The chief of a leading NGO in the UK has said that the upcoming general elections in the UK are an opportunity for the media and political leaders to transform the debate on immigrants and immigration. This view was expressed by the director of the Migrants’ Right Network Fizza Qureshi. The NGO works on issues concerned with immigrants and immigration. It has been keeping a track of xenophobic street harassment and racial incidents through a voluntarily created initiative I Street Watch.
Meanwhile, concerns regarding the treatment of immigrants, ethnic minorities and asylum seekers across the UK from diverse communities have increased.
Fizza Qureshi also added that when a network of businesses that employ a significant number of immigrants was mapped, it revealed that this included a quite significant number of Pakistani and Indian restaurants. It also adds to the tension when the approach of focusing on certain communities is adopted.
The Director of the NGO also explained that the approach to immigration must be rights-based. This will make it a transparent and fairer process rather than being based on constantly changing ad-hoc policies and subjective approach.
The discussion around immigrants must go beyond the conventional talk of the economic contribution of immigrants and it must be a more positive conversation. The media and the candidates contesting the elections will be encouraged to be fairer and non-divisive regarding their talk on immigrants, said Qureshi.
In response to the coverage in media on the issues of race and immigration, several public initiatives have been started. This includes an initiative that focuses on promoting advertisers to refrain from publications such as the Daily Express, the Daily mail, and the Sun, known as the ‘Stop Funding Hate’, quotes The Hindu.
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