On the 16th of November, Keep The Faith® magazine and our parent company (Diverse Media Group Ltd) submitted a response to the Windrush Compensation Scheme consultation, undertaken by the Home Office.
As a Black-focused faith publisher and descendants of the Windrush generation, we wanted to ensure we used our platform to be a voice for the community.
In general, we agreed with the need for a compensation scheme. We think the compensation scheme will have a positive impact on the lives of those affected.
We identified some design elements of the compensation scheme where we think changes can be made. In our submission, we recommended that:
- The application process should be fair and simple. There should be no barriers preventing those with a rightful claim from applying. The scheme design should consider the community affected. This includes providing independent support during the application process.
- The compensation scheme should consider broader financial costs and some non-financial losses. We argued there are some fees and costs which have been excluded from compensation but reflect real losses of a reasonable person acting fairly and in good faith to confirm their immigration status. Examples include passport application fees and seeking adviser from immigration lawyers and advisers.
- The Home Office should consider funding community and faith organisations as support services. We presented some research which showed the importance of the Black church in providing emotional support for the community. Providing the service through Black churches and Black-led community groups is more likely to positively resonate with community affected by the hostile immigration environment. We also suggest individual support services should remain available for anyone who wants to use them.
- There needs to be compensation for victims who have passed away. There should be compensation to families provided for loss of life. Especially if the loss of life was the result of preventable or treatable medical conditions, where the treatment was hindered while trying to prove legal immigration status. An estimated 11 individuals have passed away while deported under the recent immigration policies. The true death toll may be higher, especially when considering domestic victims too.
- We can help. We offered our platform as a channel to help reach the UK’s Black-focused faith community. We urged the Panel to ensure that any recommendations and design consideration for the Windrush compensation scheme is in the long-term interests of the Windrush Generation and rights the wrongs of the individuals affected
Post by: Dr. Daniel J. Tulloch, Director
You can read our response here.
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