ECRI report on racism and intolerance in the UK

On 2 March 2010, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published its fourth report on racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance in the UK.

ECRI’s Chair, Nils Muiznieks, pointed out positive steps in fighting discrimination, but also expressed concern that racist incidents had become more frequent, police powers were exercised in a manner that disproportionately affected minority groups; Gypsies and Travellers still faced serious discrimination; asylum seekers remained in a vulnerable position. With regards to positive developments, the legal framework for combating racism and discrimination has been strengthened. New criminal provisions on the prohibition of religious hatred have been enacted and police forces now apply a uniform definition of racist incidents. In addition, an Equality Bill has been introduced in Parliament with the aim of harmonising discrimination law and raising existing standards; it should provide similar protection against discrimination on the grounds of religion and belief to that provided on the grounds of race.

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Runnymede Perspective: ‘Conservatism and Community Cohesion’

Conservative MP Dominic Grieve wrote the first in a new series of Runnymede Perspectives that was published in January 2010.

His paper entitled ‘Conservatism and Community Cohesion’, looks at how the Conservative Party’s principles and potential policies marry with the divisive and politically charged topics of race equality and a multi-ethnic society.

The report also includes responses from academics, including Lord Bhikhu Parekh, chair of the Runnymede Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain; Montserrat Guibernau of the Queen Mary University of London; Ludi Simpson of the Cathie Marsh Centre of Census and Survey Research at the University of Manchester; and Shamit Saggar of the University of Sussex.

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