Memorandum submitted by the Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland (CRE 1)
The attached memorandum provides evidence to the Committee on the work of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in Scotland since devolution for its consideration. The CRE was established by the Race Relations Act 1976 with principal duties to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and good race relations. The work of CRE Scotland reflects that of the CRE as a whole. The work is delivered in the context of devolution, ensuring that the CRE's statutory mandate takes full account of the distinct circumstances in Scotland both offered by the Scotland Act 1998 and the social, economic and institutional infrastructure, in promoting the delivery of racial equality.
Since devolution, the CRE has doubled its resources in Scotland and in doing so responded to many concerns raised in the past about its scope and capacity to effectively promote racial equality in Scotland.
Concepts of mainstreaming, partnership and participation form the approach to the CRE's work in Scotland. This enables the CRE to consolidate work on prevention and tackling barriers to accessing services and employment, combined with a focus on promoting the importance of the active participation of communities, affected by exclusion and discrimination, to inform the content of policy, legislation and the practices of major public institutions. Thus, the CRE's approach secures a fit with the modernising government agenda to maximise leverage for delivering racial equality.
Perceptions of racial inequality in Scotland are underscored by a prevailing common sense view of its importance and significance determined by the size of the ethnic minority population. Promoting racial equality, therefore, requires winning the argument on the importance of understanding the nature of racism in Scotland, its impact on all communities and its relevance to people's everyday lives including those involved in shaping policy and making decisions which affect life in Scotland. In essence, the task for CRE Scotland is modernising the way in which racial equality is perceived, discussed, developed and delivered across Scotland.
Establishing a cross-cutting issues approach to the CRE's work has proved essential and this has been sustained in promoting racial equality amongst all of sectors in Scotland. This approach includes ensuring an awareness of the specific circumstances and needs of ethnic minority communities; promoting the importance of processes to meet specific needs; developing strategies to ensure race equality issues inform the discussion and decision-making of strategic authorities; that legislative change, policy and guidance incorporates racial equality measures; and promoting public and corporate ownership of race equality.
Anticipating the implications which the new institution could have for the Commission's work, at the opening of the Parliament in 1999, CRE Scotland launched its "manifesto" for the ParliamentRacial Equality Matters. The document sets out the CRE's aforementioned approach in the form of objectives for the Parliament to achieve in its first term of office. The founding principles of the Parliament determine the CRE's opportunities for working with the Parliamentthe integral nature of equality, as a key principle, gives the CRE a valuable lobbying lever and the transparency of the institution gives the CRE access to the mechanisms by which policy and legislation is created.
Many gains have been made in racial equality terms: education and housing legislation has been amended to include positive equal opportunity requirements; the amendment to the Census order proved to be an early performance indicator in the move to deliver racial equality. The inquiry into Gypsy Travellers, the Executive's equality strategy; the production of an Order by Scottish Ministers establishing specific duties, under Race Relations Act as amended, on devolved bodies; the Parliaments' civic participation debate to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Race Relations Act; affecting the policy and shaping the practice of the Community Fund, Local Economic Forums, the Police, the Crown Office, Scottish Enterprise, small to medium enterprises, the voluntary sector, trades unions, advice and information agencies using a range of processes including project work, sustained agency contact, roundtable discussions, seminars, toolkits and web based resources all point to the impact of focussed engagement between CRE Scotland and the breadth of agencies and key public institutions. Publication of CRE Scotland research into rural racism, the development of equal opportunities in the private sector in Scotland, and the soon to be published health research, provide a benchmark of what is required for a range of sectors to achieve in order to effectively deliver racial equality.
Central to the CRE's work in Scotland is to enable linkages with other equality issues, promoting both the commonality of the processes required to achieve change in equality matters, and the importance of focus on specific content issues relating racial equality. Building broad alliances has been key to achieving change in legislation.
To this end, partnership work with other Equality bodies features strongly, one example of this is the work with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) in developing a "Mainstreaming" checklist for MSPs to ensure that the equalities agenda is the foreground of policy discussions and in the scrutiny of legislation.
In conclusion, the key priorities for CRE Scotland in the medium term are promoting the benefits of racial equality to all communities, guiding and supporting the delivery of the public duty across Scotland and measuring and checking its progress. Increasingly diverse and deprived communities, the outcome of the current review of local racial equality work, the development of a Human Rights Commission, and the consultation on the proposals for Article 13 will form future challenges and opportunities for the CRE in Scotland and Britain.
1. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) welcomes the opportunity to present information about its work in Scotland and thanks the Select Committee for its invitation to do so.
2. In our written submission, we put the work of the CRE in Scotland into its UK policy and legislative context, summarise the work of the CRE in Scotland and highlight the key principles that underpin our work. Additionally, we identify emerging patterns and trends in the Scottish context and finally draw brief conclusions.
WAYS OF WORKING
3. The Race Relations Act 1976 (the Act) established the CRE to replace the Race Relations Board and Community Relations Commission, which the Act abolished. The CRE is established in the form of a body of Commissioners of between eight and 15 individuals appointed by the Home Secretary with one Commissioner having special knowledge of Scotland. Our principal duties are to work for the elimination of racial discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and good race relations and to keep the Act under review, when appropriate recommending amendment. (For more detail on the law see Annex 1).
4. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 came into force on 2 April 2001. This is the most significant piece of race relations legislation since the introduction of the original Act and has markedly changed the context in which the CRE is now able to work.
5. The CRE's approach to making the law work is based on a broad perspective. Any successful strategy will feature a configuration of different elements designed to work towards common goals. The new duties in the Act, as amended, are an enabling package with the emphasis on the positive. Underlining and maximising the benefits of what can be achieved for all will be a key role for the CRE. Legal, policy and public affairs work will be clearly focused on achieving the outcomes intended by Parliament. Key to achieving this will be the successful implementation of mainstreaming of racial equality in the delivery of public services including the thinking that underpins its design and the policy that guides its delivery, to achieve real change for all communities. Our work will need to be focused on making sure that the Government's promise is deliveredmodern public services that treat everyone equally, public services that genuinely consult people they serve; public services that place the citizen first and bureaucracy second; and public services that treat racial equality as integral to their employment and service delivery policies. In turn, our ways of working, principally through a partnership approach, becomes all the more relevant.
