Submission to the Joint Committee on Human Rights
Black people, racism and human rights
Amnesty International UK is a national section of a global movement. Collectively, our vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments. Our mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion.
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Programme Director – Refugee and Migrant Rights
The immigration system:
Wider connection to racism:
Final remarks on how progress is impeded:
 See, in particular, paragraphs 58-68 (issue 5) of Amnesty’s submission here: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/human-rights-committee/enforcing-human-rights/written/78416.pdf
 In mid-April, the Prime Minister apologised to Caribbean leaders (Windrush generation: Theresa May apologises to Caribbean leaders, BBC News, 17 April 2018 and the Home Secretary apologised in the House (Hansard HC, 16 April 2018 : Col 27).
 Amnesty’s submission to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review provides both chronology and analysis of the scandal (its roots and impact), see: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/Resources/AIUK%20to%20Home%20Office%20Windrush%20Lessons%20Learned%20Review.pdf
 See Amnesty’s Windrush submission op cit, particularly paragraphs 9-18
 See Amnesty’s Windrush submission op cit, particularly paragraphs 12-13
 See e.g. Hansard HC, Standing Committee F, 24 February 1981: Col 177 per Timothy Raison, Home Office Minister
 See e.g. Hansard HC, 3 June 1981 : Cols 979-980 and Hansard HC, Standing Committee F, 24 February 1981: Col 177 per Timothy Raison, Home Office Minister
 See e.g. Hansard HC, Standing Committee F, 24 February 1981: Col 179 per Timothy Raison, Home Office Minister
 Section 7 of the British Nationality Act 1981
 Section 1(3) and (4), section 3(1) and paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the British Nationality Act 1981 are of especial significance.
 See the March 2020 report (HC 93) of the Windrush Lessons Learned Review at page 59 available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874022/6.5577_HO_Windrush_Lessons_Learned_Review_WEB_v2.pdf
 Registration under section 7(2) was available within 6 years of the Act’s commencement, which period could be extended under section 7(8) by a further two years in special circumstances.
 Hansard HL, 21 July 1981 : Col 184 and Hansard HL, 7 October 1981 : Cols 117 & 121 per Lord Belstead, Minister of State
 Several of these barriers were succinctly summarised by the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC) in its October 2016 submission to the Committee’s inquiry on UK’s record on children’s rights, see http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/human-rights-committee/childrens-rights/written/40459.pdf
 For example, Home Office decision letters on registration applications regularly refer to naturalisation; and statements such as the following in the Minister’s response to correspondence from PRCBC, Amnesty & others are common: “Citizenship is not necessary to enable individuals to live, work or study in the UK and a grant of indefinite or limited leave to remain will enable lawful residence and confer appropriate access to benefits and services.” That correspondence is available at: https://prcbc.org/information-leaflets/
The suggestion that the citizenship of someone born in this country and entitled to it is unnecessary for that person to live here is insulting and reflects an underlying failure to recognise that registration of citizenship concerns rights to citizenship that are fundamentally different to powers of naturalisation – a distinction made express in the statutory language and by Ministers in passing the 1981 Act, see e.g. Hansard HC, 2 June 1981: Col 855 per William Whitelaw, Home Secretary.
 This requirement is explained further in the joint PRCBC and Amnesty briefing here: https://prcbc.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/briefing_good-character_oct-2019-1.pdf
A brief account of the history of the requirement’s introduction is provided by the joint PRCBC and Amnesty submission to the Committee’s scrutiny inquiry on the Draft British Nationality Act 1981 (Remedial) Order 2019, here: http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/human-rights-committee/draft-british-nationality-act-1981-remedial-order-2019/written/102809.pdf
 See e.g. PRCBC and Amnesty joint briefing on these fees: https://prcbc.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/fees_briefing_revised_march_2019.pdf
 For example, where the Home Office has granted settled status to a child’s estranged parent or naturalised that parent but refuses or fails to confirm this to establish the child is a British citizen under section 1(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 or entitled to register as such a citizen under section 1(3).
 See e.g. fn 15
 Home Office guidance Registration as a British citizen: children largely incorporates statutory requirements for naturalisation (which have nothing to do with children) into decision-making on registration under section 3(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, which Act expressly does not adopt those requirements and which requirements are not properly applicable to registration.
