November 2008   Issue 23 header_top



Welcome to the November edition of ROTA’s policy E-Newsletter. Last month at ROTA proved as ever to be busy and eventful. The initial meeting of the new Transformative Justice Forum was held, a new interim Head of Policy joined the team as did a new Transformative Justice Project Officer. Rightfully lauded for the seminal Building Bridges Project, Carlene Firmin appeared on the Sky News’ ‘War on Knifes’ programme and attended a reception hosted by the Prime Minister in recognition for ROTA’s Peace Award.

ROTA has opened recruitment for new trustees, a great opportunity to be a part of this well respected and forward thinking think tank. Also, ROTA will be holding it’s AGM and networking on December 15th 2008, so please come along!




In this issue:
01 Equality and Human Rights
02 Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour
03 Community Cohesion and Empowerment
04Education and Young People
05Third Sector News



1. Equality and Human Rights

Update about EHRC grants and funding

On 30th September, EHRC announced its decision to defer the launch of the next grants programme for 6 months – putting this back from April 2009 to September 2009. This means that there could be a six-month break in funding for organisations that are currently funded through EHRC’s interim grants scheme.

EHRC have proposed this delay in order to consult with the VCS and other stakeholders to ensure its grant programme fits in better with its overarching strategic priorities. EHRC has only talked about continuation funding for organisations that provide legal case services.

HEAR will be recommending to the EHRC that all interim funded projects continue to be funded until the next grant programme is ready.

If your organisation will be affected a possible six-month delay in EHRC grant funding, please get in touch with HEAR ( HEAR are keen to represent to EHRC how any damaging effects might affect equalities work.

HEAR is London’s regional equalities and human rights network.

To find out more visit To find out more about EHRC and its grants and funding visit


EHRC- 1st Annual Stakeholder Conference

The EHRC will be holding it’s 1st Annual Stakeholder Conference in central London on 5th November 2008. Speakers include Chair, Trevor Phillips, Chief Executive Nicola Brewer and Commissioners who are national experts in equality and human rights.

The conference is an important part of how the Commission will move forward which is why it is important to attend. There are a limited number of places but the EHRC would to hear a range of voices to reflect the Commission's wide remit and to make their work as effective as possible. It is designed to ensure that stakeholders are able to engage effectively with the Commission. It promises to be a great opportunity to share ideas, plan ways forward and find out more about the priorities our stakeholders have.

The conference will be a key opportunity for stakeholders to hear about the achievements of the commission over the last year, learn about progress on the Equality Bill and Human Rights Inquiry and to attend seminars on the Equality Scheme, Strategic Plan and Grants programme.

The agenda is currently being finalised but if you would like to register your interest in attending the conference please email:


HEAR Supports BIHR Event

The EHRC will be holding it’s 1st Annual Stakeholder Conference in central London on 5th November 2008. Speakers include Chair, Trevor Phillips, Chief Executive Nicola Brewer and Commissioners who are national experts in equality and human rights.

The British Institute of Human rights and the National Equality Partnership supported by HEAR, RAISE and LVSC held a consultation event entitled ‘Human Rights- Tackling Inequality and Social Exclusion’ on October 26th at the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. The event, at which Theo Gavrieilides gave a presentation was to Introduce third sector organisations working on equality, social exclusion and community relations to human rights their potential use within their work and explored the relationship between equality and human rights. The participants had the opportunity to discuss opportunities and challenges that using human rights in their work may bring.

Findings from the consultation discussions will be incorporated into a report that will informed by all the regional consultations that have also been carried out. BIHR will be developing information briefings and an open course of training on human rights and different issues.



2. Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

Young People’s Research into Race Hate

Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) has recently completed a youth-led report which explored young people’s experiences and understanding of race hate in London, Bradford and Liverpool. The report usefully highlights the unique challenges faced by practitioners and policy makers to address the issues surrounding race hate in the capital city. The findings suggest that race hate within Liverpool and Bradford is largely one-dimensional, whereas the sheer diversity of London’s population results in race hate being complex and multi-dimensional. The youth-led report also mirrors a number of findings from the recent work of academic Paul Iganski (Hate Crime and the City, 2008) which points to race hate taking place as an ‘everyday’ occurrence as opposed to incidents being part of a premeditated and orchestrated process. For a copy of this report please contact

Calling Proposals. Restoring Relationships: Addressing Hate Crime through Restorative Justice Training

ROTA is seeking applications from qualified training consultants who have expertise surrounding issues of hate crime, restorative justice and multi-agency cross-sector partnerships, to deliver training sessions as part of ROTA’s Restoring Relations Project. Training will be delivered using the ROTA training toolkit, with all administrative duties being carried out by ROTA. For further information or to discuss any details surrounding the tender please contact