6. It is against this statutory background and prevailing external environment that the CRE must set its annual corporate objectives. Commissioners have set four strategic priorities around which corporate objectives and business planning is currently taking place. These relate to delivering the public duty; engaging and connecting all communities; enabling the private sector to deliver racial equality and transforming the CRE into a modern, fit for purpose organisation.
7. In Scotland, we have the unique opportunity to contribute to both the UK and the Scottish agendas on race equality matters. We engage with Westminster and the Home Secretary through the CRE headquarters in London and directly with the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive.
8. The exception to the reservation on equality matters in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998 allows the Scottish Parliament to take a key role in promoting race equality and encouraging effective strategies to tackle racial inequality across Scotland. (See Annex 2)
9. In the Scottish context, one essential feature of the environment in which we all work is the size of the ethnic minority population: for too long racism was not recognised as an issue because the permanent resident ethnic minority population of Scotland was seen as too small for such problems to occur.
10. The CRE has refused to descend into an argument based on this fundamental misconception of where the problems lie and where solutions might be found. In many respects, the Lawrence Report provided the rationale for all organisations to examine themselves and their practices for any adverse impact. The result, was a shift away from communities and back to service providers.
11. The recent census will start to reflect the changing demographics of the black and ethnic minority communities living in Scotland. Further, current information suggests that the asylum seeker population of Glasgow is almost 7,000, making it the city to which the largest number of asylum seekers have been dispersed within the UK since the introduction of Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. We must acknowledge that new and diverse refugee communities are now forming and settling in Scotland, there is a growing oversees student population, an increasing use of oversees workers in the information technology field by many large companies and Scotland becoming a destination of choice among visitors and tourists across the world. It is against this background that the CRE in Scotland currently works.
12. CRE Scotland's work is supported by a Scotland Committee, made up of five Commissioners drawn from the body of the Commission which is chaired by the Commissioner appointed for special responsibility for Scotland. (See Annex 3) CRE Scotland's work relates to corporate priorities and the application of these priorities is within a devolved political framework, recognising the powers of the Scottish Parliament to legislate on non-reserved matters, and the specific context for racial equality issues in Scotland. The Commission in Scotland also funds local racial equality in the form of six Racial Equality Councils (RECs). We are committed to working in partnership and to this end, will work in support of policy and practice which makes a demonstrable impact on the life chances and circumstances of all Scotland's communities including the ethnic minority population by effectively addressing inequalities, which tackle the fact and fear of racial harassment and which promote participation and inclusion. In keeping with its commitment to being a partnership organisation, the CRE has adopted a variety of working styles and approaches to suit particular partner organisations and authorities and agencies.
MAKING LAWS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
13. Our work with the Scottish Parliament is illustrative of our partnership working in all other areas. We have engaged directly from the start to assist the process of ensuring that equalities considerations are mainstreamed throughout its functions. This has required close working with the Committees, in particular the Equal Opportunities Committee, individual MSPs and, in terms of legislative development, the Executive Bill teams. Our approach has also involved consulting with the wider policy networks and communities of interest across the country.
14. In conjunction with RECs, the CRE undertook to draw up an agenda, Racial Equality Matters. The document sets out key measurable objectives, one of which was the establishment of equality-proofing mechanisms for all legislation in order to achieve the Executive's stated commitment to the mainstreaming of equal opportunities.
15. In line with this, the CRE, in partnership with the Equal Opportunities Commission produced a checklist for MSPs on mainstreaming equalities into the work of the Scottish Parliament. Full understanding and implementation of mainstreaming cannot, of course, be reduced to a simple checklist, however, the checklist has remained a useful tool for MSPs.
16. The CRE has regularly given evidence, orally and in writing, to parliamentary committees to assist them in identifying the equality implications of their work. This has included oral evidence to the Equal Opportunities Committee on the Scottish Budget setting out the Executive's provisional spending plans for 2001-03. The CRE welcomed the opportunity to feed into the ongoing scrutiny of the Budget at an early stage and was able to express concern that the Executive had not adequately built equality considerations into spending plans.
17. The CRE also provided oral and written evidence for the ongoing Procedures Committee inquiry into the performance of the Parliament against its founding principles, where the CRE was able to mark the progress on equalities work to date but was also able to express concern about the lack of a systematic approach to equality considerations across the work of the Parliament.
18. The CRE also provides briefings to Committees and MSPs across a range of key issues, for example most recently on the need to ensure that Gypsy Travellers receive equal treatment and protection from racial discrimination; on the inquiries into the Chhokar case, on asylum policy, ethical standards in public life, public appointments, proposals for education, housing and local government legislation and on the need for legislation to tackle religious hatred.
19. In an early test of the openness and accessibility of government, the CRE played a key role in proposing and securing changes to the Census Order. When the Scottish Executive's plans for the census of the population in Scotland were announced, the only concession to the CRE's proposals, which we had widely consulted upon, was to include a question on "mixed" ethnic origins. Following submissions by the CRE to the Parliament, the matter was raised for debate and the Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice Jim Wallace MSP announced that a question on religion would be introduced and that the question on ethnic origin would be expanded. The CRE welcomed this early demonstration of open and responsive government underpinned by a commitment to an equality agenda.
20. The CRE made an extensive intervention when the Standards in Scotland's Schools Bill was introduced. The CRE lobbied in partnership with other equalities organisations to secure an amendment at the last stage to ensure that equality was built into the education planning framework. Although the process of achieving the duty presented difficulties, the CRE considered that the result was significant in that the Parliament was legislating on equal opportunities for the first time in a crucial test of the exception to the reservation on equal opportunities in the Scotland Act 1998. The lobbying process also proved successful in developing a broad alliance involving both parliamentarians and external partners.
21. More recently, the CRE worked successfully for amendments to the Housing (Scotland) Bill. We engaged directly with the relevant committees and crucially, with the Executive Bill team where key arguments around the reservation of equal opportunities had to be won. The result was that the CRE secured provisions in the Bill which placed duties on local authorities to take account within their housing strategies of how they will encourage equal opportunities. The CRE also raised concerns around the need for provisions for tackling harassment. This was a key area we flagged up in oral evidence to the Equal Opportunities Committee and in our written briefing to the Parliament. Our proposals were accepted and will ensure that ministerial guidance to social landlords is issued on the prevention and alleviation of harassment.
