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Racial Discrimination Targeting Migrants in the UK

Racial Discrimination Targeting Migrants in the UK

It is the UN Week in Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling Against Racism and Racial Discrimination. Here at Migrateful, many of our chefs are directly impacted by the discriminatory immigration policies in the UK, otherwise known as The Hostile Environment. We wish to take this opportunity to share some of the racialised consequences that have resulted from these policies. 

We hope that with education and understanding, we can better support and protect our vulnerable migrants and foster a more humane place in UK society. 

The Hostile Environment

A set of government immigration measures intended to make the UK unwelcoming and deter migration. Harsh borders draw a racial division that compromise the safety of migrants. 

Examples: detention centres, banning asylum seekers from employment, unaffordable and lengthy immigration processes.  

Sources: https://www.migrateful.org/2020/12/03/are-the-home-offices-immigration-policies-racist/

https://www.freemovement.org.uk/briefing-what-is-the-hostile-environment-where-does-it-come-from-who-does-it-affect/ 

Xenophobia

Anti-immigration rhetoric like “bogus asylum seeker” and “parasite” continues to criminalise migrants.

 This is misleading and fosters mistrust  towards people of colour (POC) and non-EU individuals. 18% of migrants and 30% of UK-born children of migrants feel unsafe or have been subject to racial discrimination. 

Sources: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-04-25-new-report-explores-barriers-employment-refugees-and-%E2%80%98asylum-migrants%E2%80%99#:~:text=Asylum%20migrants%20are%20less%20likely,%25%20for%20the%20UK%2Dborn,

https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/uk-public-opinion-toward-immigration-overall-attitudes-and-level-of-concern/ 

Employment

Refugees face many barriers when finding work in the UK, with only 51% of refugees in employment. This is not helped by the negative stereotyping that has caused a general reluctance to employ refugees and migrants.

POC and non-EU migrants are often misunderstood as lower-skilled and less favoured compared to white and EU migrant candidates. 

Sources: https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2019-04-25-new-report-explores-barriers-employment-refugees-and-%E2%80%98asylum-migrants%E2%80%99#:~:text=Asylum%20migrants%20are%20less%20likely,%25%20for%20the%20UK%2Dborn

https://breaking-barriers.co.uk/the-cause/refugee-employment-crisis/ 

Migrants in the UK Labour Market: An Overview - Migration Observatory

The share of workers in the UK who were born abroad has steadily increased since 2004 (9% of the workforce) to 2019, when they represented 18% of the workforce. There have always been more non-EU born than EU-born workers, though this gap narrowed from 2004 to 2017 (Figure 1).

Housing

42% of surveyed landlords are less likely to rent to POC or foreign passport holders, favouring white tenants instead. They are also more likely to check the immigration documents of POC tenants.

Refugees who recently obtained the status to remain in the UK have only 28 days to find new housing, before being evicted from government accommodation. The racial bias makes them exceptionally vulnerable to homelessness.

Souces: https://www.jcwi.org.uk/righttorentwhatnext

 https://www.parliament.uk/globalassets/documents/lords-committees/Secondary-Legislation-Scrutiny-Committee/0116_JCWI_submission_SLSC_Immigration.pdf  

How You Can Help

Educate

Please continue to raise awareness about migrant issues in the UK. Share educational resources like this to your families and friends.

Volunteer & Donate

Support organisations like Migrateful, Refugee Council and Refugee Women who make a huge difference to the lives of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the UK.

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