushari Perera

 

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UK NEWS

CULTURE, MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

Does British TV need more accent diversity?, Our Economy, 13 April 2022

“‘Non-standard’ English accents in the media have been criticised for being ‘incorrect’ and hard to understand.”

Channel 4 commissions Troy Deeney – Where’s My History? exploring the lack of diversity on the national curriculum, Channel 4, 8 April 2022

“YouGov survey commissioned by Deeney revealed only 12% of teachers feel empowered to teach ‘optional’ black-related topics. Deeney meets with the Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi, Secretary of State for Education to discuss the positive impact of teaching black, ethnic and minority histories and experiences in schools. Deeney shares his own personal story and the challenges that he faced in school.” Troy Deeney – Where’s My History? will be on Channel 4 in May 2022

Review: Four books from British-Asian authors, Eastern Eye, 9 April 2022

“Asma Khan’s Ammu: Recipe book takes Indian cooking back to its roots. Kasim Ali’s Good Intentions: Poignant love story tackles racism and mental pressures. Sukh Ojla’s Sunny: A human story with a loveable, funny protagonist. Shaheen Chrishti’s Walk Like A Man: An eye-opening book about battling life’s challenges.”

CONSUMER ISSUES, EMPLOYMENT & WORK

Whisky and visas could be part of a UK-India trade deal, BBC News, 22 April 2022

“The UK Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan says such a deal would be a “golden opportunity” perhaps more than doubling total trade between India and the UK by 2035, an increase of around £28bn… If India does go ahead and lower those barriers, there’d have to be concessions in return. The UK might face pressure to allow Indian products, such as medicines into its market. And there may be calls to grant more visas to Indian workers.”

NHS to ban products of slavery after PPE concerns, BBC News, 21 April 2022

“Health Secretary Sajid Javid is due to introduce the new law as an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on Friday, after coming under cross-party pressure. The amendment says the health secretary must make regulations to “eradicate” the use of goods and services in the health service in England that are “tainted” by slavery and human trafficking… The government revealed in February that the UK had bought £5.8bn worth of lateral flow tests from China.”

UK watchdog sets diversity targets for firms’ top leaders, Eastern Eye, 21 April 2022

“Women should make up at least 40 per cent of boards at British listed companies and one director should be a person of colour, the country’s financial watchdog said as it set a range of diversity targets for firms’ top leaders.” Find out more here.

East London mum couldn’t find Halal baby food with ethnic flavours so she created her own and now sells in Asda, My London 7 April 2022

“The baby food industry is run by a particular demographic and mostly by men instead of women. So women can’t be complacent we have to be everywhere! Without women’s voices we aren’t going to understand different things and in terms of babies it should be mothers at the forefront.”

EDUCATION

40,000 jobs at risk as foreign pupils shun UK language schools, The Observer, 16 April 2022

“Language schools for foreign students are being “devastated” by a combination of post-Brexit red tape and the impact of the pandemic, threatening the future of a £3.2bn industry, tourism leaders have warned.”

Government Announces Permanent Extension Of Free School Meals To Families With No Recourse To Public Funds, Praxis, April 2022

“In a major win for the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) Action Group’s campaign, the Department for Education has announced that they will extend access to Free School Meals to all families affected by NRPF. Thank you to all the supporters and allies who joined our call to make sure that free school meals stayed available to all children who need them, no matter their parents’ immigration status.”

Europe’s largest teachers union NEU hit with racism allegations by its own members, The Independent, 12 April 2022

“Three letters, backed by around 300 signatories in total, have been sent to the National Educational Union (NEU) calling for an external investigation into the matter and detailing areas of specific concern including the “haemorrhaging of Black members”.”

No growth in Chinese Studies graduates during China’s ascendancy, HEPI, 31 March 2022

“The Higher Education Policy Institute is publishing a new report, Understanding China: The Study of China in UK schools and universities by Michael Natzler (HEPI Report 148), sponsored by the University of St Andrews.”

‘You’ve got friends’: Birmingham school scheme aims to ease refugee trauma, The Guardian, 27 March 2022

“Previous research has shown refugee and asylum-seeking children face long delays accessing education after arriving in the UK, while their learning is affected by trauma and mental health difficulties, bullying and a lack of awareness and expertise among some school staff. With the number of migrants and refugees arriving in Birmingham increasing, Core Hello hopes to provide an example of how schools can better help these pupils.”