22. A good example of partnership working was evidenced last year, when, following representation from the CRE, the Equal Opportunities Committee took the initiative in marking 25 years of the Race Relations Act by organising an event in the Parliament. The event involved participants from ethnic minority communities in a debate in the main chamber about the way forward for racial equality under new duties introduced by the Race Relations Act as amended. It was significant that the Parliament, where there is an issue about lack of ethnic minority representation, should take the lead in commemorating the anniversary with a civic participation event.
23. A priority for the CRE for its parliamentary work in both the short and long-term is to ensure that parliamentarians have a full understanding of the Race Relations Act (RRA) as amended and its implications for the work they do. One aspect of that will be raising awareness that the general duty to promote racial equalityas a UK equal opportunities requirementenables the Scottish Parliament to legislate specifically to encourage its observance.
24. The CRE's priorities for engagement with the political parties are to seek to assist them in:
the mainstreaming of racial equality into party policy work;
building racial equality into all aspects of party membership and participation at every level;
thinking through representation issues and examining party selection procedures; and
ensuring that political campaign work does not include any activity, words or material which may stir up racial prejudice.
25. In the run-up to the 2001 general election, the CRE organised the signing in the Scottish Parliament of the cross-party election compact on race relations. The agreement, which was signed by all six Scottish parliamentary party leaders, committed politicians to taking action against any of their election candidates or campaigners who did or said anything likely to stir up racial prejudice.
26. In the run-up to the 2003 Holyrood elections, the CRE will be seeking to engage with the political parties about key issues such as representation within the parties, ethnic minority engagement in the political process and building racial equality into the policy development work underpinning party manifestos. The CRE will seek a commitment from all parties that the election process will be racism-free.
PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST
27. As a partner on the Racial Equality Advisory Forum, chaired by Social Justice Minister Jackie Baillie MSP, the CRE sought to assist the Executive in its commitment to the mainstreaming of equality and to ensure more effective consultation mechanisms were piloted across Government Departments. We proposed a set of key cross-cutting strands which could frame discussion within each of the specialised sub-groups: accountability, engaging communities, planning tools, planning cycle and training. This was an early example of our ability to advise Ministers on ways of working to achieve the Executive's mainstreaming objective.
28. We also encouraged greater cross-Departmental working within the Executive, an approach supported by the Executive's Equality Unit. This was seen in our work with Lawrence Steering Group headed by Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice, Jim Wallace MSP. In addition, to contributing to the work of the group, we also assisted in ensuring that the public consultation was given greater weight and that action planning had a clear timeline.
29. The amendment to the Race Relations Act marked the biggest change to the legislation in quarter of a century. A high-level seminar for representatives of devolved public authorities was called to discuss the implications of the proposed new duties. The seminar resulted in the creation of four spin-off working groups to look at the drafting of Codes of Practice and guidance. The process of consultation is continuing.
30. The "Beyond Rhetoric" conference in November 2000, was organised with support from the Scottish Executive, the City of Edinburgh Council and CoSLA. It focused on the delivery of the new duties within the Act amongst the public sector. The event looked at the practical application of policy and at achieving meaningful outcomes for organisations and brought together the most senior public sector officials across the Scotland. The conference and the approach adopted, became a brand for the rest of Britain for the CRE's work and similar events were held subsequently across the England and Wales.
31. A clear focus for CRE Scotland's work is inspection and audit bodies based on the need for sound frameworks and supporting guidance, aligned to the need for impact assessment and reality checking, obligations resulting from the general and specific duties defined in the amended Act. The goals and working methods have reflected the need for a clear focus on the specific duties that will apply to both public authorities and inspection/audit bodies. We worked extensively with HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland in establishing a template for thematic inspections. We have recently initiated discussion with the key agencies on the arrangements required to ensure effective partnership working between audit and inspection bodies and the CRE.
DIALOGUE AND ENGAGEMENT
32. As part of its overarching commitment to engage with communities in a variety of ways, the CRE has emphasised the need for better information and more informed dialogue between agencies and communities. To this end we have assisted a number of research projects and initiated a number ourselves where specific gaps were identified. The information and data bases available to those working for social justice are scant in relation to ethnic minority communities in Scotland. In response to this, we have worked closely with the Executive on a broad programme of research, which has incorporated examination of mechanisms for community consultation.
33. A scoping study has been produced to map options for a major research exercise into the circumstances, opportunities and barriers facing Scotland's ethnic minority communities. In addition, the Executive has initiated the first comprehensive literature review of research studies and project work impacting on ethnic minority communities in Scotland. A report is also due shortly on the review of current financing of the ethnic minority voluntary sector, with a view to creating a strategic and sustainable approach to local racial equality work.
34. The CRE assisted a working group established to assist research into Racist Crime and Victimisation in Scotland. The research, commissioned by the Executive, aimed principally to assess the workings of the Crime and Disorder Act provision which defined racially aggravated crime as well as to examine methods for engaging more effectively with ethnic minority victims of crime. This research was undertaken against a background of rising recorded racist incidents: Scottish Police forces recorded 2,242 racist incidents in 1999-2000 for victims of all ethnic origins, an increase of 43 per cent on the previous year. In the same period Racial Equality Councils in Scotland recorded 281 of such cases. The CRE has long argued for the need to understand the facts and experiences that lie behind these figures, and by working with ethnic minority and other communities to develop more effective proactive measures to prevent racist incidents and, where needed, more effective measures to respond to the needs and expectations of victims.
35. The recently published research into the impact of equivalent stop and search powers on police and young people relations was particularly interesting from our perspective, highlighting as it did the need to consider the effect of experience and attitudes from all parties involved in stop and search situations, especially issues of perceptions of policing among both white and ethnic minority people and those of the police officers, when developing effective measures to reduce and eliminate the impact if discrimination in policing strategies.
36. Over several years, evidence from CRE and REC casework in Scotland, exposed a gap between commitment to racial equality within health services and implementation of effective action to tackle inequality. In May 2001, the University of Paisley were commissioned by the CRE to conduct a piece of research entitled "Organisational Barriers and Ethnicity in the NHS in Scotland". A pilot study carried out by the Paisley team in 1998 suggested that there was a link between where ethnic minority populations were concentrated and the development of ethnically sensitive policies; service providers in areas with small ethnic minority populations failed to see the need to routinely tackle racial equality issues. Interviews with employees and services users also took place to provide a balanced picture of the situation. The research will be launched in April/May of this year.
