Professor Dame Sandra Dawson, Fellow and Former Master of Sidney (1999-2009) and Advisory Board member of Cambridge Judge Business School, joined an expert Independent Advisory Group (IAG) to support the review into the Windrush scandal of migration decisions taken by the British government.
Sandra joined eight other IAG members - all carrying their own set of expertise and perspectives - to provide support to a review analysing the Windrush migration decisions taken mostly in the years 2008-2018.
The review was undertaken by Wendy Williams, an inspector with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, and a team drawn mostly from the Home Office of the UK. This review, known as the 'Windrush Lessons Learned Review', closely examined reports of illegal detention and deportation.
The IAG examined areas including immigration law, equality, diversity and inclusion, and was described by the review as “an important mechanism in helping to ensure that key issues were fully considered during the review.”
Sandra commented about her involvement with the IAG and the review, "As we learned more about the scandalous catalogue of problems, it was clear that their roots often lay in organisational failings; a subject area which is at the core of my academic expertise. It was a privilege to join a diverse outstanding group of experts working with a superb Chair, Wendy Williams, and her very able and committed team.”
The review’s report, issued in March 2020, strongly criticised decisions taken by the UK Home Office regarding citizenship issues of many people whose families were part of the “Windrush generation”.
The review's executive summary commented, “Members of the Windrush generation and their children have been poorly served by this country. They had every right to be here and should never have been caught in the immigration net.”
30 recommendations for change and improvement emerged from the report which the review summarised as follows, "The Home Office must acknowledge the wrong which has been done; it must open itself up to greater external scrutiny; and it must change its culture to recognise that migration and wider Home Office policy is about people and, whatever its objective, should be rooted in humanity.”
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