Call for Evidence by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

November 30, 2020 12:00 PM

An open consultation was published on 26 October 2020

The following was submitted on behalf of Chinese LibDems:

There were 10 Questions

The answers given below are written from the perspective of the Chinese, East and Southeast Asians (CESEA) communities in the UK.

  1. What do you consider to be the main causes of racial and ethnic disparities in the UK, and why?
  • There is a lack of visibility of Chinese people in media, politics, institutions - we are the silent minority - we are present in takeaways all over the UK village but absent from public life.
  • Lack of recognition of the problem of white bigotry and racial prejudice against people of Chinese, East and SE Asian (CESEA) descent by public bodies. Even if there is recognition, there is a lack of will, or ineffectiveness in tackling the issues.
  • Rise in Sinophobia especially since Covid 19 fanned by some political leaders and news media presenting China as a global threat and Covid-19 as a Chinese virus. Lazy reporting, insensitive use of language and lack of proven facts by the media perpetuate stereotypes that cause racial tension.
  1. What could be done to improve representation, retention and progression opportunities for people of different ethnic backgrounds in public sector workforces (for example, in education, healthcare or policing)?
  • Need for more role models at senior levels and in all public posts, the arts, media, parliament and in local government.
  • Training, mentoring and coaching to encourage people of diverse backgrounds to put themselves forward for jobs and opportunities, as well as targeted recruitment practices, community outreach and career advice in schools and colleges.
  • Ensure equal opportunities in recruitment are scrupulously followed. All public sector posts to be advertised in mainstream as well as specialist media.
  1. How could the educational performance of school children across different ethnic and socio-economic status groups be improved?
  • Increase support for pupil premium across all age groups.
  • Increase funding to support supplementary classes and other out of school activities to boost self-esteem.
  • Support language classes especially at the adult education level.
  1. How should the school curriculum adapt in response to the ethnic diversity of the country?
  • School curriculum should include a proper account of colonial history both positive and negative, as well as opportunities for ethnic minority pupils to know the history of their ancestral homelands.
  • Nursery age children should be told stories and songs from diverse cultures and be shown books in diverse languages; they should not be made to feel that the predominant white British culture is the only known or superior culture.
  • Children should be able to bring their own stories, food, toys and age appropriate games for different and diverse cultures; and celebrate festivals from ethnic cultures.
  • Schools to promote a culture of respect between all pupils and a robust zero tolerance response to bullying and name-calling.
  • Teach children that it is not wrong to believe in different creeds, worship in different temples or shrines. Ensure that children know the true religious teachings and not a distorted version or extremist view of their religion, so that they are not easily lured by false religious propaganda.
  • Schools to ensure all teachers are given appropriate training and be able to spot children who encounter difficulties.
  1. How can the ways young people (in particular those aged 16 to 24 years) find out about and access education, training and employment opportunities be improved?
  • Appointment of advocates or key workers to help parents and children who find it difficult to communicate, whether through language, cultural differences, or reticence, to navigate the complicated and bureaucratic systems that are hurdles to achieving equality of achievement.
  • The responsible institutions should work more closely with community groups and youth organisations to reach young people.
  • Involve youth in Youth Forums to seek their views on how their towns and communities are built, like new community centres, sports centres, job creation, shopping centres, green recreation areas, arts and leisure, theatre, transport and other planning issues.
  • Involve youth in local decision making through Youth Town Councils and Youth Parliaments.
  1. Which inequalities in health outcomes of people in different racial and ethnic groups are not (wholly) explained by inequalities in underlying determinants of health (for example, education, occupation or income)?
  • Genetic prevalence of some health conditions e.g. diabetes could be addressed with better, targeted, public health campaigns to prevent prevalence.
  • More support in area of mental health with appropriate understanding of the issues facing some communities including culturally sensitive support for dementia patients.
  1. How could inequalities in the health outcomes of people in different ethnic groups be addressed by government, public bodies, the private sector, and communities?
  • Better disaggregated data by ethnicity made available publicly as we need to know how to tackle these inequalities locally
  • Better recognition of the issues by public bodies with effective monitoring to measure improvements based on data collected.
  • Better funding support for voluntary and community groups working in health promotion and/or bridging the divide between health providers and 'hard to reach' groups. Invest in public health; prevention being a better, cheaper, alternative to cure.
  1. What could be done to enhance community relations and perceptions of the police?
  • Better efforts by the police to engage with local community groups, explain what they do, give updates on crime in the local area and discuss any strategies or plans to address crime.
  • Combat unconscious bias.
  • More efforts to hire ethnic minorities into the Police Force.
  • School visits by the local Police Constable.
  • Use role models from minority groups in industry, local government and community organisations who can help bridge the gap with socially or politically distanced youth.
  1. What do you consider to be the main causes of the disparities in crime between people in different racial and ethnic groups, and why?
  • Greater suspicion of minorities as being the cause of crime, perception they have different values to white British people.
  • Negative views of authority can stem from experience of oppression or violence from the authorities; such as young black men who are constantly stopped and searched for no other reason than that they are black. The same can be said of poor white underclasses in poor districts who have no positive experiences or role models.
  • Gangs who prey on poor under privileged communities for criminal activities
  • Reform the criminal justice system such as non-custodial sentences for minor crimes, more effective post custodial rehabilitation programmes, review Stop and Search methods, support for translators at all levels of the criminal justice system and provide legal aid counsel at police station at the arrest and charge stages.
  1. Can you suggest other ways in which racial and ethnic disparities in the UK could be addressed? In particular, is there evidence of where specific initiatives or interventions have resulted in positive outcomes? Are there any measures which have been counterproductive and why?
  • The work of Independent Advisory Groups is helpful; the work of the current Met Professional Group that works with the Chinese, East and Southeast Asians communities to tackle Covid-19 hate crime is a good model. However, without sustained support for such groups, they will fail.
  • Government backed and community run programmes should adopt clear criteria and data-based approaches to identify youths' vulnerability to radicalization and recruitment and to improve programme targeting.
  • Establish other outreach programmes that target ethnic groups to help with low esteem, bullying, racism through non-government organisations.