The research will assess:
the impact and influence of national health priorities on care available to ethnic minorities;
systems for ethnic monitoring data collection and use;
impact of current equal employment opportunities;
implications for clinical governance of the above.
37. The first major piece of research in Britain into private sector employment and equality of opportunity was published by the CRE. The research, which was specific to Scotland, highlighted a significant policy/practice gap and a widespread perception that employers lacked commitment to equality. It also revealed that, while 86 per cent of employers in Scotland have an equal opportunities policy, more than two-thirds had done nothing about it. As a result of the research, CRE Scotland met representatives of several organisations working to improve the job prospects of ethnic minority people to discuss future partnership working and identify areas for future collaboration, and with those agencies representing the business community including CBI Scotland, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Institute of Directors. We also secured agreement from Ministers, Wendy Alexander MSP and Jackie Baillie MSP to support the research recommendations across their respective areas of responsibility.
38. In conjunction with Inverness College, we launched the research report "Needs Not Numbers". The study, the first of its kind in Scotland, revealed widespread experience of racism, discrimination, isolation and low-take up of services in rural communities. It also exposed a predominant assumption among service providers that ethnic minority groups do not have any specific needs because they are small in number. The findings of research together with the recommendations made in the report, have been promoted across Scotland and proved the basis of recent discussion on promoting racial equality in the Highlands and Islands, among public bodies in the area.
39. In order to assist both ourselves and key policy-makers and service providers, to better understand the views of ethnic minority women, we held a series of events entitled "Dialogue: in conversation with black and ethnic minority women" across Britain, organised jointly with the EOC, and other equality agencies. The key issue identified at the Scottish event held in Glasgow, was the need to establish an effective mechanism to enable women to engage more effectively with public policy and legislative agendas.
DEVELOPING GUIDANCE, DISSEMINATING GOOD PRACTICE
40. Guidance that we have produced, or assisted in production, is based on information, dialogue and experience. The policy framework has to be informed in order to effectively deliver social justice. Some of the work we have been involved in reflects this approach and the impact.
41. "Tackling Racial Harassment in Scotland: a Caseworker's Handbook", was launched in December 2000, by Deputy First Minister and Minister for Justice Jim Wallace. It is a practical guide produced by CRE Scotland, to those in the front-line of racist incident casework. The handbook gives guidance on the effective management of casework, and outlines the civil and criminal law that may apply. It also explains the roles of other agencies to aid multi-agency working, and to assist caseworkers to ensure that agency responsibilities are taken seriously. The launch at the Maxwelltown Information Centre, in the heart of Dundee's ethnic minority community, was well attended by councillors, police and officials as well as members of the community.
42. The Scottish version of an equal opportunities guide for small and medium sized firms was launched at an event Chaired by Iain McMillan, Director of CBI Scotland, and the keynote speaker was Nicol Stephen, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. The leaflet, which constituted the first joint publication of the CRE, the EOC and the National Disability Council, aimed to explain to SMEs key considerations in relation to equality and employment, setting out in simple terms the business case for equality and nine straightforward steps to integrating equality into the work of a small organisation. The leaflet has been one the CRE's most successful sector specific guidance.
43. A new programme of work was developed with the Scottish Enterprise Network, building on the private sector research, the SME guide referred to above and the development of focus on the enterprise and economic development agenda by CRE Scotland. A CRE officer was placed on short-term secondment into the Network to develop guidance for Network staff on integrating racial equality into their strategic and daily operations. The guidance, which will take the form of an interactive, web-based, self-learning tool, covers all equality issues. Plans are in place to launch the guidance in time for the coming into force of the specific duties in 2002 and to roll-out a series of training workshops for staff across the country. This type of short term exchange of staff and expertise is to be developed further by CRE Scotland in coming years, especially with the Executive.
44. Sustained contact with the Lord Advocate and officials at the Crown Office has brought a number of positive outcomes. Allowing the CRE early sight of drafts of Lord Advocate's guidance was unprecedented, but is now established as a feature of the trust within this working partnership. A training seminar for key staff was the starting point of a racial equality training strategy, which cascaded the training throughout the Fiscal Service. This in turn led to a review and an assessment of the practicalities involved in mainstreaming equality into the COPFS training programme. Meetings have been held with the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General, the Chairman of the Judicial Studies Committee and the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. The overarching aim was to establish a consistency of approach to racial equality matters within the justice system.
45. In relation to police services, following the Lawrence Report and our own detailed submission in response to the Executive's Action Plan, we have worked closely and extensively with all key agencies in this critical area. A flavour of the work involved included commenting on the emerging diversity strategy and associated key documents: these included providing assistance in preparing for the introduction of the new duties under the Act, recruitment and selection and the national equality opportunities training strategy. In partnership with a number of other relevant organisations, we were pleased to assist in the development of a Code of Practice for the reporting and recording of racist incidents, particularly in view of the role to be played in combating such incidents by agencies other than the police. Also, CRE Scotland provided an executive briefing on the implications of the amendments to the Race Relations Act to all Chief Constables through ACPOS, in June 2001.
46. In partnership with the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations, (SCVO) CRE Scotland developed a toolkit on promoting racial equality in the context of equal opportunities, for the voluntary sector. This was circulated at first of series of conferences to support the understanding of the amendments of the Race relations Act among the voluntary sector. Similarly, we worked closely with Age Concern Scotland to develop a strategy to promote racial equality and the needs of ethnic minority older people. This has resulted in a number of initiatives including the production of a guide setting out core standards for the delivery of services to ethnic minority elders and the publication of a photographic exhibition reflecting the diversity of ethnic minority older people in Scotland.
47. A programme of work with the Scottish Trades Unions Congress was established early in 2000, to ensure effective union representation of discrimination cases, promoting better understanding, at a branch level, of the Race Relations Act, enabling union support for tackling racial harassment in the workplace and promoting racial equality as part of the main business of union activity.
48. Following a range of joint initiatives with the EOC and the DRC it was agreed that a joint protocol should be established to formalise and facilitate future joint working. A joint CRE/EOC staff away-day focused on when and how staff they should work together and a draft joint protocol was negotiated and subsequently agreed with the EOC Scotland. We also progressed work on a proposed joint publication between the CRE, the EOC and the DRC entitled "Equal Start", which provides equalities guidance for people working with children under the age of eight and their families. The CRE Scotland currently convenes the Equalities Co-ordinating Group, this includes both statutory and non statutory equality agencies. The purpose of this group to provide focus to our respective agenda, add value to equalities work in Scotland and a co-ordinated interface with local government and the Executive on equality matters.
