Jewish group calls for action after UK found to have broken law over Windrush
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish group calls for action after UK found to have broken law over Windrush

Jewish Council for Racial Equality branded findings of the EHRC 'disturbing but not surprising'

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

Home Secretary Priti Patel making a statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London, where she promised a "full evaluation" of the hostile environment policy in the wake of the Windrush scandal.
Home Secretary Priti Patel making a statement to MPs in the House of Commons, London, where she promised a "full evaluation" of the hostile environment policy in the wake of the Windrush scandal.

Jewish leaders have demanded urgent action after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) ruled that the government broke equalities law over the Windrush scandal with its ‘hostile environment’ policy.

Issues caused by the policies were “repeatedly ignored, dismissed or their severity disregarded” according to the EHRC, in what the Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) have branded “disturbing but not surprising”.

The Windrush scandal broke in 2018 when it was discovered that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights under hostile environment legislation, announced in 2012, in a government attempt to push out undocumented migrants.

The EHRC agreed with an earlier report that the experiences of the Windrush generation were “foreseeable and avoidable”, and its chair described their treatment as a “shameful stain on British history”.

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality said: “It is disturbing, but not surprising, that a report from the EHRC has found that the Home Office broke equality laws when imposing its ‘Hostile environment’ immigration laws.

“As EHRC chair Caroline Waters has stated, the impact of such policies has led to a shameful stain on British history. Such findings are scandalous, and must receive due attention, alongside the actions outlined in the recent UK Parliament report on ‘Black people, racism and human rights’.”

Even as the effects of the hostile environment policies emerged, the Home Office had “limited” engagement with those from the Windrush generation, the report said.

To make sure events aren’t repeated, the government department has committed to an agreement with the EHRC to take action.

The EHRC has recommended the department should consider the historical context and cumulative implications around immigration policies and take meaningful action to fully understand and comply with the PSED.

JCORE added: “The appalling injustice of the Windrush scandal continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of many black Britons, and while JCORE welcomes the Home Office’s commitment to working with the EHRC, immediate steps must be taken to ensure that such shameful institutional failings are never repeated.

“If the Home Secretary is serious about righting the wrongs suffered by the Windrush generation, she must also take urgent action to reform the Windrush Compensation Scheme, including addressing recent, deeply concerning allegations of systemic racism and discrimination within the scheme.

“Tragically at least nine people have died before receiving compensation that they applied for, and only 196 people have received payment after 18 months of the scheme’s operation, a national disgrace that must be immediately addressed.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft said in a statement: “We are determined to right the wrongs suffered by the Windrush generation and make amends for the institutional failings they faced spanning successive governments over several decades.

“This report highlights a number of important areas for improvement by the Home Office, building on the work we are already doing in response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review to apply a more rigorous approach to policy making, increase openness to scrutiny, and create a more inclusive workforce – including by launching comprehensive training for everyone working in the Home Office to ensure they understand and appreciate the history of migration and race in this country.

“We are working closely with the EHRC on an action plan designed to ensure that we never make similar mistakes in the future.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments