Catholic bishops in the UK call for urgent plan to take on racial inequity

“The government needs urgently to tackle the known structural inequalities…”

We need a comprehensive Action Plan, which clearly states how things will be done, where and when.

a). In the short term, we must support Black and Minority Ethnic people who are in
situations that make them particularly vulnerable.
b). Longer term, we must act to improve the fundamental inequality experienced by
many in our Black and Minority Ethnic communities: income, education, housing,
employment, etc must be prioritised.
We would like to see an Action Plan with structures and strategies that are timed and
fully funded with qualified personnel. 

La Croix, 23 May 2020

Catholic bishops in the United Kingdom are concerned that people from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic backgrounds are much more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people.  The Office for National Statistics said  black males in England and Wales are 4.2 times more likely to die from coronavirus than white male.  

“We all have a responsibility to address the longstanding questions of racial inequality in our society that have been brought to the fore by this crisis,” said Bishop Paul McAleenan, President of the Office for Migration Policy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales following a letter written by the Catholic Association for Racial Justice highlighting the complex issues surrounding inequality and COVID-19.

According to the Catholic Association for Racial Justice, the factors that affect the ethnic minorities include poverty, employment and housing conditions among others.

The association is calling for the creation of an action plan to ensure the provision of support for such communities by combating the causes of inequality.

A recent survey carried out by the Office of National Statistics revealed a significant disproportion in the number of deaths due to coronavirus among ethnic minorities when compared to their number in the total population of the United Kingdom.

The Office for National Statistics said black males in England and Wales are 4.2 times more likely to die from coronavirus than white males.

Black females are also 4.3 times more likely than their white counterparts.

Other ethnic groups also face a disproportionately high risk of death.

The UK government has launched an official inquiry to investigate this.

Bishop McAleenan welcomed the news of the inquiry but noted that an inquiry alone is not enough.

“The government needs urgently to tackle the known structural inequalities that have left some communities paying such a high price,” he said.

Separate surveys have shown that approximately 68% of all National Health Service and social care staff that died from COVID-19 are from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

**

COVID-19 has brought to the fore longstanding questions of racial inequality, says Bishop

CBCEW » Our Work » Department » Social Justice » Health and Social Care » Coronavirus » » COVID-19 has brought to the fore lo…

Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Racial Justice, has welcomed a letter written by CARJ – the Catholic Association for Racial Justice – highlighting the complex issues surrounding inequality and COVID-19.

CARJ argues that a Multi-Faceted Action Plan is required to bring about genuine change.

“I welcome the Catholic Association for Racial Justice’s very important reflection on how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately harmed Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

“We all have a responsibility to address the longstanding questions of racial inequality in our society that have been brought to the fore by this crisis.

“I sincerely hope that our government and politicians will take account of CARJ’s call for a comprehensive action plan in pursuit of justice for those who have made such a tremendous contribution and paid such a high price.”

A recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) made it clear that people from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are much more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people.

The Government has opened an Inquiry into this matter and the Labour Party has initiated a Review under Baroness Doreen Lawrence. CARJ will be feeding into the Government Inquiry and the Labour Party Review.

CARJ Letter

Read the full text of CARJ’s letters to its supporters and wider society.

Related

On 7 May Bishop Paul McAleenan calls on Government to tackle disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities.

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Click to access CARJ-COVID-19-BAME-Letter.pdf

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