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Windrush Day

On 22 June 2024, we mark 76 years of the Windrush Generation, and we will see the Windrush flag being raised across the UK on this day.   


The term “Windrush Generation” refers to the immigrants from Caribbean countries who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971. They were named after the HMT Empire Windrush, a ship that brought one of the first groups of Caribbean immigrants to the UK in 1948. These individuals were invited to fill labour shortages in the post-war economy, contributing significantly to various sectors, including the NHS, public transport, and construction.  

Unfortunately, the day also reminds us of one of the worst Immigration scandals of the last century.  

In the early 2010s, the UK government introduced the “hostile environment” immigration policy aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. This policy required individuals to prove their right to live and work in the UK, impacting those without proper documentation. The Windrush Generation, despite their legal right to remain, were disproportionately affected. Many were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, and denied access to healthcare, housing, and employment. The UK government issued a formal apology and established the Windrush Compensation Scheme in April 2019 to compensate those affected. We can only hope that the government has learnt a lesson from this.  

The consensus is that more steps need to be taken to mitigate the impact on the Windrush Generation and their families as the Compensation Scheme, has not provided sufficient relief from the fallout of the scandal.    

The Windrush scandal serves as a sobering reminder of the potential human cost of stringent immigration policies. By learning from the past and advocating for more compassionate and just immigration practices, we can work towards an inclusive society where every individual’s rights are respected.  




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