Our work on hate crime has caught some attention.
We are honoured to be invited by the Crown Prosecution Service to contribute an article to each of their last two issues of newsletter.
Our work involving the CPS since the arrival of Covid includes two CPS-led webinars on hate crime tailored for the needs of the Chinese, East and Southeast Asian communities in the UK.
The articles can be accessed here:
(special issue on National Hate Crime Awareness Week, October 2020)
We are pleased to announce that free counselling sessions will be available to Chinese, East and Southeast Asian victims who are residents in the Greater London area.
This forms part of the resources available through the national project on "Confronting Covid-related Hate". We are grateful to the London Community Response Fund who has enabled us to offer this valuable service to benefit our community members.
The Chinese Community Health and Wellbeing Service will provide bilingual counsellors (Chinese and English) who are qualified clinical practitioners. The service is free of charge and provided in strict confidence. During lockdown all counselling sessions will be provided remotely via phone or video conferencing apps.
Please get in touch by calling 07464890902 and leave a message. A counsellor will return your call to make a booking.
Following our successful partnership with CARG (Covid-19 Anti-racism Group) in hosting the first CPS-led webinar in September, we are bringing the second webinar to the Chinese community on 9 December 2020.
In this webinar, the CPS will focus on the legal framework for Hate Crime in England and Wales and the role of the CPS. The presentation will cover all aspects of the law including: key definitions, who the law applies to, specific offences, what offences look like in practice and how hate crime sentence uplifts work. Examples from CPS casework will be used to illustrate how the law works.
Please register by sending an email to [email protected], clearly stating the name of participant and capacity (position & name of organisation/ private citizen). We will respond with a webinar link two days before the event.
The contents of this webinar is required knowledge for anyone seeking to advise victims of hate crime, and for those who are trying to design services for communities to enable them to better tackle Covid-related hate.
If you have an interest in understanding how the criminal justice system delivers in terms of hate crime investigation and sentencing, this webinar is for you.
Our new national project "Confronting Covid-related Hate: Standing with Britain's Chinese, East and Southeast Asian Communities was formally launch in England on 7 December.
This project has been made possible by funding from the National Lottery and the London Community Response Fund. We are working in partnership with charities Protection Approaches and Newham Chinese Association to provide free training to 21 community centres across England to urgently upskill their staff and volunteers on raising awareness on Covid-related hate incidents/crime and supporting victims and witnesses. At the end of the six-month project, we will hold a national conference to share best practice and discuss next steps.
This is the first time that 21 British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian community centres have combined forces to tackle a a common subject in such a robust way. We are pleased to have successfully initiated and built a virtual network that has brought together 9 London-based community organisations and 12 organisations from the rest of England to address the issue of hate crime that has affected our community for many decades. More work will be undertaken to expand the network in Spring 2021.
More information can be found in this link:
On Tuesday 13 October afternoon Parliament will hold a debate titled “Chinese and East Asian communities' experiences of racism during the covid-19 pandemic”. Our Lottery-funded hate crime project partner Protection Approaches has pulled together a briefing for Parliamentarians ahead of the debate including a number of recommendations on how government could support Chinese and East Asian communities to tackle hate crime and prejudice. A number of organisations including CWT made contributions to the drafting of the briefing.
A copy of the briefing can be accessed here.
Join us on Thursday 15th October 2020 to discuss the Chinese and East Asian communities' experiences of racism during the covid-19 pandemic and how we can all stand together to confront COVID-related hate.
This event is organised in support of the National Hate Crime Awareness Week 2020.
Together with our partners in Protection Approaches and Newham Chinese Association, we will also be introducing our England-wide hate crime project 'Confronting COVID-related hate', funded by the National Lottery.
- Hau Yu Tam - Core team member, End the Virus of Racism Campaign
- Abdul Haque - Crime Prevention, Inclusion and Engagement, New Scotland Yard
- Mei Sim Lai OBE - Chair of Chinese Welfare Trust
- Andy Fearn - Co-Executive Director, Protection Approaches
We will also be joined by the Mayor of Brent, Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi, and HM Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE.
This is an online event not to be missed. You’ll have the chance to hear from expert speakers, ask questions you have, and share your experiences or ideas.