Registration rights are more fully discussed in Reasserting Rights to British Citizenship Through Registration, IANL, vol 34, no. 2, 2020, pp139ff
 Lord Reid has since explained that the phrase was wrongly attributed to him but rather came from a senior civil servant, see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-15786213
 Hansard HC, 26 March 2013 : Cols 1500-1501
 Hansard HC, 16 April 2018 : Col 28
 Hansard HC, 21 July 2020 : Cols 2020-2022
 As regards the need to express pain, fear, exclusion and loss, the Committee will recall the evidence of Natalie Barnes, daughter of Paulette Wilson, whom the Home Office had unlawfully detained, describing her feelings and reactions that led to her being banned from the immigration centre at which her mother had been required to report (Oral Evidence: Detention of Windrush generation, HC 1034 : Wednesday 16 May 2018, Q6, p14); and the Chair’s summary of this to the then Home Secretary and Director-General of Border Immigration and Citizenship (Oral Evidence: Detention of Windrush generation, HC 1034 : Wednesday 6 June 2018, Q24, p15). As the Chair summarised: “There was extreme distress. There was a pile of evidence and lawyers, but there was this other strand of extreme distress. Instead of responding to that, the department banned the daughter and locked her mother up.”
Poignantly connected to need to be secure and feel belonging is the High Court ruling in R (Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens, O & A) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3536 (Admin), December 2019 when finding there to be a mass of evidence showing there to be many children in the UK prevented from exercising their right to British citizenship by an unaffordable fee and by this made to “feel alienated, excluded, isolated, “second-best”, insecure and not fully assimilated into the culture and social fabric of the UK.” The Home Office has appealed against the court’s ruling that it had breached its children’s duty (section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009) by failing to assess, consider or apply the best interests of children. However, there is no appeal against the court’s finding of fact about the impact of the Home Office fee, which remains in place.
 For example, An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the criminal justice system, 2017 (often referred to as ‘the Lammy Review’): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lammy-review-final-report
 For example, the Race Disparity Audit commissioned by Theresa May: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/race-disparity-audit
 See e.g. the Lammy Review op cit; also research more recently published by the Sentencing Council: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/publications/item/investigating-the-association-between-an-offenders-sex-and-ethnicity-and-the-sentence-imposed-at-the-crown-court-for-drug-offences/
Amnesty’s Trapped in the Matrix, May 2018 also raised concerns of ‘racial bias’ in policing and ‘heavily racialised’ policing tools, see: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/files/reports/Trapped%20in%20the%20Matrix%20Amnesty%20report.pdf
 For example, policing data that is itself questionable by reason of racial bias is directly and intentionally used as the basis for the exercise of powers to refuse citizenship and to deport someone. See pages 22-23 of Amnesty’s Matrix report op cit.
 Op cit
 See paragraphs 9ff and 32(c), op cit
 Op cit
 See page 7, op cit
 See paragraphs 2-6 of Amnesty’s Windrush submission, op cit
 The original terms of reference are available here: http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2018-0756/WLLR_Terms_of_Reference_vn_5_0__003_.pdf
 See Amnesty’s Windrush submission paragraphs 39ff, op cit
 These include the wide immigration exemption in paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to the Data Protection Act 2018, the various immigration and nationality exceptions and exemptions to duties under the Equality Act 2020, the general exclusion of non-asylum immigration from legal aid introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and the removal of appeals against immigration decisions (unless those decisions were made on asylum or human rights applications) by section 15 of the Immigration Act 2014.
 Paragraphs 17 and 18 of Schedule 3 to the Equality Act 2010 provide distinct exceptions to the prohibition of discrimination (under section 29 of the Act) on grounds of nationality, ethnic or national origin or grounds of religion or belief. Paragraph 2 of Schedule 18 to the Equality Act 2020 provides an exception to the duty (under section 149(1)(b) of the Act) to advance equality of opportunity between persons sharing and persons not sharing the protected characteristics of race and religion or belief. There are other exceptions in respect of other protected characteristics (particularly age and disability).