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The recent Black Lives Matter protests were sparked by the awful killing of George Floyd in the US. The response from protestors in the UK has highlighted once again that racism and inequality exist here too. The Prime Minister announced that a Commission would be set up to investigate race and ethnic disparities in the UK with a report expected around Christmas. This follows a succession of reports in recent years, which have looked into, and found, structural racial inequalities in state institutions and processes, from the Home Office to the Youth Justice System.
There are concerns about racial inequalities in the protection of human rights in many areas including:
- Detention, as highlighted by the disproportionate number of young black men searched and in custody
- Immigration, as highlighted by the Windrush scandal
- Health, as highlighted by higher maternal mortality rates for black women
- Democracy, as highlighted by significant numbers of black people not registered to vote
These issues engage fundamental rights including: the right to liberty (Article 5 ECHR), which protects people from unlawful detention; the right to a family life (Article 8 ECHR); the right to a fair trial (Article 6 ECHR), the right to life (Article 2 ECHR) and the prohibition on non-discrimination (Article 14 ECHR).
Whilst these topics have been the focus of a number of reviews and reports in recent years, there has not been prompt progress made in the implementation of their recommendations. The Joint Committee on Human Rights will investigate what has impeded progress, and ask whether changes in the organisations charged with monitoring equality and human rights issues are required. The Committee will also carry out research into attitudes of black people in this country about the protection of their human rights.
The Joint Committee on Human Rights invites submissions of no more than 1,500 words from interested groups and individuals.
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This call for written evidence has now closed.Go back to Black people, racism and human rights Inquiry