ROTA’s Transformative Justice Forum

The recruitment of members for ROTA’s Transformative Justice Forum (TJF) has now been completed and the first meeting for setting the TJF’s agenda will be held Wednesday 22nd October. Regular updates will provided over the coming months about the intended work of the TJF and any other developments which take place. If you would like any details about the TJF or a list of the members that have been recruited please contact

Building Bridges Update

As the Building Bridges Project won a London Peace Award this year, project leader Carlene Firmin was invited to meet with the Prime Minister this month to celebrate its success. Findings of the project were also debated on Sky One’s ‘War on Knives’, and presented by Carlene at the GLA Guns, Gangs and Weapons Practitioner’s Forum Annual Seminar on the 16th October. ROTA’s research on women and gangs is now being developed in partnership with the Women’s Resource Centre and updates on progress will be provided via the newsletter. For more information on the Building Bridges Project contact

Consultation on PACE

The Home Office is currently undertaking a review of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) which aims to ‘establish from police and those who work with them, as well as the public, whether the act and the codes of practice are still appropriate, proportionate, and relevant to the criminal justice system.’ ROTA will be responding to this consultation , and would urge other organisations to do the same; especially given the evidenced discrimination experienced by BAME individuals at various points of the criminal justice system. For my details on the consultation please visit

Race For Justice

ROTA has been involved in the drafting of a seminal report with Race For Justice, the campaign to end inequalities faced by BAME groups and to strengthen the role and voice of the voluntary sector in the criminal justice system. The report will be launched in November 2008, see the Race For Justice website for further details.

London Focus Groups

Revolving Doors Agency is carrying out research on front-line practitioners’ experiences and attitudes towards working with the families and partners of adult clients. If you work in health, mental health, criminal justice, substance use, housing, family or education you could take part. Focus groups take place in London in November. Participants receive a £20 voucher, travel expenses and refreshments. For more information visit Revolving Doors


3. Community Cohesion and Empowerment

Structural Changes to Refugee Support

The London Strategic Migration Partnership has now succeeded the Board for Refugee and Asylum Seeker Integration in London (BRASIL) forming a new regional partnership. Despite the change research projects exploring the status of refugees in the informal job market, the relations between police and refugees and also disability within the refugee community will continue to be funded. An event run by the Metropolitan Support Trust in November which will launch a new report and release the findings of research completed around supporting disabled refugees and asylum seekers, allowing such issues in this policy area to meaningfully remain on the policy agenda.

Cabinet reshuffle sees new minister for borders and immigration

Following the cabinet reshuffle, Phil Woolas MP is now the Minister of State for borders and immigration, replacing Liam Byrne. His remit includes both asylum and the wider impacts of migration including the Migration Impacts Forum. Both Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Meg Hillier, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for identity, have retained their previous roles. Meg Hillier supports the Minister of State on asylum and immigration matters. To view the full list of new ministerial appointments, see the Number website.


Draft Immigration and Citizenship Bill published

The Government has published the draft (partial) Immigration and Citizenship Bill, and a full Bill is expected in early 2009. The current draft contains provisions on naturalisation which would affect all migrants, including refugees. The full Bill is also expected to contain provisions on asylum support and limitations on migrants’ access to services and benefits. A consultation on asylum support is expected before the end of the year. For more information on the draft Bill, see the UK Border Agency website. See also the Refugee Council briefing on the Refugee Council website


Refugee Council selected to operate London integration and employment service

This summer, the UK Border agency (UKBA) announced the successful bidders for the 12 UK regions that will implement the new Refugee Integration and Employment Service (RIES). The service, available to anyone over the age of 18 who has been granted refugee status or humanitarian protection, became operational from 1 October 2008. The British Refugee Council has been awarded the contract for London, a well as the East of England, the West Midlands and as a sub contractor in Yorkshire and Humberside. For information on the RIES service in London, see the Integration section below. For more information on the general RIES service and the contracts outside London, see the UKBA website



4. Education and Young People

Launch of London Schools Programme

Lord Victor Adebowale (LYCPB - Chair, Chief Executive -Turning Point) will be launching London Schools Programme for Safety and Cohesion at the Tower of London on Wednesday 5th November 2008.

The London Schools Programme for Safety and Cohesion is a key part of the work of the London Youth Crime Prevention Board (LYCPB). The Programme aims to embed effective safety and crime reduction strategies in the culture of schools, to measurably improve feelings of safety by young people and achieve measurable reductions in young people’s involvement in crime as victims or offenders.

