Article first published 16 December 2011 (Free Movement)
In a substantial judgment running to 149 paragraphs Mr Justice Beatson sitting in the High Court has rejected a challenge to the rule requiring spouses to attain a certain level of English before entry. The case is R (Chapti and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 3370 (Admin).
I’ll try and come back to this later and revise the post, but am short on time right now. The challenge seems to have been framed very much as a challenge to the Immigration Rules themselves rather than to the effect in the particular cases. The summary of conclusions at paragraph 148 of the judgment is as follows:
(a) The new rule does not interfere with the Article 12 rights of the claimants: see ;
(b) Article 8 is engaged in this case: the new rule impacted on the Article 8 rights of the claimants: see ;
(c) The aims of the new rule, to promote integration and to protect public services, are legitimate aims within Article 8(2): see  – ;
(d) Taking into account all the material before the court, in particular the exceptions to it, the new rule is not a disproportionate interference with family life and is justified: see  – . The fact that it may, in an individual case, be possible to argue that the operation of the exceptions in the way envisaged in the evidence adduced on behalf of the Home Secretary is a disproportionate infringement of that individual’s Article 8 rights, does not render the rule itself disproportionate;
(e) As to discrimination contrary to Article 14 when read with Article 8, the exemptions based on nationality are not direct discrimination based on nationality. This is because the “bright line” drawn between countries considered to be “English-speaking countries” and those which are not is (see - ) a rational one, and accordingly those who are exempt are not in a relevantly similar situation to those who are not exempt: see ;
(f) The new rule does not indirectly discriminate on the ground of nationality, ethnic origins or disability: see  – . For the reasons given at , in the case of the allegation of indirect gender discrimination, I have made no determination.
The door is still open to succeeding in individual cases where it can be shown the interference is disproportionate. For example, I recently acted for someone who had entered the UK long before the new rule was introduced. She was illiterate in her own original language and although she could speak English quite well she could not read well enough to take the speaking and listening tests – which are conducted in writing! Her appeal succeeded.
In any event, an appeal in the Chapti case is inevitable. Remember, Quila failed at first instance.
The 2011 FARE Action Weeks are themed Football People. Our aim is to challenge discrimination and celebrate the contribution we all make to football, wherever we live, whatever our connection to the game, or our background.
The weeks aim to encourage initiatives and activities to address problems, or celebrate success, within your club or community. They allow us to join together across Europe to present a unified stand.
Alongside activities by professional clubs and leagues, such as the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, the weeks give fans, minority groups and grassroots clubs the opportunity to celebrate the inclusive power of the game.
If you are a fan group or a community organisation, you might develop one of the following actions:
> Organise a fan choreography inside your stadium
> Distribute anti- discrimination materials at a game
> Develop an education workshop to be given by fans to schools in your area
> Work with minority groups in your area on a joint project
> Work with players (or ex-players) to hold an event
> Develop a small exhibition celebrating the diversity of fans, and black and minority players at your club
> Hold a fans forum with minority groups
> Organise a flash mob in a public place in your town
> Invite minority groups that are under-represented amongst your fans to a game
From August 1st you can apply for a €400 grant to help your activities, the English online form can be found here.
We look forward to learning about your ideas, initiatives and activities. Take a stand and join the FARE Action Weeks this October.
Grants to help activities
To help organise grassroots events, FARE is able to offer small grants for activities that take place during the Action Weeks.
The range of activities we are able to support include the production of campaigning materials (banners, flyers, fanzines, posters, t-shirts, stickers), the production of fan choreographies and flags, the organisation of stadium actions and community days and football- related intercultural events such as special matches, debates or tournaments.
The financial contribution groups can ask for should not exceed 400 €.
In the past we have been able to lend financial support to about 150 groups. If you intend applying for small grants we ask you to observe following criteria:
1. Action is directly linked to anti-discrimination and football and takes place between 12 – 25 October 2011.
2. The activity aims at involving migrants, ethnic minorities or other targeted groups such as refugees, asylum seekers, LGBT communities or religious minorities.
