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Friday, August 08, 2003

:: UK reports to UNHCR on anti-discrimination efforts ::
As one of the 169 States parties to the International Convention (of all forms of Racial Discrimination), the United Kingdom Government must present periodic reports to a UN Committee on its efforts to implement the provisions of the treaty.

In order to comply with the requirements of this Convention a UK delegation has recently submitted a report to the UNHCR on the efforts the country is making to eliminate racial descrimination...

The UK delegation was able to make a fairly convincing case that there had been considerable progress over the last 25 years, in particular within the public sector (a positive way of saying the private sector is lagging behind!) + since the UK had started to incorporate the European Race Directive into it's national law. The delegation also mentioned that a non-governmental organization Human Rights Forum had been established in order to help monitor compliance with United Nations Human Rights Conventions (note: Earth-Info.Net couldn't find link to this forum) and that the UK remained "commited to providing a safe haven to refugees, under the Geneva Convention" and to working "to encourage community cohesion and the integration of migrants.

With regard to the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act, the Government has stated that prosecution was the preferred option in relation to a person suspected of involvement in terrorism. Where prosecution was not an option, the Act allowed the United Kingdom to detain, pending eventual deportation for a finite amount of time.

The Committee welcomed the quality + honesty of the government report but highlighted (in a masterclass of diplomacy!) the need for further work to be done in tackling incitement to racial descrimination, institutional racism (especially within the police service + prison system) + reducing deprivation amongst asylum seekers. The committee also suggested the need for a Human Rights Commission to ensure enforcement of the Human Rights Act, in force since 2000.

A full report will be published by the Racial Equality Committtee on August 22nd.

See here to read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights