Citizens Advice accused of ‘propagating racist stereotypes’ with training document on working with BAME communities

Citizens Advice accused of 'propagating racist stereotypes' with training document on working with BAME communities


Citizens Advice has apologised after facing criticism from its own BAME group for “propagating racist stereotypes” in a training document.

A guide prepared for charity staff on “working with black, asian and minority ethnic communities” listed a series of “barriers” they should expect to encounter.

These included a “distrust” of British authorities, low levels of literacy, “gender bias and discrimination” and a cultural “focus” on honour and shame. 

It also suggested BAME communities could have “an intrinsically cash-centric culture”, higher levels of isolation and “early marriage and large families”.

The document, which has since been removed online, provoked a furious backlash when shared on social media, including from Citizens Advice’s BAME Network Group. 

“Citizens Advice should be embarrassed about believing advisers could help these marginalised clients by using this training document as a shortcut for understanding the diverse stories of clients who are not white,” it said in a statement to The Guardian.

“The contents of the document are damaging, reductive and dangerous in the current climate.”

Citizens Advice quickly distanced itself from the training material, saying an investigation had been launched into how it came to be published. 

Gillian Guy, the chief executive Citizens Advice, said: “We agree these materials are not acceptable and apologise unreservedly. 


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Citizens Advice accused of ‘propagating racist stereotypes’ with training document on working with BAME communities

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