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Discriminatory Practices Against Minorities

Discriminatory Practices Against Minorities

Racial discrimination still is an important issue in Great Britain. Discrimination in school is a common issue across the UK. According to the school expulsion statistic, children from Roma families are expelled 4 times more often than white children, and black children from families that have emigrated from the Caribbean are 3 times more likely to get expelled than white children.


5% of children from ethnic minority families have been called racist nicknames at some point, 42% of 16-year-old minority students have been subjected to racist abuse or bullying. 92% of Traveller children in Northern Ireland have not finished school. Similar situation exists in universities. Research by Channel 4 news released on July 23rd, 2014, has found that students of BME backgrounds and prospective students from lower social class groups are still disadvantaged in higher education. Survey published on April 6 indicates the presence of racial discrimination in British universities. Almost 60% of minority employees and students of British universities said that they have faced discrimination.

On September 25, 2014, it was reported that Camden girls school in London did not let a Muslim girl attend an exam wearing a niqab (which closes her face). BBC investigation, published in October 2013, revealed that real estate agents discriminate against black people on the housing market – landlords are reluctant to let their property to minorities.

Roma and Traveller communities are at risk of eviction due to failing to register their rights to land. Local authorities provide inappropriate alternative lands and register them as “intentionally homeless” when they refuse.

On October 9, 2014, it was reported that a pub in Birmingham said that only white employees must be in house when it hosts the English Defence League gathering. In late October, owner of Auto200 company in Haywood introduced a new option for his customers, allowing them to choose the nationality of their driver.

On September 15, 2014, it was reported that a security guard of a sports store in Hertfordshire refused entry for two Jewish students. Racial profiling remains a problem in the British police force. According to police itself, 27% of inspections and searches in 2014 did not satisfy “reasonable grounds for suspicion”, being racially motivated.

On November 30, a sociological study published by Dr Nabil Khatab of Bristol University showed that Muslims are facing increasing discrimination at the labour market and have minimal chances of getting into administrative positions. Muslim men are 76% less likely to receive any job than white British Christians of the same age and qualification group. Muslim women, meanwhile, are 65% less likely to receive any job compared to Christian women. The only ethnic religious group that has more chances of being employed than white Christians are Jews: Jewish women are 29% more likely to find successful employment and Jewish men are 15% more likely.

On February 8, 2014,The Guardian reported on a leaked document which revealed that gay and lesbian asylum seekers were faced with humiliating and degrading questions during interviews by the Home Office.

Generally, discriminatory practices against migrants in 2014 were widely spread. On March 18, 2014, the Ministry of Justice published a report stating that detained immigrants are often subjected to violence and insults by law enforcement officials. The report also identified 19 cases where people were detained without proper grounds. Another report, published on March 13, identified 8 deaths within the detention center of illegal immigrants, which were due to a low level of medical care.

Great Britain also has certain unique discriminatory practices related to the deep-rooted traditions of ethnic and religious minorities. These minorities are 400 thousand members of Hindu and Sikh coomunities that belong to the „Untouchable” and Dalit castes. The discriminatory practices mentioned above were bullying in schools and at work, as well as not being given promotions by their managers belonging to hinger Hindu and Sikh castes. These events took place despite the fact that the 2010 Equality Act gives the government the right to regulate caste discrimination.

Another widely acknowledged concept in UK is the so-called “positive discrimination”, which is when an organisation (including government institutions) intentionally treats the disadvantaged minorities (Third World country citizens, LGBT community members, non-Christians, etc.) preferentially during the workforce selection process. Such a practice can, on the one hand, be beneficial for their integration into the society, but, on the other hand, can provoke discriminating actions towards the majority, i.e. the mentioned earlier situation with the Christians.

On June 30, 2014, it was reported that refugee women are being abused in Yarl’s Wood migrant centre . Serco, a company that administrates the centre, stated that ten staff members who have been involved in this have been fired . Tascor, a company responsible for deportations to Pakistan, was criticised by the Chief Inspector of Prisons for mistreatment of immigrants.

On July 9, Supreme Court of Great Britain has recognised the government initiatives surrounding immigration as discriminatory and illegal. The government planned to restrict legal assistance to only residents of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, on July 15, Home Office policy of accelerated detention of asylum seekers was recognised as having a “high risk of injustice” . The decision was upheld in Court of Appeal in December.