For more information and to book your free place, please visit:
On 14 September 2020, CWT brought together the Crown Prosecution Service and CARG (Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group) to deliver a webinar on understanding hate crime and the role of the CPS in delivering justice. It was the first of its kind organised for the British Chinese and Southeast Asian communities, in response to the increase in hate crime reported to the police by people of Chinese appearance being racially abused and treated as scapegoats for the Covid-19 crisis.
The CPS-led webinar attracted the participation of more than 50 people from community organisations across England, as well as individual concerned citizens.
The delegates were fortunate to be joined by two leading figures from the CPS National Policy and National Legal teams during the 2-hour long webinar. They presented the work of the CPS and engaged in a lively discussion with enthusiastic participants. Opinions and experiences were freely shared.
Several ideas emerged during the discussion:
- The recording systems used by the police and the CPS need to be revamped in order to better capture data on the ethnic background of hate crime victims and track if a certain ethnic group is being targeted
- Police forces around the country need to address how to improve the way they record hate crime. Failure to do so will mean racially-aggravated hate incidents or crime on individuals/businesses will never come to the attention of the CPS who is responsible for applying the law on the prosecution of perpetrators.
- There appears to be the need for Chinese and SE Asian communities to organise better among ourselves to support victims of hate crime and encourage reporting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected the British Chinese and Southeast Asian communities to unprecedented levels of prejudice and hate. The onus is on our communities to come together, push back injustice and initiate positive change to improve the system for all concerned.
Chinese Welfare Trust would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for assisting with the delivery of the webinar, which was co-organised with CARG.
To combat the spike in hate incidents and negative social effects of racism arising from Covid-19 against British Chinese and South East Asian communities, we have teamed up with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to host a hate crime awareness webinar for members of our community. We are co-organising this event with CARG (Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group), who have been very outspoken on media portrayal of Southeast Asian looking people in relation to the reporting of the new coronavirus outbreak.
The CPS-led webinar is going to take place on Monday 14 September at 2pm.
The CPS will introduce their work, nationally and locally, to raise awareness of what hate crime is and to improve the confidence to report, in order to reduce the levels of hate crime occurring. The CPS promotes positive outcomes as a means of encouraging victims to report and in an effort to discourage offenders. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session, and will last for about 1.5 hours.
Please register by sending an email to [email protected], clearly stating the name(s) of participant(s), additional email address(es) if any, and capacity (private/position & name of organisation), and we will respond with a webinar link.
This is part of a larger hate crime awareness and reporting project involving two other partner organisations, which we have recently secured funding from the National Lottery.
This level of hate and discrimination is unchartered territory for Chinese and South East Asian people living in the UK, and it is high time we come together and do something about it.
Please help spread the word to your network and encourage your friends and associates who care about our community to sign up.
Following from the first press release of the Covid19 Anti-Racism Group (CARG) in April, they have just made public their second press statement and intensified their call against racist hate crime by starting an online petition.
Please sign the petition to show your support.
The May 2020 press statement is quoted as follows.
Petition against racism arising from Covid-19. Say no to racism.
Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group (CARG) has started a petition, echoing a similar petition from Australia, to address the increase in racism and hate crime towards British East Asians (Chinese, East and Southeast) arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The petition is addressed to our Prime Minister asking for a clear declaration that the British Government deplores racism and hate crime arising from Covid-19 against British East Asian people and international students in our country.
In the first 3 months of 2020, there were at least 267 offences against Chinese, East and Southeast Asians people compared with 375 hate crimes in the whole of 2019 and 360 in 2018. Besides these numbers recorded by the police and some incidences highlighted in the press, many go unreported, as racist incidences and hate crime against people of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian heritage in the UK continue to rise.
The impact of racism and hate crime goes beyond the victims, as a climate of fear is generated. The following are comments from people when they registered on the CARG website:
“Not only the world has turned upside down with Covid-19 but as a British Chinese citizen I’m also living in fear for my children and me because of the rising hate crimes …”.
“You would think we would live in a much more tolerant society in the year 2020. I'm very worried about my future, as a British Chinese living in the UK.”
In recent weeks, various media outlets have begun to report on and deplore racism arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as highlighted the contribution made by British East Asians fighting against Covid-19, from frontline services to volunteers providing PPE and food. There are also examples of support from the wider British public. A notable example was the immediate support from residents, councillors, police and social media when a Chinese takeaway had racist slogans sprayed on its frontage. The local primary school also painted a rainbow with the words ‘Love is Stronger than Hate’ to replace the racist slogans.
