Information in itself is not powerful; power lies at the very core of being informed and making good use of it

Nudi Levit

BAME Community Challenges

Institutional Racism

“The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin.  It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racial stereotyping which disadvantage ethnic minority people.” – The MacPherson inquiry 

The generalised tendency, particularly where any element of discretion is involved, whereby minorities may receive different and less favourable treatment than the majority. Such differential treatment need be neither conscious nor intentional, and it may be practised routinely by officers whose professionalism is exemplary in all other respects.” – Dr. Robin Oakley

Systemic Racism

Racism can be systemic and therefore institutional without being apparent in broad policy terms. Racism within the police can be both covert and overt, racism can be detected in how operational policing decisions are carried out and consequently implemented, and indeed how existing policy is ignored or individual officers’ discretion results in racist outcomes. – The MacPherson inquiry 

Employability Case Study

On job opportunities the Centre for Social Investigation at Nuffield, in 2019, found that the black and Asian communities in Britain faced high levels of discrimination job discrimination. in that:

  • Pakistani heritage had to make 70% more applications
  • Nigerian and South Asian heritage 80% more applications
  • Middle Eastern and north African heritage 90% more applications

From a sample of nearly 3,200 real jobs, Applicants of minority background, but holding their skills, qualifications and work experience constant, one in four applicants from the majority group (24%) received a callback from employers. Further, they found that this cannot be explained by concerns about poor English language fluency or imperfect recognition of foreign qualifications as all minority applicants were either British-born or had arrived in Britain by the age of six, and had obtained all their education and training in Britain.

Discrimination varied by applicants’ country of origin: Western Europe and the US were treated just as well as the majority group and applicants from more visible and culturally distant minorities – such as Black Africans and applicants from MENA countries – were penalised heavily. For example, Nigerians with a university degree and relevant work experience still had to send twice as many applications as the majority group to be considered for software engineering and marketing assistant jobs.

Likewise, adding information did not help to reduce discrimination. Applicants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Africa or the MENA countries who stressed their competence and past achievements in the job application still received significantly lower callbacks from employers than white British applicants who did not include information about performance in their CV.

Further, they identified significant religious discrimination. Employers were reluctant to invite any applicant originating from Muslim-majority countries, whether or not they disclosed their religion in the job application. This finding echoes the strong anti-Muslim attitudes recorded in recent surveys.

At MigrationUK we are determined to work with the minority communities and employers in raising awareness to finding a solution for inclusion. Working with our partners and various institutions and other service providers, we aim to assist with providing information on opportunities and explore into the various options of getting into employment.


Several studies also find that the BAME community is over-representation in the homeless population and that their households are more likely to be socially excluded and economically . They are 7 times more likely to be in overcrowding conditions and ‘hidden’ homelessness.

Housing legislation and housing organisations do not recognise the needs for extended families; and clearly, due to structural barriers households are unaware of or are reluctant to exercise, their rights.

As practitioners with lived experience and knowledge in housing matters, we offer person centered information, advice and casework assistance to minimise the suffering.


Also, last year, white law graduates with a first in their undergraduate degree and an ‘Outstanding’ grade in the bar exam were granted pupillage in 84% of cases. By comparison, only 72% of ethnic minority graduates were granted pupillage, despite having the same grades. This racial disparity, which is not merit-based, holds across all grade levels.


The CoVID-19 crisis, specifically affected BAME workers as the died in disproportionate numbers. Reports suggest that it was due to a range of genetic and cultural factors While specific NHS guidance was issued in writing to those belonging to all other vulnerable groups, such as over-70s, pregnant women and diabetics, it is not clear why no similar official guidance was published to confirm or address the exceptional vulnerability of BAME people.

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