On September 5, Ahmed Rubel – a Bangladeshi national – died in Morton Hall migration centre. Staff of the centre ignored his health complaints . At least 15 000 housekeepers arrive in the UK from Asia and Africa. Some employers abuse their workers, restricting their contact with the outside world, take away their documents and force labour. Introduction of “contact visas” has led to housekeepers being unable to leave their employers, as they are forced to leave the country immediately after losing work.

Great Britain also has certain unique discriminatory practices related to the deep-rooted traditions of ethnic and religious minorities. These minorities are 400 thousand members of Hindu and Sikh coomunities that belong to the „Untouchable” and Dalit castes. The discriminatory practices mentioned above were bullying in schools and at work, as well as not being given promotions by their managers belonging to hinger Hindu and Sikh castes. These events took place despite the fact that the 2010 Equality Act gives the government the right to regulate caste discrimination.

On June 10th it became known that the inspectors who checked a number of schools in Birmingham came to the conclusion that in five schools students were imposed Islam, violating the principles of the public education system in Britain. In some schools non-Muslims from the number of students and teachers were insulted or even beaten. Positions of authority in schools were given only to Muslims - often members of one and the same family. In some schools the administration actually introduced elements of Sharia, dividing forms into male and female. On July 22, it was reported that in some Birmingham schools, children were taught hatred to Christianity. The Commission of Inquiry has identified evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools and planting of radical Islamic values.

In connection with the sharp exacerbation of the immigration crisis in 2014-16, and the adoption of a number of legislative acts aimed at regulating migration processes and combating terror, has undergone changes and law enforcement practices in the UK.

Priorities of law enforcement regarding the fight against xenophobia, discrimination and radicalism in 2015 were structured as follows:

  • prevention of extremism;
  • counteracting illegal immigration and building an infrastructure for the reception of refugees;
  • combating xenophobia and racism, harmonizing inter-ethnic relations;
  • Integration of refugees and Roma.

Very often progress in one direction led to costs in another. For example, the fight against terror affected the rights of minorities, and the counteraction to illegal immigration - the fundamental rights of asylum seekers, etc. Thus, in connection with the increase in the number of terrorist acts, the intensification of the activity of Islamist and right-wing radical organizations, and as a result of the adoption of anti-terrorism laws by a number of countries, Britain experienced a wave of police reprisals against people suspected of extremist activity in 2015.

Sometimes these actions hurt the interests of respectable citizens. According to human rights activists, people most affected were national and religious minorities, who were suspected of belonging to ISIS. For example, a case where the schoolteacher, guided by the requirements of the new Bill "On Combating Terrorism and Security", reported to the police that his 10-year-old Muslim student wrote in an English lesson that he lives in a "terrorist house". The boy made a mistake in writing the word "terraced house", but this did not stop the police, who searched the house where he lived with his parents and seized his computer for verification. In addition, the police and social services conducted several interviews with the child in order to clarify the connections of his parents with extremist organizations. Another 14-year-old Muslim was questioned by the school's leadership about possible links with IGSF after he used the term "ecoterrorism" during the class discussion about environmental protection. Another Muslim graduate student, Mohammed Umar Farooq, who was studying the anti-terror course in a twist of fate, was interrogated by members of the secret service after he took a book in the university library called "Terrorism Studies." The operatives were interested in his views on Islam, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and also whether he knows how the militants of this organization are cracking down on homosexuals.

It can be noted and individual cases of the so-called. excessive tolerance. July 22, 2014 it became known that the Mayor of Birmingham Albert Bohr admitted that the city authorities had shied away from solving the problem of Islamized schools because of the fear of being accused of racism.

On July 28, state officials ordered the Catholic elementary school of St. Joseph in Epsom change his policy. From the school they demanded, when admitting students, to stop preference for children from families who regularly attend mass. The school declares that the policy pursued by its leadership is connected with the local Catholic parish, which established this educational institution. For this reason, requiring a religiously determined school to change the selection criteria for students is absurd.

August 4, it became known about the indignation of some employees of the Arabic edition of the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, the fact that at the headquarters of the Air Force near these offices fried pork carcass for a picnic.

August 19, it became known to the administration of Travelodge, the UK's largest hotel chain, decided to remove copies of the Bible from the numbers "for reasons of religious diversity, given the growing multicultural influence in the UK." In addition, on August 4, political activists who participated in anti-racist activities complained to the Independent Commission of Police Complaints (IPCC) alleging that some police officers tried to recruit them to spy on their colleagues.

