Migrants' Rights Network

Windrush: Call for Review into Institutional Racism in the Home Office

Today, as the Windrush Lessons Learned Review was published,  alongside 15 other race equality and migrant rights organisations , we called for an call for independent review into institutional racism in the Home Office.

The full set of recommendations are: 

1) The treatment of the Windrush generation was a terrible but predictable injustice. The Review shows that government ignored repeated warnings and has still refused to apologise and compensate people who were detained, deported and in some cases died having been wrongfully treated. The government must right the wrong, beginning with a full apology to those affected, and making the compensation scheme process more independent and accessible.  

2) The Review shows why the Hostile Environment must be scrapped. None of the measures cited in the report, such as Right To Rent, have been repealed, the Home Office continues to treat people badly while the current Immigration Bill continues with policies and framing that will lead to further injustices.  

3) The EHRC to undertake an independent review into whether the Home Office’s immigration policy and practices are in accordance with equality law, including its understanding of racial discrimination and the extent of institutional racism in the department.   

4) The Review also reveals poor workplace practices and culture in the Home Office. It is long past time for systemic reforms in decision-making, to ensure caseworkers get better support and are able to raise concerns with senior managers, and for leadership to send a stronger message that it is committed to a more open and empathetic organisational culture.

5) Deportations of those who have lived in Britain since they were children should now end. Further, citizenship policy (including fees) should ensure that those who have the right to citizenship are provided with that citizenship, and racially discriminatory clauses in the 1971 Immigration Act and the 1981 Immigration and Nationality Act should be repealed.

6) The government should commit to an extensive well-funded programme of support for grassroots and voluntary sector services that run outreach and support programmes for survivors of the Windrush injustice. The Hostile Environment is the latest in a catalogue of injustices experienced by this community over many years, and so this support should be extended to the wider cause of racial justice.   

7) The Windrush injustice reflects the Home Office’s failure to listen to those affected and organisations that pointed out the likely impact of the Hostile Environment. Government has refused to listen to civil society, dismissed concerns out of hand and attacked the integrity of those raising genuine concerns. The government must implement the WLLR recommendations on better engaging outside government, including groups that criticise its policies, if it is to avoid another similar injustice. 

8) The government should establish an independent advisory group and chair that reports directly to Number 10 and the Cabinet Office on the implementation of the Windrush Lesson Learned Review. 

The full list of race equality and migrant rights organisations supporting these recommendations are:  The Runnymede Trust; Race on the Agenda; Voice4Change England; JCWI; Migrants’ Rights Network; Jewish Council for Race Equality; Traveller Movement; Race Equality Foundation; Friends, Families and Travellers; Olmec; BME Forum Croydon; Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre; Council of Somali Organisations; Caribbean and African Health Network; Black Training and Enterprise Group 

See the full press releae by Runnymede Trust here

 

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