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Armed Forces: Racial Harassment

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to tackle incidences of racial abuse in the armed forces.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Armed Forces do not tolerate racist behaviour in any form. All allegations of illegal or inappropriate behaviour are taken extremely seriously and investigated thoroughly. We have a range of initiatives to stamp out this kind of behaviour, including stepping up education programmes including diversity and inclusion training, reviewing our internal disciplinary procedures and raising awareness about available support. However, we recognise we need to do more; earlier this year we adopted the recommendations of Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Michael Wigston's report on inappropriate behaviours, including recommendations on immersive culture and behaviour training at the start of service and at regular intervals throughout, and more training on 'bystanders' so that people have the skills and confidence to intervene when they see inappropriate behaviour. We have established a new team in Defence which will oversee the implementation of ACM Wigston's recommendations.

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