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Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black and minority ethnic groups

Dec 2021

This micro briefing is an introduction to the key evidence concerning the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 among Black and minority ethnic groups. It is the third in a series of COVID-19 micro briefings.

Key points

  1. BME populations have experienced among the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates alongside other disproportionate social impacts. Evidence from global perspectives and from other parts of the UK make clear that the undue pandemic impacts on BME populations relate to pre-existing inequalities in health, employment, income, opportunity and access to health services. Much of these pre-existing inequalities are driven by discrimination and racism.
  2. Within Scotland improvements are needed in ethnicity data quality in order to accurately assess the impacts of COVID-19 on BME populations.
  3. Dismantling racism is essential to achieving health equity. Racism is a fundamental determinant of health and a systemic problem which demands structural interventions and reforms. Failure to do so will hinder equitable pandemic recovery efforts and will exacerbate the health and social inequalities evidenced among some BME communities.

About the authors

Developed in partnership with Policy Scotland, this micro briefing was written with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER). CRER works to eliminate racial discrimination and promote racial justice across Scotland. Through capacity building, research and campaigning activities which respond to the needs of communities, CRER’s work takes a strategic approach to tackling deep rooted issues of racial inequality. More information on CRER’s work to build the evidence base on racial inequality, including socioeconomic inequality, is on the CRER website.

The other briefings in the series are:

**Please note**

Use of the term BME in this publication reflected the common language used to describe Black and Minority Ethnic groups at that time. We recognise that the term racialised minorities is amongst those most preferred and so we have updated this going forward.

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic groups

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