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28 Mar, 2024 20:52

UN issues warning on rising British racism

Roma and people of African descent face “systemic discrimination” at the hands of the UK justice system, a new report has said
UN issues warning on rising British racism

The level of racial discrimination in Great Britain is concerning, the UN Human Rights Committee has said in a new report, warning that “systemic” racism remains largely unaddressed by the government and that cases “appear to be increasing.”

The committee said it was concerned by reports indicating that “racial inequality and discriminatory practices” against Roma and people with African background, as well as other minority groups, are on the rise.

Those of African descent in particular face “systemic racism, disproportionate and discriminatory policing” at the hands of the British criminal justice system, the UN body said, pointing to “unjustified racial and ethnic disparities in stop and search powers” among others.

The UN document recommended that the UK allocate more resources to fighting racism and review its anti-discriminatory policies, in addition to providing “adequate training” to civil servants and law enforcement officials.

The committee also voiced its reservations over the perceived impunity granted to the UK military participating in overseas operations. The UN body “regrets that no prosecutions or further investigations have been carried out on the allegations of war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq,” the document said.

It pointed to the 2021 Overseas Operations Act, which it said granted “a presumption against prosecution in favor of military personnel deployed” outside of British territory after five years.

London must “ensure all violations committed by British officials and members of the armed forces, including overseas, are investigated, prosecuted as appropriate, and duly sanctioned without a time limitation,” the committee said.

Last year, the UK was also accused by a group of immigration experts of “unashamed racism” over its policies towards Ukrainians relative to those who had come from countries such as Sudan. The seemingly preferential treatment of Ukrainians was due to the color of their skin, experts told The Guardian at the time.

The government develops policies affecting those seeking safety “along stark racial lines,” Caitlin Boswell, a policy and advocacy manager for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), told the British newspaper. London denied the allegations, saying that it was “wrong to compare and set vulnerable groups against each other.”