The CRE starts legal action against Government departments

The Foreign Office is among 15 government departments and agencies accused of failing to carry out their duties under the UK's race equality legislation.

The ministries, which also include Defence, Home Office, local government, health, education, agriculture, and Cabinet Office, are "name and shamed" in the final report by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), which will be published later this month.

The CRE, which is shortly being replaced, has asked its lawyers to start legal action against the departments and said it expected its new successor, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, to continue with the proceedings.

"Overall the findings are disappointing," say leaked extracts of the report. "Small local authorities with limited budgets are meeting their legal responsibilities while some of the biggest spending Whitehall departments are failing," it said.

Government departments were given statutory duties to comply with Britain's racial equalities laws following an inquiry into the police handing of the death of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993 found institutional racism.

The report warns that Britain is becoming more segregated "residentially, socially and in the workplace" both political and religious, as people become increasingly disillusioned and disconnected from each other.

"An ethnic minority British baby born today is sadly still more likely to go on to receive poor quality education, be paid less, live in sub-standard housing, be in poor health and be discriminated against," it said.

Posted by, Asif Yusuf



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