3. Quality of partnerships and involvement of grass-root organisations (fan groups, NGOs, amateur teams,…).
4. The activity should pay attention to gender equality and inclusion of minorities
Please apply here.
The deadline to submit applications is 16 September 2011.
We look forward to learning about your ideas, initiatives and activities.
For more information, and details on how to order resources and materials write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even if you do not apply for financial help we would encourage your commitment and ability to develop activities on your own, since you know the situation best. If you require further advice please contact the FARE group coordinating the Action Week in your country.
FARE will produce an Action Week poster (A2 format) which will be sent to all FARE contacts and also upon request. We can also offer a limited amount of campaign material to initiatives including stickers, t-shirts, flags and captain’s arm-bands.
These items will also be available to buy through www.farenet.org
- Do you have powerful images that promote the value of a society without prejudice?
- Can you illustrate the importance of tolerance and respect for diversity?
- How do you challenge misconceptions, reverse stereotypes and engage people to counter discrimination?
Send suitable pictures to Amnesty International. They will make a contribution to Amnesty International’s call for action against discrimination in Europe. Amnesty International is running this European-wide photo competition as part of its Fight Discrimination in Europe Campaign. The competition is open to everyone except professional photographers, living in Europe, over the age of 14. Submit your photo by 31 March 2011 and to have the chance to win prizes and be invited to the awards ceremony in Brussels in May 2011.
Please follow this link for more information: http://www.fightdiscrimination.eu/take-action/photo-contest
Source: Free Movement
Immigration Minister Damian Green has authorised discrimination by visa officers on the basis of nationality. This follows on from a finding last year by John Vine, Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, that visa officers were discriminating against Pakistani visa applicants. See recent coverage here on the blog. Essentially, very different criteria and standards were being applied by the same visa officers depending on whether they were deciding Pakistani cases or other cases at the regional hub in Abu Dhabi.
Rather than trying to eliminate the discrimination, treat all nationalities equally and create a level playing field, the response of the Government has been to institutionalise the discrimination through what is called a Ministerial Authorisation.
The announcement is here and the authorisation itself can be found here. However, what I cannot for the life of me find is the list of countries referred to in the authorisation. I assume as a result that no countries have yet been designated, or can anyone else do any better than me?
The announcement and authorisation state that the list of countries will be reviewed by UKBA quarterly based on certain criteria, and the list must be personally approved by the minister. Interestingly, the list of countries will not therefore be stated in the authorisation itself. UKBA have managed to get themselves into all sorts of trouble with this sort of delegated legislation strategy in the past (BAPIO, Pankina, English UK) so it is slightly surprising they are willing to risk it again. Unless they simply haven’t learned their lesson or, as I suspect, secretly LOVE immigration lawyers and enjoy creating work for us.
In the meantime, until that list of countries shows up — and perhaps even after it shows up — there is a strong argument to say that Pakistani entry clearance appeals should include a race discrimination ground. A discrimination finding in the tribunal will then lead to an award of damages by a county court.
Article first published 10 February 2011 (Children & Young People Now)
Refugee children are struggling to access education because of discrimination, poor practice and a lack of guidance according to a new report.
The UK Border Agency has been warned that it may be unlawfully discriminating against Pakistanis by demanding much more documentation before granting visas. The government is now considering a ‘risk-based approach’ to visa processing.
By Emma Norton
The Guardian – ukccen was born abroad to an unmarried British father, and so cannot apply for a British passport. Is this discriminatory?
I was born outside the UK to an unmarried British father. As of 13 January 2010, all children born to a British parent will have the right to apply for a British passport, except those who fall under my category. Adult children of unmarried British fathers born before 1 July 2006 are the only group of children being discriminated against in terms of a path to British citizenship … Why does this unfairness continue to be allowed?
Both ukccen and EqualityMatters have raised similar issues in the same week. The issues are, however, different and, as replying to both would be very lengthy we are going to reply to ukccen’s this week and will try to come back to EqualityMatter in a future week. It is not clear from the enquiry whether ukccen is male or female but I shall assume for purposes of the advice that she is female. In any case, the advice offered is not affected by her sex.
