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Oyekoya Calls For Labour Laws Implementation To Tackle Bias Against Nigerians In Wales

He stressed the importance of a dialogue involving stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to address these challenges.

Amidst growing concerns surrounding fair treatment for ethnic minorities in the Welsh workforce, Alfred Oyekoya MBE, Executive Director of BAME Mental Health Support (BMHS), has advocated for the implementation of labour laws to tackle discrimination and unconscious bias faced by Nigerians and other ethnic minorities in Wales.

While Welsh labour laws uphold principles of equality and fairness in employment, challenges persist for the black community, including Nigerians.

In an exclusive interview, Oyekoya emphasized the need for equal employment opportunities, protection from discrimination, and recognition of worker rights. 

BMHS, committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion, actively engages in advocating for policy changes to foster more supportive work environments in Wales.

He pointed out that although labour laws aim to ensure equality and fairness in employment, systemic barriers and unconscious bias can disproportionately affect ethnic minorities, including Nigerians. 

Analyzing data from April 2004 to March 2021, he highlighted that employment rates were highest among individuals from the White ethnic group and the ‘other ethnic group’ category, while the employment rates for individuals from the Black ethnic group were consistently lower.

“The gap has narrowed considerably, but further data on employment disparities, experiences of discrimination, and access to justice are essential for evaluating the impact of Labor Laws on different communities,” Oyekoya said.

He stressed the importance of comprehensive research and dialogue involving stakeholders from diverse backgrounds to address these challenges.

Meanwhile, in a comprehensive assessment of the Welsh government’s initiatives to safeguard the interests of the black community, particularly Nigerians, Oyekoya acknowledged both progress and persistent challenges in the pursuit of equality and inclusion.

While legislative initiatives like the Equality Act and The Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan signify a commitment to addressing systemic issues, he highlighted obstacles such as resource constraints, institutional barriers, and lingering prejudices.

Oyekoya applauded the progress made in raising awareness and fostering dialogues on racial equality but emphasized that substantial disparities still exist in crucial areas like employment, education, and healthcare.

He called for sustained action and collaborative efforts involving the government, community organizations, and stakeholders to drive meaningful change.

“While progress has been made in passing legislation and implementing policies to protect the interests of the black community, including Nigerians, in Wales, challenges persist.

“Collaborative approaches are essential to drive meaningful change and ensure that legislative measures translate into tangible improvements in the lives of black individuals in Wales.” Oyekoya stated.

  Ugo Aliogo

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