A new report on racial equality in the U.K. found that the level of opportunities for young minorities, especially in the black community, is failing to improve and may have gotten worse.
Human rights watchdog the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said in a wide-ranging review that urgent government action is needed to tackle the “very worrying combination” of a post-Brexit rise in hate crime and “deep-rooted” racial inequality faced by Britain’s ethnic minorities.
It also found that race (82%) was the most commonly recorded motivation for hate crimes in England and Wales. The findings come after a spike in recorded hate crimes following the June 23 referendum, as British police saw a 57% increase in reported incidents .
“We must redouble our efforts to tackle race inequality urgently or risk the divisions in our society growing and racial tensions increasing” David Isaac, chair of EHRC said in a statement. “If you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you’re living in a different world.”
The public body’s report also found that black people are more likely to be victims of crime, be treated harshly in the criminal justice system and are three times more likely to be prosecuted than the white people.
Black university graduates are paid 23.1% less than the average white worker with a degree, the report found. Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers with degrees are also two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than white workers with a university education, while black workers with degrees earned 23% less on average than a white worker with similar qualifications.
Ethnic minorities unemployment rates (12.9%) were twice as high than the white community (6.3%), the report said, and minorities were “hugely underrepresented in positions of power,” such as police chiefs and judges. In the U.K., 14% of the population is from an ethnic minority background but only 5.9% of all judges were in England and Wales were from an ethnic community.
Isaac has called for a new race strategy from the British government, including new targets to reduce racial inequality in criminal justice, education and employment, as well as better reporting and research to monitor progress.