UN rapporteur urged government to adopt immigration policies to protect migrants from ‘racial and ethnic discrimination.’
The U.K.’s Brexit referendum has created a “hostile immigration environment” that is likely to lead to racial profiling and high levels of anxiety among migrants, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism said today.
In a statement detailing the findings of her mission to the U.K. and Northern Ireland, Tendayi Achiume said Britain has seen a “growth in volume and acceptability of xenophobic discourses on migration and foreign nationals” since the 2016 referendum, not only in the media but in the discourse of members of the country’s mainstream political parties.
Achiume expressed concern over the failure of political leaders across the political spectrum to “consistently an unequivocally condemn” incidents of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and called on the government to “work harder to forge similar relationships of trust with other racial and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims.”
The government should prepare for Brexit by implementing immigration policies that protect EU and non-EU migrants from the “threat of racial and ethnic discrimination,” the U.N. rapporteur also said, noting that migrants contribute to Britain’s economic prosperity.
“In Northern Ireland, groups expressed concerns that even a policy that committed to no routine passport checks in the Common Travel Area might result in non-routine checks that in the hostile immigration environment would lead to racial profiling of transiting minorities,” Achiume said.
The special rapporteur’s full report will be released at the U.N. Human Rights Council, which will take place on June 2019 in Geneva.