The Commission for Racial Equality
(CRE) was a non-departmental public body
In the United Kingdom, a non-departmental public body —often referred to as a quango—is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, Treasury, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive to certain types of public bodies...
in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
which aimed to tackle racial discrimination and promote racial equality. Its work has been merged into the new Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The commission was established by the Race Relations Act 1976
The Race Relations Act 1976 was established by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to prevent discrimination on the grounds of race.Items that are covered include discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic and national origin in the fields of employment, the provision of...
, passed by James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...
's Labour government. The first Chairman of the commission was former Conservative M.P., David Lane
David William Stennis Stuart Lane was a British Conservative Party politician.Lane was educated at Eton College, Trinity College, Cambridge and Yale University. He became a barrister, called to the bar by Middle Temple in 1955. From 1956 to 1959 he was secretary of the British Iron and Steel...
The Race Relations Act applies in England, Wales and Scotland. It does not apply in Northern Ireland, where the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 applies. The CRE's work covers all the areas where people are protected against discrimination under the Race Relations Act.
The mission statement of the Commission was: "We work for a just and integrated society, where diversity is valued. We use persuasion and our powers under the law to give everyone an equal chance to live free from fear of discrimination, prejudice and racism."
The main goals
of the CRE were:
- To encourage greater integration and better relations between people from different ethnic groups.
- To use its legal powers to help eradicate racial discrimination and harassment.
- To work with government and public authorities to promote racial equality in all public services.
- To support local and regional organisations, and employers in all sectors, in their efforts to ensure equality of opportunity and good race relations.
- To raise public awareness of racial discrimination and injustice, and to win support for efforts to create a fairer and more equal society.
The CRE organised the annual RIMA (Race in the Media) awards. In 2005 the Media Personality of the Year award was won by footballer Thierry Henry
Thierry Daniel Henry is a French professional footballer who plays for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.Henry was born in Les Ulis, Essonne where he played for an array of local sides as a youngster and showed great promise as a goal-scorer. He was spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and...
. The 2006 RIMA awards ceremony were held on 14 June at the Royal Opera House, London.
In 2006 the CRE launched a new free bimonthly publication on race issues, Catalyst Magazine
CATALYST Magazine is a free alternative monthly tabloid-paged magazine published in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was founded in 1982 by Greta Belanger deJong, Victoria Fugit, Lezlee Spilsbury, Don Ashton and Lucy Powell....
. The magazine aims "to kickstart debates, discussions, new ideas and arguments - about where we are now, and where we might be going in the future."
- In October 2004 the Commission was to be merged into a new single Great Britain equalities body, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). However, the CRE proposed a new non-governmental public body to work alongside the CEHR to guide, advise and mediate on community relations, civic engagement and citizenship.
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...
. On September 22nd 2005, in the aftermath of the July bombings in London, Trevor Phillips gave a speech, "Sleepwalking to Segregation", warning that the UK was in danger of becoming a segregated nation.
- National identity cards
The Identity Cards Act 2006 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It provided for National Identity Cards, a personal identification document and European Union travel document, linked to a database known as the National Identity Register .The introduction of the scheme was much...
. In their January 2005 report, the CRE raised concerns over the potential effects of the Identity Cards Bill on ethnic minority and vulnerable groups in society.
See also :Category:Commissioners for Racial Equality
The CRE was run by up to 15 commissioners (including the chair), who were appointed by the Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...
Commissioners as of January 2007
- Khurshid Ahmed
- Mohammed Aziz
- Sir Colin Budd
- Julia Chain
- Dilwar Hussain
Dilwar Hussain graduated from King’s College London, University of London in 1993. He is Head of the Policy Research Centre, based at the Islamic Foundation, Leicestershire. He has taught Islam in the west, Islam in Europe, and Muslims in Britain at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and has...
- Sir Dexter Hutt
- Sir Digby Jones
Digby Marritt Jones, Baron Jones of Birmingham, Kt is a British businessman and politician, who has served as Director General of the CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment...
- Gloria Mills
- Cherry Short
- Yaseer Ahmed
- Jane Codona
- Reverend Aled Edwards
Aled Edwards is a Canadian structural biologist. He is also the Director and CEO of the international Structural Genomics Consortium and is Banbury Professor at the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, the University of Toronto, Canada. Edwards has been a leader in the field of...
- Uzo Iwobi
When it was first established, there was a lot of judicial and governmental unrest about the scope of the Commission's investigatory powers. In one particular case, Lord Denning MR went so far as to compare the use by the CRE of its investigative powers to "the days of the inquisition". Subsequent House of Lords decisions made clear that the Commission had no power to launch investigations into employers' affairs where there had been no allegation of discrimination.
There has been some controversy surrounding what has been perceived by many to be the CRE's unequal handling of cases of discrimination.