Echoes of marginalisation in Crawley

Laura Jeffery

in Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UK

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084300
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702451 | DOI:
Echoes of marginalisation in Crawley

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This chapter reveals the similarities and differences between the Chagossians' forced displacement from the Chagos Archipelago and their onward migration to the UK. The ‘echoes of marginalisation’ include bureaucratic hurdles in acquiring citizenship status and the relevant identification documents, familial separation across continents, and the implications of relocation to an area of relative ethnic diversity, socio-economic deprivation, and educational challenges. The similarities go only so far, of course. In particular, unlike the high rates of unemployment in Mauritius in the 1960s, late 1970s to early 1980s, and again since the late 1990s, Crawley has had consistently extremely low rates of unemployment since its inception as a New Town in the 1960s. By and large, Chagossian migrants in Crawley have managed to find jobs and adequate housing, and have been able to access state welfare when required. Compared to their overwhelmingly negative assessments of their lives in Mauritius, they have reported a far wider range of experiences, both negative and positive, relating to education and employment, taxes and benefits, and racism and discrimination in the UK.

Keywords: Chagossians; Chagos Archipelago; onward migration; marginalisation; UK citizenship; Crawley; relocation; employment; education; discrimination

Chapter.  7966 words. 

Subjects: Ethical Issues and Debates

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