June 2009    Issue 29




May was a busy month for ROTA. The Winning the Race Coalition met with Baroness Howells regarding the Coalition’s views on the Single Equality Bill and will be moving the work forward in the coming months. On June 2nd ROTA’s Chief Executive will be giving oral evidence to the House of Commons. ROTA will also be attending roundtable discussions on the Bill with the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips.

ROTA responded to the Communities and Local Government Race Discussion document outlining what should be the policy priorities for the upcoming Race Strategy. ROTA also responded to the Home Office Violence Against Women consultation using evidence from the Building Bridges and Female Voice in Violence research. See ROTA website for consultation responses. www.rota.org.uk


In this issue:


Equality and Human Rights Policy News


Health Inequalities Policy News


Minet and London Specific Policy News


BAME National Policy News





1. Equality and Human Rights Policy News

Single Equality Bill- ROTA to Give Evidence To the House of Commons

ROTA has been asked to give oral evidence on the Single Equality Bill to the House of Commons special committee. The panel will be giving evidence on race, sexual orientation and transgender issues. The ROTA led Winning the Race Coalition along with the Runnymede Trust will give evidence around the key concerns raised in its original statement and the letters that followed it (see www.rota.org.uk for more information and for details of how to join the Coalition). Please contact Pavan Dhaliwal on pavan@rota.org.uk for further details.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Roundtables to Discuss Bill

On June 3rd the EHRC have called for a meeting with the Winning the Race Coalition and BAME organisations to discuss the new Equality Bill with the Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillps. ROTA will be attending along with other members of the coalition. On June 1st, ROTA will join other coalitions formed to influence the Bill such as the TUC to discuss with the EHRC how to best work together with common goals to achieve the maximum impact. Contact Pavan Dhaliwal at pavan@rota.org.uk for further details

Government consultation on tackling race inequality in the UK

ROTA submitted a response to the Communities and Local Government (CLG) consultation Tackling race inequalities: A discussion document. The consultation sought views on a new government-wide approach for race equality. The ROTA response included issues surrounding the Single Equality Bill and the impact that this would have on any race strategy. This was an important consultation for the BAME third sector as it provided an opportunity to influence Government’s race equality strategy and any associated funding, wider policies and engagement mechanisms. It is also an opportunity to ensure that the valuable role of the BAME third sector is recognised. To view the ROTA response click HERE. Please contact Pavan Dhaliwal at pavan@rota.org.uk for further details

DNA Database consultation

The Home Office is currently consulting on DNA and fingerprint information in terms of how long they should be kept on the national database. This is both a race equality and human rights issue given the disproportionate number of Black men currently on the database. This is a very important consultation for BAME communities and the organisations that they serve. The Home Office states that ‘The paper sets out the benefits of DNA and fingerprints in detecting offenders and helping to bring them to justice. It also sets out proposals to introduce clearer and more transparent safeguards for the individual. It aims to provide a proportionate balance between protecting communities and protecting the rights of the individual.’ ROTA would encourage criminal justice BAME third sector organisations to take part in this consultation, especially those representing BAME experiences. For full details of the consultation please visit http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-2009-dna-database/. For information on ROTA’s work on criminal justice and disproportionality please visit the ROTA website of contact pavan@rota.org.uk.

2. Health Inequalities Policy News

Inquiry into Parkinson’s – a BAME perspective

ROTA recently submitted evidence to the All Parliamentary Group Inquiry into Parkinson’s Disease. As health is a policy priority for ROTA it was important for us to take part in this consultation, and we were the only submission offered that had a race specific perspective. Please click HERE to download the full submission or visit ROTA’s website for details. For further information on this submission or ROTA’s policy priorities for this year please contact carlene@rota.org.uk or pavan@rota.org.uk.

Consultation on Alcohol Misuse- Safe, Sensible and Social

The Department for Health and the Home Office continue their consultation on alcohol misuse and abuse with a consultation focusing on managing the sale of alcohol. Given the disproportionate impact that alcohol and other substance abuse has on certain BAME communities, ROTA took part in this consultation at the beginning of last year, by attending a stakeholders consultation seminar. ROTA would encourage BAME groups to remain engaged with this work. At ROTA we are currently drawing together all work on health that we have completed in recent years, as well as recent policy changes and consultation, ready for a paper to be circulated later this year. For more information on the consultation please visit http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-2009-alcohol/. For information on ROTA’s work on health please contact carlene@rota.org.uk.

Department of Health report on health inequalities

ROTA welcomes the Department of Health publication ‘Tackling health inequalities: 10 years on’. The report reviews developments in health inequalities over the last 10 years across government. From the publication of the Acheson report on health inequalities in November 1998 to the announcement of the post-2010 strategic review of health inequalities in November 2008. It covers developments across government on the wider social determinants of health, and the role of the NHS. It provides an assessment of developments against the Acheson report, reviews a range of key data sets covering social, economic, health and environmental indicators, and considers lessons learned and challenges for the future. Click HERE for the report. ROTA will be developing its work around the area of mental inequalities in 2009. Contact Pavan Dhaliwal at pavan@rota.org.uk for further details.