By John Plummer
A former British Red Cross employee has claimed she was unfairly dismissed by the humanitarian organisation and suffered race, age and disability discrimination.
Rutherford, who lives and worked in Essex, was offered the opportunity to apply for other positions at the charity’s centre at Beckenham, Kent but refused to apply.
She claimed the move would add three hours to her daily commute and £76 per month travel costs and that she should have been offered more suitable opportunities that made it easier for her to care for her disabled husband.
She also claimed that the London branch of the British Red Cross was getting rid of a lot of older women and that the consultation period for redundancies, which affected 17 other members of staff, was “a sham”.
Rutherford, a black woman of Guyanese origin, claims she would have been treated differently had she been a white woman.
Two former British Red Cross employees have agreed to support her as witnesses.
Pamela Chapman, operations manager for the London area of the British Red Cross, told the tribunal at Stratford, East London, that Rutherford had been treated no differently than any other member of staff. “A genuine redundancy situation appeared to exist,” said Chapman. “The claimant alleges the consultation was a sham. It was not.”
She said the charity had extended the consultation period and appointed an independent manager to oversee the restructuring process. “I absolutely refute any allegation of discrimination,” said Chapman.
The hearing is scheduled to finish on Friday.
By Guy Lynn|BBC News
Estate agents are flouting race relations laws by discriminating against migrant workers on behalf of landlords, a BBC undercover investigation has found.
Firms in Boston, Lincolnshire, were found using illegal techniques to stop foreign workers viewing properties.
Three agents rejected a Polish worker sent by the BBC, while a BBC employee was allowed to view the properties.
One firm denied it discriminated in this way, while another said it had created a new race-relations policy.
There is no suggestion that the agents themselves are racist, but the behaviour uncovered has been described by human rights lawyers as a “disturbing and shocking” breach of the Race Relations Act of 1976 – which applies to England, Scotland and Wales.
This act outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, religion, colour, religious beliefs, national or ethnic origins.
Any discrimination against potential tenants or any plan to do so agreed with a landlord is also a breach of the National Association of Estate Agents mandatory code of practice for its members.
Initially, migrant workers had complained to the BBC that they were having problems gaining access to rental properties.
One of those was Greg Pacha who arrived in the town nine years ago from Poland.
“Sometimes they tell you behind the office, ‘Oh, you are not English, then?’ What does that mean, oh? Does that mean I can’t get the place? I could tell you 100 different stories but just change the name of the agent,” he said.
View full article here
BNRRN -The Government has produced a discussion document, ‘Tackling Race Inequalities’ to seek views and comments on its priorities for tackling race inequalities. Government has said that the views and comments received will enable it determine where to concentrate resources. Comments are being sought from charities, voluntary organisations, community groups, local authorities, businesses, schools, universities and more.
The discussion document and its responses will enable government look afresh at its strategy for tackling race inequality however it is not intended to identify a single approach to tackling race inequality. Government hopes to start up a wide ranging discussion about the ways in which it’s approach to race equality might develop.
The discussion document aims to investigate the following:
What should a government race equality strategy look like?
How does tackling inequality fit with a broader equality and fairness agenda?
And how to strengthen the society to tackle race inequalities?
The discussion document states that the impact of the economic downturn holds challenges for particular ethnic groups as a result of their specific circumstances. The Government wants to take action to address this situation to ensure that these communities are not excluded from any recovery.
Some of the questions which government seeks views on include:
• How to make race equality maintain a distinct profile within a wider
programme of work to address multiple disadvantages?
• Which are the priority areas for government action on race equality?
• What practical measures should be taken to address disadvantage experienced
by different Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups?
• What role does the voluntary and community sector play in prioritising race
equality at a local level?
The discussion document available at http://my.dotmailer.com/CmpDoc/2008/697/1616_discussion-document.pdf?dm_i=JD,QQ9,52G1J,1MLF,1
The document will be closed for comments on 18 May 2009
BEMWG works mainly with black and ethnic minority community groups interested in health and social care issues, and those who are refugees and asylum seekers experiencing discrimination and disadvantage