Statement on the EHRC report on the Windrush scandal and ‘hostile environment’

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) has issued the following statement on the publication of the EHRC’s report into the Windrush scandal and the ‘hostile environment’ immigration laws:

"It is disturbing, but not surprising, that a report from the EHRC (‘Public Sector Equality Duty assessment of hostile environment policies’) has found that the Home Office broke equality laws when imposing its ‘Hostile environment’ immigration laws. As EHRC chair Caroline Waters has stated, the impact of such policies has led to a shameful stain on British history. Such findings are scandalous, and must receive due attention, alongside the actions outlined in the recent UK Parliament report on ‘Black people, racism and human rights’.

The appalling injustice of the Windrush scandal continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of many black Britons, and while JCORE welcomes the Home Office’s commitment to working with the EHRC, immediate steps must be taken to ensure that such shameful institutional failings are never repeated. If the Home Secretary is serious about righting the wrongs suffered by the Windrush generation, she must also take urgent action to reform the Windrush Compensation Scheme, including addressing recent, deeply concerning allegations of systemic racism and discrimination within the scheme. Tragically at least nine people have died before receiving compensation that they applied for, and only 196 people have received payment after 18 months of the scheme’s operation, a national disgrace that must be immediately addressed."