Friday, August 9

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Discrimination Against Women

Eleanor Lisney Branch Equality Officer has just returned from an international meeting, 'Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women' in Geneva.

Organizations speaking about the United Kingdom indicated that women were bearing the brunt of austerity measures affecting the heavily female public sector and cuts on welfare benefits.  Changes to the healthcare system were also affecting women’s rights and affordable and accessible childcare was lacking.  Abortion was still not freely available in Northern Ireland, despite earlier recommendations.  Cuts to legal aid for many private and family matters constituted a step backwards.

Access the full report <>  here . . . .


Stop the Governments 'Go Home Campaign'

 In July 2013, the UK Home Office introduced a campaign called 'Go Home'. The campaign targeted six areas of London with two vans, with large billboards with the message 'Go Home or Face Arrest'. The billboards were allegedly targeting those who were 'illegal' or undocumented in the UK. The following week there was also an intensification of immigration spot checks at major transport hubs in the capital. The Go Home Campaign is part of a Government campaign that has caused a national outcry, and infuriated a cross section of communities.

Human rights organisations have said the government's targeting of illegal immigrants over the past two weeks is a cynical ploy that will foster hostility to minority groups, creating a climate of fear and intolerance that threatens to put race relations back decades.


TUC Myth-busting on Migration

The influx of migrant workers into the UK has benefited the economy, according to research published last month by the TUC

Contrary to Far Right accusation that immigrants are a drain on the welfare state, the study shows that migrant workers are paying more in taxes than the value of th public services they receive.

Nor is there any evidence tha migrant workers have depressed wages or caused unemployment t rise overall. While there may be some local effects on low-skilled workers, the study suggests they have not lost out due to the vibrant UK economy.

It argues that more needs to be done to prevent unscrupulous employers from taking advantage of migrant workers’ limited English and lack of knowledge of their rights. Not only should there be a crackdown on bad employers, but rights such as the minimum wage needed to be properly enforced, and loopholes, such as lack of protection for agency workers, closed.

“We do not do enough to protect vulnerable workers, whether migrant or indigenous, from exploitation”, said Brendan Barber. “If migrant workers are treated fairly and paid a decent wage they can only add to the economy, and pose no threat to the livelihoods of the rest of the workforce”.

Last month also saw publication of a new TUC guide on safety for migrant workers, who are more vulnerable to illness or injury at work due to a combination of limited safety training, inadequate safety clothing or equipment, and poor language skills.

In addition, the guide says some migrants may be put at risk by rogue employers cutting corners. With many working long hours there is also a danger of accident occurring at work due to tiredness.

1. Migrants only come to Britain to claim benefits - economic migrants from outside of the EU are not able to claim any benefits. Citizens from Eastern Europe are 60% less likely than UK citizens to claim benefits or tax credits (Source:

Only 2.6% of all JSA benefits were paid to EU citizens last year

2. Migrants take all the social housing - economic migrants from outside of the EU are not eligible for any social housing. Migrants from Eastern Europe are 58% less likely to live in social housing

3. Migrants are bad for the economy - migrants do many important jobs in health, care, services, food, industry, technology and education to name just a few.  Migration is estimated to have increased the GDP by 0.6 billion and increased average incomes by 23p a week. By contrast, government cuts have reduced average incomes by £3.34 a week

4. Migrants cause unemployment - the Department for Work and Pensions has stated there is no evidence that migration from Eastern Europe has caused unemployment

5. We couldn't go to their country - as a member of the EU, British citizens have the right to study, work, claim benefits, have free access to healthcare and retire in the 27 other countries in the EU.

Over 103, 000 British retired people are living in Spain & 56,000 British retired people are living in France

About 286,000 UK citizens work in EU member states & 2.6% of British people are claiming benefits in other EU countries

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