UK: Rights watchdog launches inquiry into COVID-19 impact on ethnic minorities

UK: Rights watchdog launches inquiry into COVID-19 impact on ethnic minorities

Britain’s human rights watchdog has launched a statutory inquiry into the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on people from ethnic minorities in England, Scotland and Wales.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said its inquiry will help to develop “clear, evidence-based recommendations for urgent action to tackle entrenched racial inequalities in a specific area”.

The EHRC believes that the coronavirus pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people from a range of ethnic minorities due to long-standing racial inequalities in all areas of life, including those identified in its 2016 report, Healing a Divided Britain.

The watchdog will be meeting with race equality leaders to discuss its proposals, with the terms of inquiry to be agreed and published “in the coming weeks”, it said on Friday.

Chair David Isaac said: “Now is a once in a generation opportunity to tackle long-standing entrenched racial inequalities. We intend to use our statutory powers to address the loss of lives and livelihoods of people from different ethnic minorities.

“Only by taking focused action to tackle race inequality across Britain will we become a fair country in which every individual can reach their full potential. Everyone must live and work together in order to create a strong economy and a cohesive society.

“This inquiry is part of our long-term strategic approach to tackle the structural inequalities that the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare. This is an important step towards ensuring that the deep-rooted inequality faced by ethnic minorities is meaningfully addressed as we rebuild.”

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