publish their race equality schemes, home office minister for
community and race relations, Angela Eagle said today.
authorities plan to promote race equality within their organisations,
are required under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The
schemes should be published by 31st May and should be living
documents that are regularly revisited and revised.
Ms Eagle said:
'This government is determined to encourage a truly diverse society,
where people from different ethnic backgrounds can live and work
together, where we can truly appreciate the different qualities that
people bring, in mutual respect and understanding.
'That is why we have been working to provide the right legislative
and administrative frameworks to help achieve full equality in
Ms Eagle also welcomed the publication Tackling racial equality:
international comparisons, a survey of race equality legislation in a
range of countries across the globe including a selection of member
states of the European Union (EU), the United States, Canada,
Australia and South Africa.
'The evidence is clear - Britain is ahead of many other European and
non-European countries in its provisions to achieve racial equality.
Although Britain, alongside the Netherlands, has the most
comprehensive anti-discrimination laws in Europe, we still have more
'Britain's Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 is the most
far-reaching reform of race law in Britain for 30 years. It gives the
public greater protection from race discrimination and victimisation.
Importantly, it adds a new, enforceable duty on key public bodies to
proactively promote race equality.
'The legislation bites across the public sector - from local
authorities and schools, police forces, the Immigration Service and
all central government agencies. It aims to ensure race equality not
just for staff, but for members of the public in the services which
government provides. Ultimately it ensures that services are provided
fairly to everyone, irrespective of race or colour.'
1. Tackling racial equality: an international comparison can be found
Hard copies can be obtained by telephoning 020 7273 2084 or emailing
2. The aim of this research was to determine how UK policies and
programmes compare with those of a selection of member states of the
European Union (EU), the United States, Canada, Australia and South
3. Mary Cousley (an independent researcher at Cambridge University)
conducted this desk research on behalf of the home office. Ms Cousley
has now been appointed as race monitor for immigration matters by the
home secretary on 29th April.
4. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 came into force on 2nd
April 2001 and outlawed race discrimination in all public functions
not covered by the original 1976 Act, with only a few exceptions. It
also imposed a general duty to promote race equality and good race
relations on listed public bodies, including schools, police
authorities, central and local government bodies, and health service
5. Specific duties imposed by Order on many of the bodies subject to
the general duty, required them to outline in a Race Equality Scheme
the specific steps they are taking to promote race equality by 31st
May 2002. A list of the bodies subject to this duty can be found here .
The Commission for Racial Equality will be able to enforce the specific duties.
6. The home office published its own race equality scheme on 25th
April. Copies are available here .
7. The EU Race Directive will introduce a minimum standard of legal
protection from race discrimination across Europe. Because the Race
Relations Act already complies to a large extent with the provisions
of the Directive, the amendments that we need to make to the Act will
be relatively minor and technical. The Directive will benefit UK
citizens who live, work and travel within Europe. The Directive
should be transposed into UK law by July 2003.