On September 2, the British Home Secretary Theresa May stated that the police in Rotherham were turning a blind eye to reports of mass rape of migrant children by their fellow tribesmen for reasons of political correctness. "I believe that the fear of appearing racist should not interfere with the protection of the interests of children. There is no excuse for this. Just as there is no forgiveness for the fact that the rapists did not get what they deserved, "the minister said.

The Court of Appeal on October 28 confirmed the decision of previous courts to dismiss the duty-free employee of Heathrow Noad Halawi Airport after a complaint filed by Muslims who accused her of religious discrimination.

Christian Halavi stated about double standards in matters relating to Muslim-Christian disputes. According to her, the administration ignored her complaint about discriminatory behavior of Muslims and accepted an unreasonable complaint of Muslims against her. The reason for dissatisfaction with the Muslim staff was the intercession of Halavi for one of the Christian colleagues who was ridiculed by the Muslims for wearing the cross.

At the end of October 2015, in Northern Ireland, the Ashers Baking Company bakery in Newtonabbi was ordered to pay a fine for refusing to serve a LGBT party because it considered the cake ordered to be immoral.

In recent years, with the growth of anti-immigration sentiments and Euroscepticism among voters, the ruling Conservative Party is trying to intercept the main slogans of nationalists. As often happens in such cases, this largest political party became hostage to its new ambitions and rhetoric was followed by concrete actions in the form of tightening anti-immigration laws. Experts estimate that these measures threaten the interests of such social groups as migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and generally citizens of third countries that are not part of the European Economic Area.

On May 14, 2014, a new Immigration Law was adopted, which substantially restricts the rights of immigrants. However, the matter did not stop there. 09/02/2015, the labor legislation was amended toughening the responsibility of employers for hiring illegal migrants. On 17/06/2015, measures were taken to restrict the access of immigrants to benefits. The government introduced a number of measures to tighten the social security system against third-country nationals. The citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, who are members of the EU, were also threatened. On 14/08/2015, amendments were introduced to immigration rules that obliged private landlords to carry out immigration control. Private sector owners have been legally required to conduct an immigration check on new tenants who are foreign nationals (under the new Immigration Act of 2014). On 07/09/2015, officials of the Ministry of the Interior received the right to administrative arrest of asylum seekers, as well as illegal migrants who are not part of the asylum system.

In November 2014, the new House of Commons was presented with the new Counter-Terrorism And Security Bill. It was approved by the Queen of Great Britain and accordingly entered into force in July 2015.

Many of the measures introduced in accordance with the legislation had far-reaching consequences for members of minorities and immigrants. In particular, the law introduced such measures as a ban on leaving the UK for persons suspected of terrorism or aiding terrorism. At the same time, the police and security services are required to obtain prior permission from the court for such actions.

The British Race Relations Institute has already expressed its concern that this law will be discriminatory towards Muslims. Human rights defenders argue that past experience of the government's compliance with the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2000 indicates that Muslims were often harassed by officials. They also consider that part 4 of the new law, which obliges commanders of air and water vessels, heads of trains, etc., to inform the authorities about suspicious passengers, including their ethnic and religious identity, is discriminatory. Similarly, they characterize part 5 of the Anti-Terror Bill, which imposes the same duties on teachers, doctors and public service employees.

At the same time, it is obvious that in the context of the fight against terror in the UK, which is in effect a "jihad country" for terrorists, temporary restrictions on rights are necessary if they are conditioned by unambiguous guarantees of the objects of inspections.

But some time these measures have sometimes impacted law-abiding citizens. Human rights observers note that most such cases were related to national or religious minorities that were suspected of links to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). One of the most notable cases occurred in the United Kingdom, which had recently adopted a 2015 Counter Terrorism and Security Act , which places a statutory duty on schools and colleges to prevent people being drawn into terrorism. There, a 10-year-old Muslim boy who misspelled a word during an English lesson, writing that he lived in a “terrorist house”. The primary school pupil meant to write that he lived in a “terraced house”, but this did not stop the police carrying out a thorough search of the house and examining the family computer. Both police and social services had carried out extensive interviews (2015) with the boy to establish whether or not his family has any ties with extremist organisations.

Another Muslim schoolboy was questioned about Islamic State after the 14-year-old used the term “ecoterrorism” during a classroom discussion about environmental activism.

In another ironic incident, Muslim postgraduate student of counter-terrorism, Mohammed Umar Farooq, was falsely accused of being a terrorist after an official at Staffordshire University had spotted him reading a textbook entitled Terrorism Studies in the college library. According to his own accounts, he was questioned about attitudes to homosexuality, Islamic State and al-Qaida.