MODERNISING LOCAL RACIAL EQUALITY WORK
49. The Race Relations Act as amended, in the context of modernising government initiatives, the Government's focus on democratic renewal, the impact of Best Value legislation and potential impact of community planning legislation, creates a climate and environment in which to explore and perhaps rethink the best possible means to develop and secure racial equality at a local level. Matching need with resources and developing a framework(s) for producing tangible racial equality outcomes is a difficult task, but it is the key to achieving effective local racial equality work.
50. Whilst recognising the need for all organisations and agencies to respond positively to a changing environment, the CRE as a public body, also has to respond positively to the challenges posed by public policy objectives which reinvigorate public accountability, access and value for money principles. The CRE has engaged in a major process of transformation with the objective to make the Commission an organisation that is fit for our wider statutory powers and capable of playing a major leadership role as we seek to achieve real and lasting gains in the race equality agenda. In seeking to assist the delivery of modern services the CRE works with key agencies themselves as well as those that might influence service providers locally. Amongst the latter category are Racial Equality Councils. Our approach has been to introduce rigorous quality management systems (the Core Standards) and to evaluate the impact and accessibility of local racial equality work.
51. In May 2000, the Home Secretary set out three broad areas of the Government's vision for the CRE. These are:
The Commission as the centre of excellence in helping public and private sector organisations to promote race equality.
The Commission and its relationship with communities.
The Commission as a modern, accountable organisation of influence.
52. Commissioners are clear that all CRE resources should be focussed on this agenda. This has implications for the CRE's work as a whole including how the CRE funds and works in partnership with RECsa partnership that is valued. The CRE began its modernising process with two key aims: to ensure that public funds through the CRE's grant-making function secure value for money and to ensure that victims of racial discrimination, regardless of where they live, have equal access to professional and efficient advice and support.
53. The overarching and long-term aim of this exercise is to:
Improve the effectiveness of the delivery of local racial equality.
Ensure the delivery of the CRE's agenda for racial equality work.
Widen access to racial equality services.
Improve the structures for the accountability for such work.
Enhance the mainstreaming of such work at a local level.
Respond to changes developed in the government's programme for modernising public services.
54. A series of consultation workshops, independently facilitated, were convened bringing together representatives from RECs, local and other public authorities, the enterprise networks and other relevant parties to discuss current methods of delivery and to inform the development of new proposals. Based on this exercise, a further paper-based consultation has been circulated to all public authorities (funders as well as potential funders of local racial equality work), RECs and other voluntary sector organisations. Responses will be collated and will then inform further local discussion as to future options for the delivery of local racial equality work.
55. In addition to this exercise, the CRE has continued to monitor REC performance in line with the Core Standards which govern the CRE's grant-making function. Throughout the year, the CRE conducted regular monitoring visits to all Scottish RECs to provide advice and guidance and secure a continuous development and improvement approach to REC work in accordance with the Core Standards.
56. Scrutinising the role of our own funding strategy has not been undertaken in isolation. Our work with the voluntary sector more widely as well as with key funding bodies has maintained a consistency of approach. This has been based on the need to provide effective, quality assured services, which provide value for money, accord with the principles of best value within the framework of good practice provided by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act.
57. The CRE, working in partnership with the Community Fund Scotland, contributed to the Fund's first conference on tackling racial inequality through its grant-making process and organisational procedures. The conference "Taken for Granted?" was the culmination of six months partnership work to develop best practice in the area of grant-makingand aimed to start a dialogue between the Community Fund and ethnic minority voluntary sector and community groups. By its own admission, the Community Fund has secured positive changes and outcomes as a result of this work, which it hopes to replicate across the rest of Britain.
58. The CRE held a joint national conference with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) with the support of the Scottish Executive, to examine the implications of the amendments to the Race Relations Act for the voluntary sector. The conference presented delegates with detailed legal and policy information on mainstreaming racial equality and how to lobby for change in the public sector.
59. CRE Scotland has also devoted time and resources to support the development of local initiative, this enables us to keep abreast of issues at a local level to inform our work at a national level. For example, we have worked closely with Glasgow Council of Voluntary Services, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council, the Westerhailes Representative Council, the Highlands Alliance for Racial Equality and Frae Fife, a thematic Social Inclusion Partnership, among many others, to support their strategies to promote racial equality locally.
MAKING THE LAW WORK
60. The CRE in Scotland received 330 enquiries in 2001 and 87 formal applications for assistance, for individuals who believed that they had been discriminated against in employment or the provision of services. The CRE has offered legal representation in 11 cases, issued proceedings for individuals in three cases, sought Counsel's opinion in one case for the same period. In three cases representation was offered through others.
61. The establishment of the Commission's Legal Affairs Team in Scotland has resulted in a legal strategy aimed at both improving and promoting the application of race discrimination law in Scotland and in building capacity across Scotland to enable equality of access to quality assured advice, assistance and representation in this area of the law. The number of enquiries received by the Commission has increased over the last year and a better resourced team will enable us to provide a more seamless and accessible service to those individuals seeking assistance. By increasing the level of expertise in race discrimination across a range of agencies and within the legal profession as a whole, we aim not only to ensure a remedy for those who have been discriminated against but also to gain a better measure of the scale and scope of racial discrimination which exists in Scotland, thus informing our policy work.
62. Our legal casework highlights the areas and sectors where individuals experience discrimination and often provides an opportunity to engage in constructive policy work following on from the individual complaint. This helps to widen the impact of any individual complaint even although those willing to enter into such an agreement often seek confidentiality, limiting our ability to publicise the work undertaken or agreements which we reach. The representation of individuals enables the CRE to both test and develop the law of race discrimination and many of the leading cases in this area have been taken with the support of the CRE over the years. A Legal Affairs Team in Scotland, where we have our own distinct legal system, will ensure that the CRE is able to identify key cases in Scotland. We know that gypsy/travellers face discrimination in the provision of goods, services and facilities and we receive a number of applications for assistance. More generally, we are experiencing higher levels of contact from complainants with an increase in service related cases.
