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United Nations sends official to INVESTIGATE if Brexit's made Britain more racist


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The United Nations (UN) has sent an official to investigate what impact Brexit has had on racial equality in Britain.

Tendayi Achiume, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on racism, arrived in the UK on April 30 and over twelve days will conduct an official visit across the country, visiting cities including London and Belfast.

On May 11, at the end of her visit, Achiume will  hold a news conference in London where she will outline her findings and present her preliminary assessment of the situation in the UK. Ms Achiume will also submit a report of her visit to the June 2019 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Throughout her visit she will be looking at and examining things including the status of extreme right-wing political parties, the impact of racist and xenophobic hate speech on racial equality and discrimination in the administration of justice, policing and counter-terrorism in the country.  

Speaking about her investigation, Ms Achiume said: “My mission across the country, including stops in London and Belfast, will focus on explicit incidents of racism and related intolerance, as well as attention to structural forms of discrimination and exclusion that may have been exacerbated by Brexit.

“Xenophobic discrimination and intolerance aimed at refugees, migrants and even British racial, religious and ethnic minorities will also be an important focus.

“I hope that my consultations will include substantive input from women, young people, faith leaders, sexually and gender diverse populations, as well as refugees, migrants (including those with irregular status), people behind bars, those with disabilities, and others whose experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination require urgent attention.”

The question whether Brexit has made Britain more racist has been posed by many since the EU referendum where the leave vote prevailed.

In 2017 research carried out  by the universities of Strathclyde, Plymouth and Durham found the “post-Brexit referendum atmosphere” had led to young Eastern Europeans in UK schools “more likely to experience or witness racism in their everyday lives”, while in 2017 the government confirmed there had been a 29% spike in reported hate crimes in England and Wales after the referendum.

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