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Sunday, 1 April, 2001, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Ethnic minorities - the issues for ethnic groups
Barnie Choudoury on ethnic minorities and politics
The BBC's community affairs reporter Barnie Choudhury explains the issues exercising members of the UK's ethnic minority groups

Race relations

Race relations remains one of the most important electoral issues for minority ethnic communities. The MacPherson report into the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence highlighted the fears that many face in today's Britain. The parties that show they're listening to and will act upon ethnic minority concerns will benefit the most in these elections.

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Equality

When it comes to education voters of all colours have the same expectations from a government. They want to smaller classrooms and make sure their child gets the best schooling possible. Employment is another key issue, and whilst the government might be proud of getting unemployment to under one million, if you are a member of an ethnic minority you are twice as likely to be out of work than a white man or woman.

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Asylum and immigration

Asylum is a sensitive election issue. Many refugee workers fear that parties will play the so-called race-card to attract voters. But the main political parties have promised not to do this. There's little doubt that the face of Britain is changing and this year's census should show how multi-cultural this country has become.

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