3. MiNet and London Specific Policy News

London’s BAME Third Sector: Managing the Economic Downturn Event

On Tuesday 30th June MiNet will launch the findings and recommendations from evidence-based research carried out by MiNet, it explored the impact the economic downturn is having on the BAME and Equality Third Sector, and the different methods the sector have adopted to manage the changing environment. The event will be an opportunity for funders, decisions makers, policy makers, BAME infrastructure organisations and mainstream infrastructure bodies to come together to hear and discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the recession. For further details about the event or to register for a place online, please visit MiNet’s webpage at http://www.rota.org.uk/pages/MiNet_Activities.aspx. This event is free for Third Sector organisations.

The Loss of More Specialist Services

MiNet joins the Black Training and Enterprise Group in offering support to the Local Employment and Access Project (LEAP), one of England’s most successful black-led employment providers. LEAP are one of England’s most successful black-led employment providers, which is facing closure due to a lack of public funding. Calls have been made for the Mayor of London and the Government to intervene to ensure that BAME communities continue to receive vital help in tackling unemployment during the recession. A petition has been established by LEAP asking individuals and organisations to support the call for continued funding. For more information or to sign the petition to keep LEAP open visit www.leap.org.uk.

MiNet Encourages London Council Funded Organisations to Join LDAN

London Destitution Advice Network.(LDAN) would like to invite all London Council funded organisations working with destitute asylum seekers to join the network. LDAN (the London Destitution Advice Network). This is an informal network of London based non-statutory organisations who work with destitute asylum seekers. At the moment, there are 27 organisations in the network. LDAN facilitates the sharing of expertise and skills between advice agencies, refugee community organisations and others working with destitute asylum seekers in London. If you are interested in doing so, please contact Marie-Anne Fishwick at Marie-Anne@asaproject.org.uk or 020 8686 1888

New funding website to be launched in June

MiNet supports plans to launch a new funding website named Funding Central. Funding Central will be launched in June and will be managed by NCVO, providing details of over 4,000 income opportunities, focusing on grants, contracts and loan finance. The website will give viewers a wide range of tools and resources to help identify and manage the most appropriate income source for any particular organisation. MiNet welcomes this news as many BAME organisations are often overwhelmed with the task of finding appropriate funding. To receive further information email sfp@ncvo-vol.org.uk.

Free Courses for Refugees

Refugees Into Jobs supported by the London Development Agency are offering free courses in ESOL and Community Interpreting. Travel expenses and childcare will be provided. The eligibility is to be or have been a refugee or having Indefinite leave to remain and live in London. `Clients need to provide their Home Office documents and proof of address to see an advisor and register. Please contact Bahar Nassiri on 020 8908 4433 for further details.

4. BAME National Policy News

Consultation on Giving Children and Young People a Right to Appeal

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is currently consulting on giving the right to children and young people the right to appeal against exclusion and SEN referrals. This aims at giving young people over the age of 16 the right to appeal if they are excluded from school as well as assessing whether the current system sufficiently support young people to exercise their right to appeal. According to the DCSF, ‘In line with the Government’s commitment to give young people more say in the processes and decisions that affect them, this consultation seeks the views of children and young people, parents, carers, governing bodies, local government, school staff, teaching and support staff unions (including professional bodies), Tribunal and independent appeal panel members, associated representative organisations and the voluntary sector’. Given the disproportionate number of black, mixed Black Caribbean/White and Irish Traveller children excluded from school, appeal procedures are a specific concern for BAME communities and the organisations that serve them. For more information on this consultation please HERE The consultation closes on 28th July 2009.

Report on ethnicity and child poverty

ROTA welcomes the report ‘Ethnicity and child poverty’ which was published by the Department for Work and Pensions. The report considers why the child poverty rates observed for BAME groups are higher than the national average. The report also examines a range of measures and indicators to build up a detailed picture of how poverty varies across and within ethnic minority groups. Please click HERE to see the report.

Capacitybuilder’s Campaigning programme

ROTA have supported the Capacitybuilders stakeholder paper on its proposed Campaigning Programme. It appears to be a very interesting programme and a positive move, which will benefit the type of work we BAME Third Sector and equalities organisations communities that benefit from this work. The £750,000 programme is designed to support campaigning amongst organisations that represent vulnerable groups. It is to be developed and delivered over two years, with packages of grants and support services to be provided to up to 30 groups. Along with enabling campaigning projects, the programme will generate learning about effective approaches to campaigning. See capacity builders website for further details, http://www.capacitybuilders.org.uk/