Prevent Watch

Statement from United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism and Counter-Terrorism

United Nations Counter-Extremism

This United Nations End of Mission Statement from Tendayi Achiume, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, documents the growing concern at the level of the UN about the potential for racial and religious abuse within the UK Prevent counter-terrorism strategy.

At the conclusion of her mission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Special Rapporteur recommended that the UK:

  • include representatives of racial and ethnic minority communities in formal decision-making, review, and oversight processes intended to eliminate unlawful racial disparities;
  • suspend the Prevent duty and implement a comprehensive audit of its impact on racial equality and on the political, social, and economic exclusion of racial and ethnic minorities, especially Muslim communities;
  • make this audit public.

She also documented that:

  • mainstream political responses have played a large role in amplifying and legitimating anti-Muslim panic;
  • concerns with Prevent, which include the lack of clear, workable definitions of “extremism” and “British values” and the horrific consequences this lack of clarity entails in the widespread enforcement of Prevent;
  • the UK government had not responded to the findings of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association from his mission to the UK in his report in 2016 (see UN report on Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism) in which he stated that Prevent is “inherently flawed”;
  • there has been no evidence that Prevent actually prevents extremism, or that the causal link between extremism and terrorism is empirically sound;
  • no government review of, or findings regarding, the human rights impact of Prevent has been made public;
  • the expansion of a flawed program to cover more groups is by no means curative.

You can read the full End of Mission statement HERE.

Related Resources

Photo by Jonathan Ansel Moy de Vitry on Unsplash.

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