ENVIRONMENT

Podcast: Against Ecofascism w/ Sam Moore, Tribune, 20 April 2022

“In the latest episode, Grace talks to Sam Moore, co-author of ‘The Rise of Ecofascism: Climate Change and the Far Right’, about how the climate crisis is being weaponised by reactionaries – and how the left should respond.”

GOVERNMENT, MIGRATION & COMMUNITIES

New Global Business Mobility visa could be blocking talent, HR Magazine, 22 April 2022

“The introduction of a Global Business Mobility visa for foreign workers is a step in the right direction, but it may need reform to effectively attract overseas talent to the UK.”

Is it legal to outsource the UK’s refugee responsibilities to Rwanda?, Free Movement, April 2022

“Boris Johnson said in a speech that “anyone entering the UK illegally, as well as those who have arrived illegally since January 1st, may now be relocated to Rwanda”.,This is framed as a response to those crossing the Channel in small boats and the BBC was told that it is a “pilot scheme” that would be “restricted to mostly single men”. The text of the deal contains no such restriction and the scheme could be applied to other modes of unauthorised entry…”

Rich Britain sending refugees to Rwanda isn’t ‘burden-sharing’. It’s shameful exploitation, The Guardian, 15 April 2022

“…the vast majority of the world’s displaced people are hosted by the world’s poorest countries. Today, 85% of refugees live in developing countries while the richest nations host just 15%. While Rwanda might be developing economically, it is still among the world’s 25 poorest countries. The UK is among the world’s 10 richest countries.”

Planned Rwandan processing centre shows why we must resist the borders bill, The Canary, 14 April 2022

“The government has announced plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. Priti Patel is currently in Rwanda to finalise a £120m trial that will see mostly single men who arrive in Britain being flown to Rwanda for processing.”

UK Rwanda plan for asylum seekers decried as inhumane, expensive and deadly, The Guardian, 14 April 2022

“Politicians, legal experts and refugee groups condemn Johnson’s plan to ‘offshore’ Channel crossing crisis… The number of people crossing has already passed 5,000 this year, more than double the 2021 total at the same point.”

If the UK is to be a home for Hong Kongers, they need more than an entry ticket, Politics Home, 11 April 2022

“Launched in January 2021, there have been more than 100,000 applications for the BNO pathway, while official estimates predict the arrival of 258,000 to 322,400 BNO holders and their dependents in the coming five years. These figures confirm that the route has been an invaluable lifeline for Hong Kongers desperate to escape the Chinese Communist Party’s sweeping crackdown on democracy and human rights.”

Community ‘must stand beside’ Belfast multi-cultural centre targeted in hate crime, Irish News, 8 April 2022

“Police said they are treating an overnight fire at the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association property in Donegall Pass in the south of the city as suspected arson and a hate crime. It is the second time the building has been targeted after it was extensively damaged in a racist arson attack last year. Association trustee Muhammad Atif said the latest fire will not deter it from carrying out its charity work.”

The Importance of accurate ethnic monitoring and data inclusion for GRT communities A briefing paper by the Traveller Movement, March 2022

“This guide is intended as an aid for public bodies to ensure their data collection policies with regards to Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities are effective and consistent with the statutory requirement to monitor and tackle discrimination.”

JUSTICE & POLICE

On Stephen Lawrence Day, the Met needs to face up to the rot still in its ranks, Metro, 22 April 2022

“This day provides us all with an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, and how far we still must go when it comes to tackling institutional racism in our police and public services.”

Black teen fears police after ‘being stopped and searched 60 times in two years’, Metro, 21 April 2022

“The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) published its stop and search learning report today. It concluded black people were seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, while Asian people have two-and-a-half times more of a chance.” Read the Report here.

REVEALED: Judges’ Anger at “Whitewash” Hiring Review, Eastern Eye, 12 April 2022

“An experienced south Asian Crown court judge has called on the body which appoints and promotes justices to investigate the culture of bullying and racism which exist in the profession. Judge Kaly Kaul QC’s comments coincide with a so called “independent review” of the recruitment process by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). Eastern Eye can reveal that JAC consultants interviewed just 0.24 per cent of judges in England and Wales.”

FAITH & RELIGION

London mosque ‘attacked by group armed with bottles and hockey sticks’, The Independent, 21 April 2022

“Multiple injuries as worshippers reportedly targeted while entering place of worship after sunset…Eyewitnesses told the Evening Standard about 15 males turned up outside the building at about 9pm armed with wooden poles, beer bottles, fluorescent light tubes and stones.”