63. In 2001, we initiated the process of the transfer of expertise through legal and advocacy skills training for a group of individuals drawn from the private and voluntary sectors. The aim was to form a group of trained and skilled individuals committed to tackling discrimination within a range of organisations. This year we are now in the process of developing a website set up in conjunction with the Scottish Employment Rights Network to provide an on-going resource for those individuals and others. This will provide regular legal updates and access to information about race discrimination law and about how to bring a complaint of race discrimination in the Tribunal. This resource will also provide a "virtual" support network through access to a web based discussion forum and information exchange.
64. The Legal Affairs Team is also engaging with the legal profession and is currently setting up panels of solicitors and advocates with both the commitment and the experience to undertake race discrimination cases. Practitioners on our panels will be expected to participate in regular update training ensuring that those facing discrimination are well represented. The work is being carried out jointly with the Equal Opportunities Commission and Disability Rights Commission. The Law Society of Scotland recently hosted a seminar of specialist tactics in discrimination law in conjunction with the three Commissions. The Law Society's endorsement of this training carried out by the Commissions makes valuable links with legal practitioners and promotes both an interest and an expertise in discrimination law.
RAISING THE PROFILECHANGING PUBLIC ATTIDUES
65. We have recognised the role of publicity, campaigning and public education as a vital tool in relation to the achievement of social justice. In an area of work typically dominated by considerable sums of money, the need to work in partnership and creatively with others becomes of critical importance to the success of our work.
66. One means of communicating essential messages is our publicity campaigning. With support form the Millennium Commission and Uniting Britain Trust, the CRE was able to organise a major festival in June 2000, to acknowledge and celebrate the rich tapestry of communities, which make up Scottish society; to challenge existing stereotypes and demonstrated how diversity has enriched Scotland's heritage.
67. There were four main elements to the festival:
Connecting Culturesan exhibition at The Lighthouse which displayed work by significant Scottish artists of different ethnic origins.
A Schools Competition, sponsored by The Heraldinviting every school pupil in Scotland to submit a painting, poem, essay or video which celebrates Scotland's diversity.
A Diversity Charter sponsored by Polaroid UKa photographic record of all the visitors to the Connecting Cultures exhibition, which was subsequently presented to the Royal Museum of Scotland.
A programme of events organised by various community groups and organisations, which concluded with a finale event in the City Halls, Glasgow.
68. As a different means to similar ends, our Leadership Challenge encourages all leading figures within the public, private and voluntary sectors to make a personal commitment to promote racial equality and to make their commitment to the benefits to society a public issue in their work with the public and their peers and those people and agencies they connect with on a regular basis. The Challenge now has almost 50 leaders signed up, the most recent being the Chief Executive of NHS Scotland, Trevor Jones, who signed up whilst urging all Chief Executives of NHS Trusts and Boards to make a similar commitment.
69. The Leadership Challenge initiative provides opportunities for peers to network around equality and diversity issues, for instance the Leading Edge newsletter, established by CRE Scotland for the programme, had an edition devoted to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act and its particular implications for auditing and inspection bodies. Articles were placed by Robert Black, the Auditor General for Scotland, Douglas Osler, HM Chief Inspector of Education in Scotland, William Taylor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland.
70. As part of our year-long celebration of 25 years of the Race Relations Act, a national conference, on 30 November 2001, entitled "Equal Futures: children and young people building racial equality" was the result of highly successful partnership working between Children in Scotland and CRE Scotland. The event benefited from Scottish Executive funding and brought together over 400 children with 250 adult practitioners to explore issues of race, identity and culture. Children from all over Scotland, including a large number of refugee and asylum seeker children, attended. A special contingent of young people from Bradford and Burnley also attended to share their views on racism.
71. The event was opened by the Social Justice Minister, Iain Gray and other speakers included Sir William MacPherson, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Dr Beverley Naidoo. MSPs from all the main Scottish parties took part in a "Question Time" style debate which gained national TV coverage. Other highlights of the day included workshops on combating racism through drama, art, creative writing and music. The grand finale, which was a theatre production created for the occasion by the MacRobert Theatre Company starring local and refugee children on the theme of racial tolerance.
72. Discussions have taken place between the CRE, Children in Scotland and the Executive to decide how the achievements of the conference could form the basis of a future programme of work designed to support practice development among teachers and youth workers, and promoting better understanding of an active anti-racism approach linked to citizenship values, among children and young people.
73. We have been in discussion with the Executive over the past six months, on proposals for a public anti-racism campaign. CRE Scotland has promoted such an initiative, which is also reflected in the equality strategy, to enable the Executive to develop a better understanding of equality issues among communities in Scotland, to promote issues of personal responsibility for challenging racism linked to issues of good citizenship. Plans to develop the campaign further should unfold in the short term.
PATTERNS AND TRENDS
74. In many respects, the emerging patterns still relate to those cross-cutting issues that we highlighted to Ministers and MSPs in the early days of devolution. There has been clear commitment and progress towards specified goals often in partnership and with tangible results. But there remain examples that these lessons have not been fully taken on board and whilst a learning curve of some degree can be expected, these are not new or indeed difficult concepts. Community size prevails in many minds as a key determinant for inaction on racial equality, as does the notion of resources, which is a useful ally to institutional inertia in the face of change.
75. Accountability, consultation and engagement, planning, assessing, reviewing can all be evidenced, as can non-existent or ineffective performance. The management and handling of the Chhokar inquiries point to an inability to engage in a mature dialogue on racial inequality, however, it is our hope that we can move beyond these, learn from them and take forward the assertive and proactive equalities agenda developed in Scotland.
76. The number of applications for assistance to the CRE by people claiming racial discrimination continues to rise. The CRE's casework demonstrates a gap between policy commitments and practice within the ranks of organisations and in the delivery of services. This continues to be supported by our research referred to earlier in this memorandum.
77. Figures on reported racial incidents to the police across Scotland also continue to rise. In the main, the perpetrators are young people, mostly boys and young men. Last year, like other parts of Britain, Scotland experienced tension between communities, manifested in ugly scenes of conflict and resulting in the death of a young asylum seeker in Glasgow.
78. Under-representation of ethnic minorities in public appointments, at elected member level, within the Scottish Parliament, at senior level across the public sector continues.
79. The dispersal of asylum seekers across Scotland will necessitate lessons to be learned from experiences in Glasgow and elsewhere. Co-ordination of public services, enabling voluntary sector involvement to prepare local communities, ensuring equal treatment and promoting better understanding of asylum issues at community level, will feature in our advice as participants in the Scottish Executive's Refugee Integration Forum.