In the beginning of May 2016, Theresa May, then the Minister of the Interior, tried to commit an unprecedented act of deportation, to expel all foreign students who had received a visa through the passing of the English Language Test (TEIOC) from the country. TEIOC is an English language test designed to determine the skills for people working in an international environment and it was enough reason for people to obtain a visa to the UK. However, after the Panorama television programme exposed a college in London, which conducted the tests on a corrupt basis, the Ministry of the Interior decided to deport all foreigners who had received a visa by the results of the test

According to the Politika website, many families were immediately separated - they were awakened at dawn, the husband was separated from his wife and sent to pre-trial detention centers before deportation. The only crime of these people was that they passed the test, recommended earlier by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 48,000 of them were deported. 70% of them were Indian citizens. On 23 May, the Chamber of Immigration and Asylum of the Upper Tribunal suspended this practice. Steps were also taken to return the deportees back.

Especially depressing was the deportation of Afghan citizens seeking asylum. They were sent to the provinces of Afghanistan, which are considered "safe", i.e. are not controlled by the Taliban, but by government troops. However, it is known that the government of Afghanistan controls only 60% of the country's territory. In other regions, Islamist groups dominate, or there are active military operations. Twenty of the ninety groups recognized by the UN as terrorist and included in the sanctions lists, are based in Afghanistan. The total number of Afghans forced to leave their place of permanent residence and seek refuge, as already indicated, has reached 1.2 million. Their return became possible after the decision of the governments of Germany and the UK that Afghanistan, namely provinces controlled by the government (mainly the capital city of Kabul), is a "safe" place for the return of refugees.

Cases of institutional racism are widespread, primarily in law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom. This follows from a special investigation made in 2016 by the “Movement of the Nomads”, as well as from the parliamentary investigation of Labor MP David Lammi, who concluded that "the Metropolitan police may be overly targeting black and ethnic minority youths as gang members, resulting in them being treated more harshly by the courts, prisons, and justice system."

Figures for 2016 show that 78% of the 3,626 people registered in one of the police databases were black, and another 9% were representatives of other ethnic minorities. At the same time, ethnic minorities constitute 40% of the population of London. Theresa May also acknowledged the racial bias of the criminal justice system. After she became Prime Minister, she stated in one of her speeches: "If you are black, you are treated more cruelly through the criminal justice system than if you are white.”

Although hate crimes are systematically recorded by police departments, concerns remain about systematic underreporting and disparities in recording practices in the UK. For example, during the study period, Avon and Somerset police suggested that while official data released in August 2020 showed a 20% increase in hate crimes in response to the Black Lives Matters protests, Muslim, Jewish and Polish communities were at high risk of under-reporting due to a refusal to record such crimes and language and cultural barriers that prevented their victims from reporting them.

In addition, lack of trust in the police was also an important factor among minorities. Moreover, a comparison between the officially compared figures and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) also highlights the problem. For example, between March 2018 and March 2020, there were 190,000 reported hate crimes based on race, religion, gender, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. By comparison, there were 105,090 police-recorded hate crimes nationally. Finally, the patchwork nature of hate crime statistics and the way they are collected in the UK sometimes makes it difficult to determine the extent of the problem. In recent years, the U.K. government and police have criticized the intransigence in recognizing hate crimes based on gender, disability, and transgender.

Finally, with regard to discriminatory practices in law enforcement, the trial of facial recognition technology and stop-and-search techniques in the U.K. is worth mentioning. For example, in March 2020, the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission asked the police and the Home Office to stop the public use of facial recognition technology because it was thought to reinforce racial discrimination and suppress freedom of speech. Specifically, evidence was found that because the technology was largely trained on Caucasian faces, the algorithms used for identification "disproportionately misidentify black people and women" and therefore potentially "reproduce and reinforce patterns of discrimination in policing." Such a problem arose in the summer of 2020, when police were warned against using facial recognition at Black Lives Matter protests in Britain because of such inaccuracies.

Speaking of racial profiling in the nation's police force in 2018-21, the wave of debate on the issue also peaked again amid more BLM activity. In October 2020, for example, it was discovered that the Metropolitan Police had made several errors in their use of the practice, and - in the same month - statistics released by the UK Office for National Statistics showed that blacks were eighteen times more likely to be stopped under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

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