UN OHCR blog: UN experts condemn reprehensible racism report

A group of UN human rights experts today strongly rejected a UK government-backed report into racism and ethnic disparities in the country, saying the review further distorted and falsified historic facts, and could even fuel racism, racial discrimination and negative racial stereotypes.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which was set up by the UK government after the Black Lives Matter anti-racism protests erupted last year, presented its report on 31 March. “In 2021, it is stunning to read a report on race and ethnicity that repackages racist tropes and stereotypes into fact, twisting data and misapplying statistics and studies into conclusory findings and ad hominem attacks on people of African descent,” the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

In a statement, the Working Group condemned the report’s assertion that while there might be overt acts of racism in the UK, there was no institutional racism.

The experts said the report omits any recognition or analysis of institutional racism by international human rights experts, including the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent’s 2012 review after its country visit to the UK, the 2016 Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance’s report following her 2018 country visit to the UK. “Without exception, these reports have highlighted the damaging impact of institutional racism and deep-rooted inequities in areas such as health, education, employment, housing, stop-and-search practices, and the criminal justice system in the UK,” the experts said.

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