80. The ultimate goal is mainstreamed equality and for that reason as well as the framework provided by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act, we need to see sustained momentum if progress is not to be jeopardised. If we are to achieve effective mainstreaming of equality, there is a continuing need for all providers, policy and law makers to better understand their role in making it happen. That in turn will depend on our abilities and those of all our partners to engage constructively, to develop effective guidance to support delivery and for the CRE, to check progress using necessary tools provided by the amendment to the Race Relations Act.
81. In conclusion, we must acknowledge that our challenges are not grounded in the struggle to achieve commitment. That we have, at the most senior levelsand the progress that we have witnessed in Scotland over recent years is in large part due to that commitment. However, commitment alone does not deliver change and we need to acknowledge the role of modern working practices and the importance of sustained delivery of racial equality objectives through the length and breadth of organisations.
82. For the CRE, working in a devolved framework, has enabled progress to be made in a range of areas which would not be possible, with the same ease, or speed, elsewhere. Engaging with the Scottish Parliament across the raft of social policy issues documented above; our work across the breadth of the Executive on mainstreaming, is a consequence of devolution and is not witnessed readily in the CRE's work with Whitehall, or the Parliament. Working effectively in Scotland has enabled the CRE to develop ideas and good practice and promote it to the rest of the organisation and therefore across Britain.
83. In Scotland, as elsewhere, a key priority in tackling inequality and delivering racial equality in the long-term, will be to enable education providers to incorporate racial equality as part of a values set learned at School linked to citizenship education. Supporting the capacity building of the ethnic minority community/voluntary sector, in a robust and diligent manner, by learning lessons from previous work and experience elsewhere, is another challenge.
84. The learning opportunity for public authorities in Scotland, and other sectors, to develop responses and policy frameworks on equality matters which incorporate both the commonality of processes required to achieve equality objectives, but also, to ensure that specific content relating to particular areas of equality are of equal value, is vast. This task was sign-posted early in Scotland to public authorities, since the Scotland Act incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights and the proposals for a Human Rights Commission are well developed. A cross cutting approach to equality issues among a range of sectors, is further precipitated by the proposals currently under consultation in relation to Article 13.
85. The amended Race Relations Act creates a blueprint for good equality legislation, clearly, this has implications for the future development of equality legislation and structures for its operation. By placing a greater responsibility on those in public authorities who make policy and those who agree it, to think through more carefully than ever the consequences of their proposals and decisions on racial equalityin this and many other respects, the amended Act provides a metaphor for the future of racial equality, and equality more generally, in modern Scotland and Britain. The CRE's vision of modernised delivery of racial equality is achievable. It is not a luxury, an afterthought, an irrelevance. It is what our public services do every day but not always for all communities. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act provides tangible proof of commitment: the challenge is for us all is to make the law make the difference.
86. "The school and family environment are places where we all learn what is right and wrong, good and bad. It is important for us children to see and follow good examples from adults."Ms Sin-Ling Law13 years old, speaking at the civic participation organised by the Scottish Parliament in partnership with the CRE to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Race Relations Act 1976.
Race Relations Act
The 1976 Act remains the basic law in Great Britain that defines and outlaws racial discrimination and that gives individuals the right to seek legal redress for acts of racial discrimination. The 1976 Act also established the CRE with powers to investigate and take enforcement action.
What is racial discrimination?
Racial discrimination can be either direct or indirect:
Direct Discrimination occurs when a person (including a company or public authority) treats someone less favourably than others in similar circumstances on racial grounds. Racial grounds are grounds of colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin.
Indirect Discrimination occurs when a condition or requirement which is applied equally to everyone can be met by a considerably smaller proportion of people from a particular racial group and it is to their disadvantage because they cannot comply with it. The condition or requirement will be unlawful unless it can be justified on non-racial grounds. Under the Act, a racial group is defined as a group of people defined in terms of colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin.
Victimisation occurs when a person is treated less favourably than others for having made or supported a complaint of racial discrimination.
The CRE has three principal statutory duties, to eliminate racial discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and good race relation sand to keep the Act under review. It is given a number of powers to enable it to fulfil these general duties.
Section 44 of the Act enables the CRE to provide financial or other assistance to any organisation appearing to the CRE to be concerned with the promotion of equality of opportunity and good race relations between persons of different racial groups.
Section 45 enables the CRE to undertake or assist, financially or otherwise, persons undertaking research or educational activities which appear to the CRE to be necessary or expedient for fulfilling their general duties.
Each year the CRE is required to report on its activities to the Secretary of State, who must then lay this annual report before the Houses of Parliament.
In addition the CRE is given a number of powers with which to achieve its general duties, including the power to issue Codes of Practice containing practical guidance for the purposes of eliminating discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity in the fields of employment and housing; and the power to conduct formal investigations and to issues recommendations and reports following such investigations.
The CRE is also given a number of powers that relate to law enforcement. The White Paper on Racial Discrimination which preceded the Race Relations Act 1976 envisaged "a powerful Race Relations Commission responsible for enforcing the law on behalf of the community as a whole". It is therefore not surprising that law enforcement is seen as one of the primary functions of the CRE. This is reflected in the range of powers that the CRE is given.
Section 58 allows the CRE to issue a non-discrimination notice where it uncovers discriminatory practices, advertisements, and pressure and instructions to discriminate. The CRE can seek an interdict where there is persistent discrimination or breaches of a non discrimination notice in relation to advertisements, or pressure or instructions to discriminate.
Perhaps one of the best known law enforcement powers of the CRE is its power to grant assistance to individuals wishing to pursue complaints of unlawful race discrimination in the employment tribunal or the sheriff court. The CRE also has a duty to consider such applications within two months of receipt.
The Race Relations (Amendment) Act
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, published in February 1999, has been a catalyst for much needed change. Whilst the inquiry was concerned primarily with policing, the report made it clear that few institutions in Britain had room for complacency. The report put forward a definition of "institutional racism" that could be applied to any institution and recommended:
". . . every institution (to) examine their policies and the outcomes of their policies and practices to guard against disadvantaging any section of our communities"
The new positive duty on public authorities to promote racial equality gives statutory force to the Lawrence Inquiry's recommendation: it makes compulsory what voluntary measures have been unable fully to achieve. Compliance with this duty will make public authorities more effective, efficient , transparent and accountable and will help them to win the confidence of the public they exist to serve and on whom they depend for support.
