Council for Ethnic Minority







The Council for Ethnic Minority [CEM] is a voluntary organisation based in London but its services to professional, non-professional and other victims are extended throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. The CEM provides confidential advice for a collective fight against all forms of discrimination in the Higher Education & other sectors.


During the last decade or so discrimination has become endemic in the Higher Education Sector and has severely threatened the tolerance, diversity and employment at places of learning. The statistics of discrimnation claims made in the Employment Tribunals and within  Institutions is  increasing at an alarming rate.   Most employers rather  than recognising problems and initiating positive actions to eliminate discrimination in the work place are busy employing punishment tactics, as Professor Noam Chomsky of MIT puts it very eloquently, "We are your masters and you shine our shoes.  Any weaker enemy has to be crushed so that the right lessons are taught" [see, Guardian Weekly 1991].  John Carter, Steve Fenton & Tariq Moddod carried out a study funded by the CRE, AUT, NATFHE, CUCO, CVCP, HEFCE & SHEFC and others, whihc shows widespread institutionalised racsim within the Higher Education Sector, see: Ethnicity & Employment in Higher Education 1999.  Unfortunately, the findings of that study have long been forgotten like Sir William McPherson’s Report on the Steve Lawrence Enquiry, it has become bedside reading for racist employers and a public relations exercise for the trade unions without the proper groundwork being done on ‘shop floor’


Unfrotunately, the tribunal system which was supposed to allow the individual the opportunity to represent him or herself, or have their union represent him or her to resolve employment difficulties in a rather informal setting, and at little or no costs has now turned out to be a battleground where the individual is faced with the employers pitching huge legal teams, including QCs who often intimidate  poorly qualified Chairmen's of the Tribunals or who came through the backdoor at the blessings of their political Masters or Lord Chancellor's fund raising campaign or under cash for hounour schemes.  The employment legislation actually calls for an “equality of arms” between parties but with employers spending literally hundreds of thousands in legal fees to defend the action and quite minor awards given to successful applicants – the “scales of justice” are very heavily tilted against complainants seeking justice and especially claimants representing themselves in the absence of legal aid.


The Commission on Racial Equality [CRE] not only has very limited funds but is also teethless due to political appointments of Tony's cronies for shining shoes. The academic unions have a poor history of representation or committing funds or paying for representation for its members. In fact,  despite overwhelming evidence and  findings of racial discrimination & vicmtrisatin against a number of universities CRE has not ordered any investigation against them. Rather CRE has denied legal representation to a number of victims particularly from India and Indian subcontinent under the pretext of changes in its priorities.  No wonder  an Asian woman, Raj Naido [a senior complaint Officer of CRE] brought a claim against the CRE and found it guilty of discrimination by a Central London Employment Tribunal. A number of complaints of Asian professionals are still pending against the CRE and  Labour Party cronies.  Obviously, CRE, REC, Law Centers and Unions have become talking shops and a den for  complacency and incompetence under New Labour.  They do nothing except preserving their own existence and organise tea parties for public relations exercise. 


Our objective is to guide victims and become an alternative forum for achieving objectives where the CRE and the Unions have failed.  Advice is offered  regarding harassment, victimization by employers, breach of the CRE Code of Practice under the Race Amendment Act 1976 [as amended]. 


If you feel the CRE and Unions have failed you and need last minute victim support and alternative advice, contact us  before you decide to withdraw your claims.  If we cannot help you we will tell you right away or recommend you  an experienced legal team.


Since the establishment of CEM we have invitrd a number of people from abroad to give seminars and for reoresenting the victims in the tribunals.  Mr. Prem Kishan Sharma, a leading Civil Right Lawyers of Supreme Court & Director of Barefoot Lawyers Training Institute in India, Professor S Rathore have agreed to provide advice and representation  on a ProBono basis.  The purpose of these invited lectures and workshops is to develop a Socio-Legal Strategy for the Millennium to equip grassroots voluntary social workers with basic legal knowledge of practical value and at the same time to develop trust and confidence through their commitment, dedication and orientation towards people's empowerment. We have assigned this responsibility to Dr. S. Deman, who was one of the founders  & Chair of the CEM.  To realize such a strategy we have to shift the emphasis from the Ivory Tower & Fat Cat Legal Framework to a real world approach to reflect expectations of the society at large and the Employment Tribunals in particulars to realise the principle of  an ‘equality of arms’ in the administration of justice.


Perhaps you can appreciate very well that such a frame work  necessarily has to be completely free from any kind of power play, whether of any agency or Government authority and for such a vocational organisation to survive it is vital to engage those who helped in creating them. Therefore, to eliminate dependency we have decided only to approach our well-wishers, both individual and institutions for financial assistance. We have already organized five such training programmes where we have had interactions with 120 participants from different organizations and different part of the world. 


Further we have taken numerous cases in the Employment Tribunals, Employment Appeal Tribunals and also in the Court of Appeal at various stages. Our success has been above the average success rate in the Tribunals and much higher than the success rates of the CRE, REC and Law Centres.  CEMs programmes have been highly successful and the participants found them very enlightening, encouraging and innovative. The programmes are  exercises for self-development and activation of thinking process. We are enclosing the concept note as well and  the list of our Advisory Board  with this appeal.  


We appeal to you to advance your time and support according to your skills, ability and convenience. It would be greatly strengthen our efforts and facilitate programme organization and free representation to the needy.


Cheques of any amount may be remitted in the name of ‘Council for Ethnic Minority’


With regards,


C Kumar  & Mrs S. Mahadevan