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Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UKForced Displacement and Onward Migration$
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Laura Jeffery

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084300

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084300.001.0001

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Echoes of marginalisation in Crawley

Echoes of marginalisation in Crawley

(p.95) 5 Echoes of marginalisation in Crawley
Chagos Islanders in Mauritius and the UK

Laura Jeffery

Manchester University Press

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

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