The Race Relations(Amendment) Act 2000 (the 2000 Act) came into force on 2 April 2001. The new Act amends the Race Relations Act 1976 (the 1976 Act) and strengthens its application to public authorities in several important ways:
It extends the scope of the 1976 Act to cover areas that were previously excluded, and makes it unlawful for public authorities to discriminate on racial grounds in carrying out any of their functions.
It places a general statutory duty on a wide range of public authorities including health trusts and boards, to promote racial equality and prevent racial discrimination.
It gives the Home Secretary the power to make Orders imposing specific duties on all or some public authorities bound by the general dutyScottish Ministers can impose specific duties on devolved authorities: these specific duties will be enforceable by the CRE, serving compliance notices, backed up by court orders, if necessary.
It gives the CRE powers to issue statutory codes of practice, providing practical guidance to public authorities on how to fulfil both their general and specific duties to promote racial equality.
The General Duty
Listed public authorities shall in carrying out their functions, have due regard to the need to:
Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination.
Promote equality of opportunity.
Promote good race relations.
This is for the first time an enforceable duty. Four principles should govern public authorities efforts to meet their duty to promote race equality:
Obligatorypublic authorities must make race equality a central part of their functions such as planning, policy making, service delivery, regulation, inspection, enforcement and employment.
Relevantrace equality will be more relevant to some public functions than others.
Proportionatethe weight given to race equality should be proportionate to its relevance to a particular function.
Complementarythe three parts of the general duty (eliminating discrimination, promoting equality of opportunity and promoting good race relations) support each other and may overlap. However, the three parts are different and being successful with one may not lead to success of all three.
Current Specific Duties
Identify relevant functions and conduct subsequent review within three years
Prepare and publish a Race Equality Scheme which sets out arrangements for:
Assessing and consulting on impact of proposed policies on the promotion of race equality
Monitoring impact of policies
Publishing results of assessments, consultation and monitoring
Ensuring public access to information and services
Training staff to carry out duties.
Employment Specific Duties
Monitor by racial group staff in post, applicants for jobs, training and promotion.
Monitor by racial group (employers with 150+ staff) training, grievances, disciplinary procedures, benefit/detriments from performance appraisal, dismissals and other reasons for leaving.
Publish results of employment monitoring annually.
CRE Role and Approach
Enable and partner good practice development.
Provide practical advice and guidance.
Share and demonstrate good practice.
Support training developments.
Publish statutory codes.
Publish non statutory guidance.
Monitoring trends in public sector practice.
Inspection regimes will inspect for race equality based in general and specific duties.
Inspection regimes will also inspect for race equality outcomes.
CRE will use enforcement powers strategically and appropriately.
General duty, enforceable through judicial review taken by the CRE or other party.
CRE can enforce breach of specific duties.
CRE can issue compliance notice with regard to such breaches.
Public authority has 28 says to respond to a compliance notice.
After three months CRE can apply for a court order requiring compliance.
The Scotland Act: Equal Opportunities
Schedule five of the Scotland Act reserves equal opportunities, but sets out the following exceptions:
The encouragement (other than by prohibition or regulation) of equal opportunities, and in particular of the observance of the equal opportunity requirements.
Imposing duties on:
(a) any office-holder in the Scottish Administration, or any Scottish public authority with mixed functions or no reserved functions, to make arrangements with a view to securing that the functions of the office-holder or authority are carried out with due regard to the need to meet the equal opportunity requirements; or
(b) any cross-border public authority to make arrangements with a view to securing that its Scottish functions are carried out with due regard to the need to meet the equal opportunity requirements.
"Equal opportunities" means the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs or opinions, such as religious beliefs or political opinions.
"Equal opportunity requirements" means the requirements of the law for the time being relating to equal opportunities.
"Scottish functions" means functions which are exercisable in or as regards Scotland and which do not relate to reserved matters.
The Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland is headed up by Dharmendra Kanani and officers work within a range of portfolios that fall within three distinct areas guided by the Commissioners on the Scotland Committee. Dr Moussa Jogee, is the Commissioner appointed with special responsibility for Scotland. The other Commissioners on the Scotland Committee include, Sushila Patel, Shahid Malik, Mohammed Amran and Judge Ray Singh. The work of this committee feeds directly into the CRE's Finance and General Purposes Committee, Legal Committee, the Public Duty Committee and Policy and Communication Committee. Reports on the work of CRE Scotland form part of the Chief Executive's report to the full Commission.
The Head of CRE Scotland is part of the Strategic Management Team which reports to Daniel Silverstone, Chief Executive, who in turn is responsible to the Chair, Gurbux Singh, and the body of Commissioners appointed by the Home Secretary.
Public Policy Team
The Public Policy team supports the effective delivery of racial equality policy across the public sector, and is instrumental to the delivery of the new positive duties under the Race Relations ( Amendment) Act in Scotland, one of top priorities.
The legal team deals with all applications for assistance by individuals in Scotland for legal advice and assistance from the CRE and provides full legal representation when approved by the Commission's Legal Committee. All of this works meets our duties under Section 66 of the Act and is an important way for us to engage with the black and ethnic minority communities. The legal team is also key to the development of our legal policy and law enforcement work in Scotland.
Public Affairs Team
The public affairs team have a broad remit which includes the provision of policy advice to the private and voluntary sector, the Scottish Parliament and Executive. Strategic work with many of the Commission's key partners, as well as media and campaign work are crucial in meeting our first three top priorities.
Race Equality Councils
Under Section 44 of the Act, the Commission funds local racial equality work through RECs. In 2001-02 approximately £5 million (25 per cent) of the Commission's annual budget went directly to the network of Racial Equality Councils/ Community Relations Councils throughout Britain. In Scotland £445,000 (45 per cent) of its budget went directly to the six Race Equality Councils in Scotland covering the former regional areas of Central , Fife, Grampian, Lothian, Strathclyde and Tayside. The RECS are partnerships between the local communities, local government and the Commission. Funding is renewed annually on the basis of satisfactory work review and proposed work programmes.
The Commission receives grant in aid from the Home Office; a financial memorandum between the Home Office and the CRE, establishes the parameters for all financial affairs of the CRE. The CRE's total budgeted net expenditure in 2001-02 (£'000's) is 19,577, for CRE Scotland, it is 1,011.
1 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. Back
2 Disability Rights Commission. Back