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Volume 685: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will introduce further practical measures to reduce the incidence of racism in Britain. [HL7409]

Activity to combat racism takes a number of forms, including actions against discrimination and racist crime and positive efforts to improve community cohesion.

The discrimination law review, which is currently under way, will address long-held concerns about inconsistencies in the current anti-discrimination legislative framework, including the Race Relations Act 1976, which deals with discrimination on the ground of race. It is also considering opportunities for creating a clearer and more streamlined legislative framework having due regard to better regulation principles, which will be more “user-friendly” for employers and employees, as well as the providers and consumers of services. We will also consider the report of Trevor Phillips’s equalities review, which is examining the underlying causes of inequality, which we expect to be published early next year. In addition to tackling racial discrimination, the Government are funding projects that are working with people from different communities to overcome racist attitudes and violence.

As we outline in our first annual progress report on our race equality and community cohesion strategy Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society, we are also working to ensure that hate crime (whether race, faith or homophobic) is tackled more effectively. We are improving the local response to hate crime; increasing victims’ confidence in the criminal justice system; increasing the proportion of crimes that are brought to justice; and improving the evidence base on hate crime so that action can be taken against perpetrators.