Report shows increase in racial inequality in England and Wales

Racial inequality is getting worse in the United Kingdom, with young black people and ethnic minorities suffering 'institutional racism' and 'unfairness' in education, employment and the criminal justice system, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has said in its latest report.

Entitled Healing a Divided Britain, the report found that life chances for young people from ethnic minorities had got worse, becoming 'the most challenging for generations.'

You are more likely to experience a hate crime if you're an ethnic minority, with 82% being race related. There has been an "unprecedented spike" in hate crimes since the Brexit vote.

The report also highlighted a 49 percent increase in long-term unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds from ethnic minority communities since 2011, compared with a fall of 2 percent for young white people.

Black people remained much more likely to be victims of crime, including murder, and to be more harshly treated in the criminal justice system. It said that although educational attainment had improved, black college graduates were typically earning 23 percent less than white graduates.

Commenting on the report, Phil McCarthy, CEO of Caritas Social Action Network said: "Catholic teaching condemns racial discrimination and racism. The findings of this report highlight the pervasiveness of discrimination and inequalities experienced by ethnic communities in many areas including education, employment and the criminal justice system. The relationship between race and socio-economic disadvantage is important because the report shows that poorer white communities are disadvantaged socially.

We have made progress in the realm of race inequality, with increasing numbers of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students obtaining university level qualifications and greater representation in the public sector with the number of ethnic minority police officers in England and Wales having increased to 5.5% in 2015 from 3.6% in 2006.

Our member organisations work to support and protect the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in society. We're striving to build a 21st century Britain in which individuals irrespective of their class, race or ethnicity are able to fully participate in society".

Yogi Sutton, Chair of Trustees of the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ): Education is a key driver of social mobility and this review illustrates how different ethnic communities are being marginalised and excluded from the education system. Permanent school exclusions for Black Caribbean children in England are nearly three times the exclusion rate for all pupils. The research shows students from Gypsy/Roma, Irish Traveller and Black Caribbean backgrounds have the lowest GCSE attainment levels.

In the wake of Brexit, we have seen an increase in hate crimes which seek to threaten the fabric of British society. We have to commit to investing in building a fairer, safer and equal society. Pope Francis called for an end to bigotry and racism stating 'the problem of intolerance should be dealt with as a whole: every time a minority is persecuted and marginalised because of his religious beliefs or ethnicity, the good of the whole society is in danger.'

The Equality and Human Rights Commission's Healing a divided Britain is available here:

Tags: Caritas Social Action, Catholic Association for Racial Justice. CARJ, CSAN, EHRC, Equality and Human Rights Commission, Phil McCarthy, Yogi Sutton

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