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Bishop urges clergy to fight for justice for the Windrush generation

by Kelly Valencia

Church leaders are being urged to take a leading role in advocating for justice for the Windrush generation as Saturday marks the sixth year anniversary since the Windrush Scandal emerged.

This scandal unfolded in 2018 when it was revealed that the government had failed to accurately document the immigration status of many individuals, resulting in thousands of British citizens being wrongly classified as illegal residents in the UK.

Although the government has apologised for its part in the scandal and has pledged to compensate those affected, Bishop Dr. Desmond Jaddoo, who chairs the Birmingham-based Windrush National Organisation told Premier Christian News that “there's a lot of work that still needs to be done”.

“We've still got people on the radar who are not coming forward for their documentation. Because remember, this scandal is about documentation, ultimately, and then people who were unable to demonstrate their lawful status suffered losses. There's a lot of emphasis in compensation, but we need to reach the people who came here as children. And we need to reach the youngsters who were born after 1983 and can’t obtain a British passport despite being born in the UK, because of issues surrounding their parents status.”

Just over £80m had been paid out across 2,233 claims by the end of January this year, according to Home Office data.

According to data from the Home Office, just over £80 million has been paid out in compensation to 2,233 claimants by January of this year. However, critics argue that the government's Windrush compensation scheme has fallen short of expectations, labelling it a failure five years after its launch.

For Bishop Desmond, Christians should play a vital role in advocating for justice emphasising the importance of unity and collective action and drawing parallels to the unity demonstrated by the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

He added: “Remember, our Christian faith is what binds us together with the Windrush generation, because back home, church was the centre of community, particularly in the Caribbean, and parts of Africa for that matter… And what we now need to do is to start using our faith and the godliness in us to bind us together. So that then we create a unified voice for change, because we need to have change, we can't be, we can't be under same conversations.”

A candlelight vigil was held at Brixton’s Windrush Square on Saturday, where church leaders and attendees gathered to pray and light candles in solidarity with the cause.



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