It can be difficult to find easy to understand examples of the state breaching individual human rights, but the recent deportation of Chevon Brown might just be one such example.
This case study from February 2020 is relevant to the ‘state crime and human right’s topic within the A-level sociology Crime and Deviance module.
In February 2020 Chevon Brown was deported to Jamaica from the United Kingdom.
He had just been released from Prison having served 8 months of a 14 month sentence for danagerous driving and driving with no insurance.
He was 21 when he decided to take his car for a spin, despite being a learner driver with no insurance, and when he saw police, he says he panicked, and sped up, which led to a 5 minutes high speed chase, and he puts his actions down to stupidity, and he’s paid the ultimate price.
Britain has the right to deport foreign citizens who have been sentenced to 12 months or more in prison, under the UK Borders Act, which came into force in 2007, unless doing so would infringe their human rights, by sending them back to a country where their life would be at threat, for example.
Chevon was 14 when he moved to Britain with his father on a Jamaican Passport. Despite having ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK, he is still technically a Jamaican national, and so the UK had the right to deport him.
The problem is, he no longer has any friends or family in Jaimaica, and his father is remaining in the UK, with his other children.
Since returning to Jamaica, Chevon says he doesn’t feel safe. “I am nervous walking down the street,” he says. “Anything could happen – every day people die here.”
According to UN data, Jamaica had a murder rate of 47 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016. In the UK, the rate was 1 per 100,000.
Chevon was deported along with 40 other criminals, many of whom had committed more serious offenses, such as murder, and he says the Jamaican media as labelled them all with the same brush, so it is difficult for him to make friends or find a job.
Sources – The BBC News May 2020.
Sociological Questions to consider about this case study
- Is deportation for ‘dangerous driving’ an appropriate punishment?
- Given his lack of friends and family in Jamaica, the alleged discrimination he’s facing (due to negative media labeling) and his increased chance of being murdered, did the UK government breach his human rights by deporting him?
- Is this deportation an example of institutional racism?
- Do you think the original decision to imprison him for 14 months was fair, or just another example of institutional racism?
By contrast you might want to consider this in relation to the case of Anne Sacoolas, the American Diplomat’s Wife who actually killed a British Teenager by driving on the wrong side of the road, fled back to America and is now being protected by the US Government, rather than being deported back to the UK to stand trial.