As of today and until 11 May 2018, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism Tendayi Achiume is conducting an official visit to the UK. The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner had previously announced that her mission would pay particular attention to the impact of Brexit on racial equality in the country.  

The expert’s mission will include stops in London and Belfast and she anticipated that she will pay special attention to structural forms of discrimination and exclusion that may have been exacerbated by Brexit, with a specific focus on “xenophobic discrimination and intolerance aimed at refugees, migrants and even British racial, religious and ethnic minorities”. To that end, she will review obstacles that these groups may face in terms of fulfilling their economic, social and political rights.

A news conference will be held at the end of her visit, on 11 May 2018, to share her preliminary assessment of the situation in the UK. A full report of the visit will be submitted to the June 2019 session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Member organisations of Education International in the UK have been particularly active to counter racism in schools and promote the rights of migrants and refugees, in particular their right to quality public education. You can find more information about activities and resources developed by education unions in the UK in the “refugees’ education toolkit” section.