Uni Network has been set up in a period of intensive public policy development on Third Sector issues generally and equalities and community cohesion in particular.
In spite of the government’s efforts to achieve equal opportunities for all, ongoing disparities remain for BME people in terms of health, housing, education, employment, wages and skills. Uni Network recognises that to address these inequalities, government policy making requires a strong and informed input from the BME organisations, men and women.
Uni Network aims to to influence government policies at regional and local levels, and also at the national level in collaboration with other regional and national networks, to achieve improved outcomes for BME communities.
Uni Network’s policy work will inform frontline organisations in South East England on upcoming government policies that may affect BME communities and the BME Third Sector. We will do this by regular consultation updates and briefings on specific policy subjects that fall within our priorities.
Uni Network, on behalf of its members, will shape government policies by responding to consultations. Uni Network recognises that representation of the BME Third Sector organisations on various policy platforms is essential to influence policy.
Uni Network believes that better policy making will result in better outcomes for BME communities and in overall positive community relations.
For more information on Uni Network’s policy work, contact Siddo Deva, Project Manager, StepUp Project.
Government strategy to tackle race inequalities
This publication sets out a series of questions on the Government’s future approach to addressing race equalities. DCLG will be publishing its planned future approach to achieving race equality later in the year. The Government’s progress report on Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society, its strategy to increase race equality and improve community cohesion, which was launched in January 2005. Download Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Uni Network Submission to CLG Tackling Race Inequalities Consultation.
Poverty and destitution among BME failed asylum seekers
Underground Lives, a report by Pafras (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) warns that hundreds of thousands of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) failed asylum seekers are living in extreme poverty in the UK, with no housing or financial support, and no right to work. Pafras argues that the Government is using a 'policy of destitution' to force asylum seekers out of the country.
Ending Violence Against Women and Children
On 9 March the Home Secretary launched a public debate on keeping women and girls safe from harm. The consultation on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls is designed to prompt discussion on how to prevent this violence from occurring, to provide for those who are victims, and to protect victims and the wider public from future harm. The consultation paper can be downloaded here.
Challenging employer discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity
An article in The Observer on 6 September 2009 by Iqbal Wahhab, chair of the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group, on the Government's unwillingness to find new ways to eradicate the employment rate disparity for people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
The exploitation of foreign workers
An article in The Observer on 15 March 2009 has once again raised the issue of the mistreatment and exploitation of BME workers, many of whom are foreign born, in the hands of unscrupulous gangmasters in England. Despite a steady increase in the number of reports of the issues faced by migrant workers in the country, there has been an increase in the illegal activities of gangmasters. Paul Whitehouse, chair of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), believes that this escalating problem should be addressed with more concerted intelligence gathering and the coordination of a campaign with other Government departments. Uni Network is concerned with the number of industries that fall outside of the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), and with the expansion of gangmasters in a number of new industries (construction, healthcare, and catering). Uni Network is calling for the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act to cover new industries and to be enforced properly
Established in 1998, the Compact is an agreement between Government and the voluntary and community sector in England. It recognises shared values, principles and commitments and sets out guidelines for how both parties should work together. The National Compact can be accessed here: GFSR
Details of Compacts in local areas in South East England can be found here: http://www.thecompact.org.uk/information/100024/100195/south_east/
Uni Network's response to the draft South East England Regional Compact, download a copy here.
Cohesion Guidance for Funders Consultation
Uni was among the 98 respondents to the Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) Consultation on Cohesion Guidance for Funders. DCLG's summary of the response can be found here: 1096594.
DCLG have concluded that guidelines from central government are not the way forward, and are looking to local authorities to show a measured approach.. DCLG will shortly be saying more "about ways local areas can take positive steps to promote meaningful interaction in guidance shortly."
Uni is a regional black minority ethnic (BME) network representing the geographical areas in the South East. Uni means 19 in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi. Uni was formed after the 19 ChangeUp Additional Support Programme [ASP] project leads came together. The ASP & ChangeUp were a joint Government and Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) initiative, based on a ten year vision from 2004, to increase the support offered to Voluntary and Community Organisations (VCOs) to build their infrastructure.
Find out more about what the Uni Network does