 

Boris Johnson criticism of archbishop of Canterbury ‘a disgraceful slur’, The Guardian, 20 April 2022

“Prime minister accused Justin Welby of having ‘misconstrued’ Rwanda asylum policy.”

Rwanda plan is ‘against the judgment of God’, says archbishop of Canterbury, The Observer, 16 April 2022

“Leader of the Church of England attacks asylum scheme as charities stress that children could be among those shipped to Africa.”

 

Voices: Mosques have become ‘boys’ clubs’, despite what Islam really says, The Independent, 12 April 2022

“There’s reason to believe that while praying during the time of the Prophet Mohammed, women were not subject to radical barriers or sectioned off into insultingly small storage closets as we are today. This Ramadan, we need to be honest about the problem as well as the solution.”

SCIENCE, HEALTH & WELL-BEING

NHS Scotland recruit nearly 200 overseas nurses, BBC News, 19 April 2022

“Scotland’s hospitals have hired 191 nurses from countries including India and the Philippines to help the NHS through “unprecedented challenges”, the health secretary has announced.”

Improving the evidence on ethnic health disparities, ONS, 13 April 2022

“There is significant public and government interest in addressing health inequalities, and attention has only increased since evidence has shown an increased risk of death from COVID-19 among most ethnic minority groups. Rose Drummond explains how the ONS is working with Wellcome and the Race Equality Foundation to improve estimates of ethnic health disparities in England.”

 

THE MONARCHY & ROYALS

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex cancel part of Caribbean royal tour as country removed from itinerary, The Independent, 21 April 2022

“In consultation with the government of Grenada and on the advice of the Governor General, The Earl and Countess of Wessex’s visit to Grenada has been postponed…Edward and Sophie will visit Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest child, and the Countess of Wessex will celebrate “the culture, future and vibrancy of the islands” during the trip, meeting communities, local entrepreneurs and craftspeople.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Visit With Wounded Service Members from Ukraine, Vanity Fair, 15 April 2022

“To kick off the Invictus Games, the couple attended a reception honoring the teams representing Ukraine and the USA.”

 

TECH

MoU on Telecommunications and Information Communication Technology between India and the United Kingdom, GOV.UK, 21 April 2022

“The UK and India have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in telecommunications and ICT. The UK and India acknowledge their importance as contributors to trade, as well as to the economic and social development of both countries.”

How to get more black women into tech, BCS, 21 April 2022

“Paulette Watson, Founder and Managing Director of Academy Achievers tells Johanna Hamilton AMBCS about how she’s taking BAME IT students on a STEM learning journey from cradle to college…’We’re in partnership with Raspberry Pi delivering on the C…. Ciena our lead sponsor, had funded the 400 laptops. We have venture capitalists looking to invest in our #BeMe project to get a million more women into tech across the globe. We already have a sister organisation in Ghana and we’ve had interest in, Wales, Liverpool and Birmingham, France and Spain.’”

HIDDEN HATE: How Instagram fails to act on 9 in 10 reports of misogyny in DMs, Center for Countering Digital Hate, April 2022

“Instagram, the app that you claim “put[s] people first,” is failing women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and marginalized communities on a systemic and categorical level. In August 2021, following a wave of racist and bigoted attacks against Black English footballers in the Euro 2020 final,  Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, published a blog post that announced new features to “help protect people from abuse” on the app…These changes placed the onus of protecting oneself from abuse and identity-based hate on users, not on abusers or Instagram…” Read the Report here

SPORT

Rafiq racism row: ECB to charge up to 12 former Yorkshire staff, GG2.net, 12 April 2022

“The Sportsmail revealed that the charges will be centered on breaching the ECB’s anti-discrimination code and bringing the game of cricket into disrepute. In March 2020, former player Rafiq alleged that his experiences at the English club left him close to suicide.”

The first black President of Gloucestershire Cricket says he’s not a ‘token gesture’, The Voice, 21 April 2022

“Four decades after making his debut for Gloucestershire at the age of 17, the player affectionately known as ‘Syd’ is back at the club where it all started for him as President, a position he says he’s “honoured” to hold.”

Six months after Saudi Arabia-backed Newcastle Utd. takeover, Premier League ownership test still lacks human rights criteria, say Amnesty Intl., Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, 6 April 2022

“The Saudi buy-out of Newcastle exposed the glaring inadequacies of English football’s ownership rules – with no bar for those complicit in acts of torture, slavery, human trafficking or even war crimes – yet it hasn’t led to the change we urgently need to see…Six months on from the Saudi deal…we’re still waiting for the Premier League to take action to stop English football being used for blatant sportswashing.”

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