There are however still many challenges to overcome. A study by Professor Binna Kandola, a visiting Professor at Leeds University and Aston University, surveyed 412 people of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian origins since the outbreak5. The findings are shocking as ‘over a third of people of Chinese heritage had experienced anti-Chinese racism in public places’. Professor Binna warns that incidences and hate crimes are likely to escalate when the coronavirus lockdown lifts.
Globally, Covid-19 related racism is on the rise, not only against people of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian heritage. There have been reports of racist incidences against Africans in China and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently announced that the Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed “a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering …. online and in the streets, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have spread, and Covid-19-related anti-Muslim attacks have occurred”.
We therefore continue to urge the press, media, public figures and our political leaders to emphasise solidarity, courage and mutual support across all communities, rather than feed hostility, division and racism. It is right that the origins of Covid-19 and its transmission should be thoroughly researched by scientists. There is however a big difference between critical analysis for learning lessons and weaponising Covid-19 for political gain.
Please visit CARG's website for the full press statement with a list of co-signees.
Since the start of the current public health crisis, stock images of East Asian people wearing face masks in public have been shown repeatedly on television news when reporting the spread of the new coronavirus. In other forms of mass media, descriptions that carry racial overtones have contributed to the negative perception of people of Chinese and East Asian descent and their cultural habits. Malicious attacks on individuals and businesses have been occasionally reported, not to mention incidents of lower level discrimination and verbal abuse experience by some that have not made it to the news.
In an encouraging development, a cross-party national group (CARG) was recently formed to counter media coverage around Covid-19 that fuels racism.
Our trustee Dr Yeow Poon has been coordinating efforts in raising awareness on this issue and initiating change.
The following is a press release put out by CARG, quoted here in full. For a copy with the names of co-signees, please click here.
COVID-19 ANTI-RACISM GROUP
PRESS RELEASE 6 April 2020
Over the last few months, there has been an alarming rise in racism and racial attacks (verbal and physical) throughout the UK again st British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian communities, including numerous international students. While many have stood up against the perpetrators, it is distressing to see the upsurge in racism and hate crime arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The situation has been inflamed by media misrepresentation and the frequent use of images of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian people in masks, whenever Covid-19 was depicted in the press, television and other media. While Covid-19 has become a global pandemic, the media, including the British media, have continued to use images of East Asian people, even when the story is unrelated to China, for example, UK panic-buying or British airlines calling for tax suspension (Evening Standard, 26th March).
The media has racialised Covid-19, creating a climate of fear, anger and hatred towards British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian communities. For example, Alison Pearson from The Telegraph tweeted on 14th March 2020: “Is China starting to make reparation for infecting the whole world?” On 29th March, The Sun and Mail on Sunday also demonised China, as did Michael Gove during the Covid-19 daily briefing (Independent), to deflect criticism from the UK government’s failure to prepare properly for the pandemic. The insistence by the BBC’s Chris Mason in calling Covid-19 ‘a Chinese virus’ (Radio 4 Any Questions, 3rd April) is contrary to WHO guidelines not to racialise disease.
The increase in Sinophobia, particularly on social media and fuelled by irresponsible press coverage, has translated into racist attacks on British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian people and racist attitudes that have decimated Chinatown businesses throughout the UK since January. Covid-19 does not discriminate on ethnicity. The risk of transmission affects all of us equally, hence we should be supporting and helping each other to contain and defeat the virus. There are many examples of inter-governmental cooperation between Asia and Europe, as well as British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian organisations fundraising to support those on the frontline in the UK and in Asia.
Many British Chinese, East and Southeast Asians work in the NHS and social care sector as doctors, nurses, carers and other frontline staff. Many others have become NHS volunteers or joined neighbourhood support groups to shop for the elderly and other vulnerable people. Many also continue to experience racist abuse while working on the frontline.
The media needs to focus on the roles played by migrant and minority communities in the fight against Covid-19, rather than scapegoating one ethnicity. Diverse communities make up the UK’s essential workforce, carers and volunteers, as they take on life-risking
work in this time of crisis. We urge the media to emphasise solidarity, courage and mutual support across all communities, rather than feed hostility, division and racism.