vendredi 1 octobre 2010

EHRC Research

EHRC research on good relations

Since 2009, the EHRC has been developing a Good Relations Measurement Framework (GRMF), following the earlier development of an Equality Measurement Framework. The process involved in developing the GRMF has been a two-fold one. First, we published Good relations: a conceptual analysis by Nick Johnson and John Tatam of iCoCo, which provided the overall framework for our research work in this area (see the December 2009 newsletter for a summary of this report). The report of the second project, Good Relations Measurement Framework, has now been published after extensive additional research and consultation and is summarised below. Separate to this work on the GRMF, we have also published a report entitled Process of prejudice: Theory, evidence and intervention, which reviewed current knowledge about prejudice: what it is, how it might be measured and how it might be reduced (see the June 2010 newsletter).

Another strand of our work has examined the rise of the far right in British politics, with one aspect of this being to consider the impact of this development on good relations in selected areas of England. The two interlinked reports on the far right are summarised below.

Good Relations Measurement Framework by Andrea Wigfield and Royce Turner (Research Report no. 60)

This report outlines the Good Relations Measurement Framework which comprises four key domains and associated indicators. These have been arrived at through a complex methodological process involving a quantitative review, focus groups and stakeholder discussions. The four domains which have been selected to measure good relations are: attitudes; personal security; interaction with others; and participation and influence. The report discusses the reasons for the selection of each domain and indicator in detail, considers how well these can be measured by existing surveys and points to the gaps in the evidence.

Understanding the rise of the far right: Survey results
Understanding the rise of the far right: Focus Group results
both by Martin Boon (ICM Research) (Research Reports no. 57 and 58)

These linked reports examine the factors that underpin support for far right political parties, particularly the British National Party, and the impact of such support on good relations within communities. Based on research in three selected localities in England (Stoke-on-Trent, Blackburn with Darwen and North West Leicestershire), a survey of 1,582 people examined people’s everyday lives, their views about other groups in the community, and voting behaviour. The focus groups explored the views of participants about their local areas, political parties, the reasons for the increased electoral success of the far right, and its impact on good relations. They referred to a range of threats in their lives: economic decline and the view that migrant workers were taking local jobs; White British people reportedly receiving a raw deal in the provision of local services; and traditional values being eroded. Many participants also believed that the main political parties no longer represented them and noted that in the resulting vacuum, they were looking for an alternative.

Other GB-wide reports in the Research Report series

Disability, Skills and Employment: A review of recent statistics and literature on policy and initiatives by Sheila Riddell, Sheila Edward, Elisabet Weedon and Linda Ahlgren (Research Report no. 59)

This report examines the most up-to-date literature and statistics on the employment and skills gaps between disabled and non-disabled people. The findings suggest that, while disabled people have much lower employment rates and are more likely to be economically inactive than non-disabled people, there have been slight improvements in recent years. The report also highlights the different experiences of different groups of disabled people, and calls for policies and practices that recognise the range of disabled people’s experiences and outcomes.

All EHRC research reports can be downloaded from :
 If you experience any difficulty in downloading these, contact and they will send you the relevant PDFs

jeudi 30 septembre 2010

Chagos Islands / Guardian

L'actualité fait écho à l'intervention au GRER de Michel Monteil en mai 2008, publiée dans Race et Corps : "Les tortues marines valent mieux que quelques Robinson... Les îles Chagos et le cas exemplaire de Diego Garcia" (pp. 137-157)

Chagossian leaders contrast rapidity of response with protracted refusal to permit their return to the islands 
Owen Bowcott

Members of the Chagos Refugees Group have expressed their amazement at the speed with which the Foreign Office has opposed a Maldivian claim to Indian Ocean seabed. Photograph: Alicia Canter
The Foreign Office has signalled its formal opposition at the United Nations to a claim by the Maldives Islands for 160,000 square kilometres of the Indian Ocean seabed that may encroach upon British overseas territory.

The letter to the UN is aimed at protecting national interests in the Chagos Islands, an archipelago from which the native population were expelled 40 years ago to make way for a US airbase on the atoll of Diego Garcia. Leaders of the exiled Chagossians contrast the rapidity with which the Foreign Office has defended its interests with the protracted refusal to permit them to return to the islands, known as British Indian Ocean Territory.

Most were forcibly removed to nearby Mauritius and the Seychelles in the 1960s. A large community now lives in Crawley, near their UK arrival point, Gatwick airport. Having won a high court judgment in 2000 enabling them to return to the islands, except Diego Garcia, the Chagossians were prevented from exercising that right by a highly unusual use of the royal prerogative. Two years ago they had a further setback when the Lords overturned their original high court victory. They are appealing to the European court of human rights.

The Maldives government submitted its claim for an expanded tract of seabed on 26 July this year to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Britain posted its response on 9 August.

The commission arbitrates on applications from states seeking to extend their prospecting rights for oil, gas and minerals over the ocean floor, up to 350 miles from their coastlines. Environmentalists have condemned the process as validating "colonial land grabs".

The maps sent by the Maldives shows its claim bulging south towards the Chagos Islands. In its letter, the UK warns that "the submission of the Republic of the Maldives does not take full account of the 200 nautical miles Fisheries and Environment Zones of the British Indian Ocean Territory." It promises "to formalise these boundaries [with the Maldives] at the earliest opportunity".

A Foreign Office spokesman added: "All states are able to inform the CLCS of their observations on another state's submission. The UK did not protest the submission by the Maldives to extend their territorial waters.

"We are satisfied that the CLCS will be able to consider the Maldivian submission without prejudice to the position of the United Kingdom. The UK enjoys a strong bilateral relationship with the Republic of the Maldives and is committed to formalising nautical boundaries."

Complicating the dispute is the fact that the archipelago is also claimed by Mauritius, which supports the return of the islanders. Last year Mauritius informed the UN it intends to submit a claim to the seabed around the islands. The republic claims the 65 islands were "illegally detached" by Britain when Mauritius became independent in 1968. The UK has said it is committed to "ceding the British Indian Ocean Territory to Mauritius when no longer needed for defence purposes". No date, however, has been specified.

The Foreign Office's prompt response to the Maldives' plans comes as the government has dismayed thousands of displaced Chhhagossians and their descendants by reversing both Conservative and Liberal Democrat pre-election support.

In April,the Conservatives' foreign affairs spokesman, Keith Simpson, told the Commons: "There is a great deal of sympathy from those on both sides of the House for the plight of the Chagossians, and their interests must be placed at the heart of any decisions made about their homeland."

But a Foreign Office statement issued last week states: "The government will continue to contest the case brought by the Chagos Islanders to the European court of human rights. This is because the arguments against allowing resettlement on the grounds of defence security and feasibility are clear and compelling."

The Chagossians are due to meet Henry Bellingham, minister for overseas territories, to press their case.

Roch Evenor, chairman of the UK Chagos Support Association, said: "[The Foreign Office] seems to be more interested in defending the seabed than the interests of Chagossians.

"Why did [politicians] give us all that sweet-talking before the elections and then afterwards we are back to square zero? We feel emotionally drained."

Last month the Labour Friends of the Chagos Islands sent an open letter to the five Labour leadership candidates urging them to reconsider a decision to convert the British Indian Ocean Territory into a marine protection area which bans any fishing. Before being deported, fishing was the Chagossians' main livelihood.

In 2008 David Miliband, then foreign secretary, had to acknowledge to the Commons that Diego Garcia had been used twice used by US planes as stop-off points for CIA "extraordinary rendition" flights to Guantanamo Bay and Morocco. The US lease on the base is due to expire in 2016.