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Case study: My life as a Yemeni in the UK

As part of the Yemeni community living in South Shields, Leyla Al-Sayadi explains the history behind her ancestors’ move to Britain and how equality legislation has allowed her to freely practise her faith in her place of work.

From the religious point of view, the kind of anti-discrimination element of that Equality Act has allowed me to be able to pray freely in a place of work.

Race Relations in the UK: Key Dates

Race Relations Act 1965
The 1965 Act made it illegal to ban persons from certain public places such as swimming pools and hotels on the basis of their skin colour.

Race Relations Act 1968
The Act extended the scope of the legislation to housing and employment and established a Community Relations Commission.

Race Relations Act 1976
The 1976 Act replaced the two earlier Acts, and replaced the Race Relations Board and the Community Relations Commission with the Commission for Racial Equality. This was to oversee the enforcement of the law, working towards the elimination of discrimination and promoting good race relations in society.

The Scarman Report (1981)
The Scarman report examined the urban unrest in Brixton, an area in south London, in 1981. It highlighted persistent racial disadvantage, inner-city decline and mistrust in the police and argued for a more racially diverse police force.

The Macpherson report (1999)
The Macpherson report on the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence found that the Metropolitan Police had incompetently handled the murder investigation and was ‘institutionally racist’.

The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
This outlawed racial discrimination in all public authority functions and introduced a statutory duty for public authorities to promote race equality. It also made chief police officers liable for acts of racial discrimination by their staff.

The Parekh report (2000)
The Parekh report set out a coherent vision for a multicultural Britain based on unity, diversity and equality, but was badly received by the media.

The Cantle report (2001)
The Cantle report into the disturbances in Northern towns in 2001 argued for a shift in focus from multicultural policies to community cohesion.

The Equality Act 2010
The Act consolidated and replaced existing anti-discrimination legislation, including the earlier race relations legislation. It outlaws discrimination on the grounds of nine ‘protected characteristics’, one of which is race.

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