The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has published findings on a report into ‘Black People, Racism and Human Rights’ in the UK.
The report entailed a survey commissioned by the JCHR, which looked into black people’s perceptions of whether their human rights are equally protected compared to white people.
It concluded that urgent government action is needed to protect the rights of black people in the UK.
‘A damning indictment of our society’
The research was commissioned in the wake of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, which erupted in response to the murder of George Floyd by US police officers.
After the UK government announced a new Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, the JCHR launched a call for evidence in July, holding evidence sessions between July and September 2020.
The report’s headline finding was that over three quarters of black people surveyed do not believe their human rights are protected equally compared to white people.
The JCHR called this finding “a damning indictment of our society” which “must be addressed as a matter of the highest political priority.”
These were some of the other important findings from the report, which can be read in full here:
The death rate in childbirth for black women is five times higher than the rate for white women in the UK. The NHS currently has no target for reducing thisAround 25 per cent of eligible black voters are not registered to vote in the UK – compared to a rate of 17 per cent not registered across the general populationOf those surveyed, 85 per cent of black people said they were not confident that the police would treat them in the same way as a white personMore than 60 per cent of black people in the UK don’t believe that their health is equally protected by the NHS when compared to white people. Women (78 per cent of those surveyed) were more likely to believe this than men (47 per cent of those surveyed)The report also found that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been unable to gain trust or provide leadership on tackling racial inequality and the protection of human rights in the UK
The report called for several recommendations to amend some of the issues it found, including providing more resources to the EHRC, as well as giving it stronger enforcement powers and making sure black commissioners are a part of the commission.