Refugees, migrants and the equality agenda – EDF research and briefings

The EDF logo.

In May and June 2011, the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) published two briefings and a report on refugees, migrants and equality.

‘Refugees, migrants and the Equality Act 2010. A briefing for public authorities’ was written for EDF by Barbara Cohen and published in June 2011.

Click here for briefing for public authorities (pdf)

‘Refugees, migrants and the Equality Act 2010. A briefing for refugee and migrant community organisations’ was written for EDF by Refugees in Effective and Active Partnership (REAP) and published in June 2011.

Click here for briefing for refugee and migrant community organisations (pdf)

‘Who’s Still Missing? Refugees, migrants and the equality agenda’ by Dr Phil McCarvill was published in May 2011. The research explores what lessons can be learnt from the implementation of the previous Race Equality Duty and considers how public authorities can most effectively use the new Duty to incorporate refugee and migrant communities into their core work.

Click here for ‘Who’s Still Missing? Refugees, migrants and the equality agenda’ (pdf)

The report was launched at a conference on 17 May 2011 attended by representatives of local authorities as well as equality, human rights, refugee and migrant NGOs.

The conference was chaired by Sarah Spencer CBE, chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum. Dr McCarvill presented the findings of the research before responses from panellists including:

  • Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council
  • Don Flynn, Director of the Migrants’ Rights Network
  • Olvia Fellas, Head of Equalities, Refugee and Migrant Services at Islington Council
  • Rose Doran, Community Cohesion Advisor, Equalities and Cohesion team, Local Government Improvement and Development

Following a plenary discussion, Angela Mason, Commissioner, Equality and Human Rights Commission and Councillor, London Borough of Camden gave closing remarks and suggestions for next steps in addressing refugee and migrant disadvantage.

Click here for presentation by Dr McCarvill (Powerpoint)

Additional material:

Click here for statement by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on ‘The Equality Act 2010 and its application to asylum-seekers and refugees’. This includes confirmation that ‘there is no blanket exemption from the Equality Act 2010 (or its predecessor statutes) for persons who are subject to immigration control’ and that while there are limited exemptions in relation to immigration control ‘Asylum-seekers and refugees and all other persons subject to immigration control are protected by the EA2010 [Equality Act 2010]’.

Click here for link to ‘The Relationship between Immigration Status and Rights in the UK: Exploring the Rationale’ by Sarah Spencer and Jason Pobjoy (COMPAS working paper 11-86)

Click here for Don Flynn’s blog about the research

Please contact EDF at to request a printed copy of ‘Who’s still missing?’

The briefings, report and event were part of the EDF’s project on refugee and migrant equality supported by The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Trust for London.

Sarah Spencer: ‘The migration debate’

‘The migration debate’ by Sarah Spencer CBE, Chair of the Equality and Diversity Forum and Deputy Director at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford, was published by The Policy Press in June 2011.

A contribution to one of the most hotly contested issues in Europe, ‘The migration debate’ provides a well-balanced, critical analysis of UK migration policies, in a European context, from entry controls through to integration and citizenship. Exploring the pressures and constraints that have shaped a rapidly shifting policy terrain, this accessible overview offers a considered assessment of policy options to provide the foundation for a less polarised, better-informed public debate. Unusual in its coverage of immigration for work, study, family and protection, and in its insistence that an understanding of integration processes must be considered alongside analysis of entry controls, ‘The migration debate’ will be of equal value to policy makers as to a multi-disciplinary academic readership.

Click here for details

Grandparents Plus report: Too Old to Care?

‘Too Old to Care’, published in June 2011 by Grandparents Plus, focusses on older grandparent and family carers who are raising children who cannot live with their parents, keeping them out of the care system.

The research finds that:

  • Older grandparents are often reluctant to approach children’s services for support as they fear their children will be taken away
  • Where support is provided for grandparents carers, it often fails to meet their needs
  • 75% of older carers have a long term health condition or a disability

Click here for report (pdf)

Click here for Grandparents Plus website

UK’s 7th Periodic Report on CEDAW

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) logo.

The Government submitted the UK’s 7th Periodic Report on implementation of the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) to the UN on 10 June 2011.

The Report highlights progress over the last four years that the UK has made in areas such as health, employment, education, representation, social and economic benefits, sex role stereotyping, trafficking and marriage and family law.

Click here for report

Report of BAME Women Councillors’ Taskforce

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) logo.

In June 2011, the Government Equalities Office published a report of the work of the The Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Women Councillors’ Taskforce.

The Taskforce was convened in May 2008 to consider practical ways of encouraging BAME women to become local councillors and make councils more representative of the communities they serve. A multi-stage research programme, evaluating each of the Taskforce stages, was conducted between Summer 2009 and Spring 2010.

The summary and full report provide the overall findings as well as specific evidence from the Outreach Events, Shadowing and Mentoring Programme and Community Leadership Course. The evaluation shows that significant outcomes had been achieved in this short time including the election of some women as councillors.

Click here for report

Click here for Government Equalities Office website

EHRC report: The impact of counter-terrorism measures on Muslim communities

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In June 2011, the Equality and Human Rights Commission published an independent report entitled ‘The impact of counter-terrorism measures on Muslim communities’ (Research report 72).

This qualitative research report examines the diverse experiences of Muslims on the street and in the community, at ports and airports, and in mosques, schools and universities, as a result of counter-terrorism measures. EHRC commissioned this research to provide a contribution to the evidence base on the impact of counter-terrorism measures in Britain, an area where few facts are known.

While the opinions in the report are those of the researchers and not necessarily the views of the EHRC, some of the findings have informed EHRC’s response to the government’s counter-terrorism review and more recently the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill.

Click here for link