'Bad Kids'? The politics of childhood past and present

A discussion to explore the issues affecting young people today, considering how children's lives and the government policies affecting them have changed over time. It will focus on the perception of worsening behaviour amongst young people and involve presentations by secondary school students on media images of young people. The aim is to consider what policy approaches have been tried before, and to discuss how youth policy has changed historically. The event will bring together stakeholders with a wide range of perspectives, from pupils, teachers and academics to youth workers, psychotherapists and legal experts, from organisations as diverse as the Magistrates Youth Courts Committee and Kids Company. This event is organised by the Raphael Samuel History Centre, in partnership with Bishopsgate Institute and History & Policy. It will take place at the Bishopsgate Institute, East London, at 4pm on Wednesday 26th November 2008. For further information please contact Barbara Taylor (

5.0 Third Sector News

Review of Compact BME Code

As you are probably aware, the Compact BME Code is being reviewed. As part of the review process, the Code was recently subjected to independent legal analysis and a report was produced earlier this month. Copy available at:

Following from this, the Commission for the Compact is running an informal debate and a consultation on the legal review of the BME Code. These are planned to feed into the formal consultation that is proposed to start in January 2009. Our national partner, Voice for Change England is working with the Commission to coordinate a BAME perspective across the regions. The London regional strand of the BME workshop will be held on 28 November 2008. You can book a place at:

The Empowerment Fund: Prospectus

The Empowerment Fund will provide strategic, stable and sector funding for organisations with charitable, philanthropic or benevolent purposes. The result is intended to achieve a stronger relationship across the sector by working closely with 20-25 organisations on helping the department achieve its goals around key themes on the empowerment agenda.

The prospectus outlines how the Empowerment Fund will operate and invites applications from eligible third sector organisations. See website:

Empowering London’s BAME VCS

In partnership with The Public Law Project, MiNet is running a one day workshop exploring how to use the principles of public law to challenge unjust and unfair decision-making by public bodies. The workshop will be held on Tuesday 9 December 2008. Please email: for more information or to book a place. Places are limited and available on first come, first served basIs.

Still on Compact – Don’t forget 1st – 8th November 2008 is Compact Week. It is one of the opportunities you have to make the Compact work for you.

DWfL Gold Standard

Have Your Business Win Gold. Diversity Works for London has designed the Gold Standard Diversity Tool to help business in London assess their progress on work place as well as supplier diversity and to give guidance on improving performance. The toolkit covers the 6 strands of diversity including age, disability, ethnicity, gender religion and faith and sexual orientation. It enables employers to self assess their organisation (large or small) and on successful completion and validation by the DWfL employers can publicly promote their organisation.

For more information, please visit the Diversity Works for London website

Ready to Grow

Red Ochre and Olmec will be launching Ready to Grow, a unique capacity-building programme for BAMER-led social enterprises operating in London. The three year programme, funded by Capacitybuilders, will support existing and aspiring social enterprises in becoming demonstrably more sustainable.

People are invited to join to mark Social Enterprise Day and acclaim the social entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.

Date: Friday 21st November 2008
When: From 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Location: British Library Business and IP Centre, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB

The event will be chaired by Uday Thakkar, managing director of Red Ochre and Social Enterprise Mentor of the Year 2008. Social enterprise ambassador Claudine Reid will be amongst the guest speakers.


Race on the Agenda would like to invite you to its AGM and networking event titled - The human rights vision of equality: What does it mean for the BAME sector? Guest speakers include Bharat Mehta Chief Executive of City Parochial Foundation and Vandna Gohil Director of Voice4Change. Refreshments will be provided. If you are unable to attend please inform us immediately so that we can pass on your place to someone else. Late notification may result in a penalty charge. There will be networking opportunities before and after the event. Contact Saifur Valli for further details and booking

ROTA Trustee Vacancy

Race on the Agenda (ROTA) is London’s leading social policy think-tank focusing on issues affecting Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and the Third Sector that serves them. We are committed to working towards achieving social justice and the elimination of discrimination and promoting human rights, diversity, equality of opportunity and best practice.

Can you support us in informing strategic decision-makers about the issues affecting the BAME Third Sector and the communities it serves, and make government policy more accessible to BAME groups?

ROTA is looking for a trustee, to ensure, in common with fellow Board members, that Race on the Agenda operates in a manner which enables it to fulfil its aims and objects as effectively as possible. We are particularly interested to hear from applicants with the following skills and experience: finance, academia, human resources and employment law, social enterprising, marketing and media.

Successful candidates will be expected to attend ROTA’s Annual General Meeting due to take place at The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund on the 15th December 2008, 13:30 – 16:30 where they will be presented to members for election

Fur further information and an application pack: Saifur Valli 020 7729 1310 You can also download the application pack from