A Brief Introduction

Dr Robin Oakley is a British sociologist who works as an independent consultant specialising in assisting public authorities and NGOs to address issues of racism and ethnic relations.  He has been active in this field for more than forty years, and has written widely on these subjects.  He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Minority Studies, Royal Holloway, University of London, and a Runnymede Fellow at The Runnymede Trust.


In Britain, he has undertaken research, training and consultancy for a wide range of professional groups and public bodies, especially in the fields of policing and criminal justice, central and local government, and education.  He has also worked extensively on these issues with voluntary and community associations, especially at the local level.


At European level he has worked on a variety of projects on discrimination and minority issues (especially relating to Roma), both with Inter-Governmental and other European organisations and in individual countries across both Western and Central/Eastern Europe, and he has regularly acted as a consultant for the Council of Europe.


His recent activities include working on policing and minority/Roma issues with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and the ODIHR, on tackling racist violence and related issues with the EU Monitoring Centre on Racism (now EU Fundamental Rights Agency), on the integration of Roma at the local level with the NGO European Dialogue and the CoE Congress of Local & Regional Authorities, and in the UK, on preventing racist violence among young people with The Runnymede Trust & The Trust for London.


His principal European-level publications and reports include:

  • Police Training Concerning Migrants & Ethnic Relations, CoE 1994

  • Tackling Racist & Xenophobic Violence in Europe: Review & Practical Guidance, CoE 1996

  • Tackling Racist & Xenophobic Violence in Europe: Case-Studies, CoE 1997

  • Practical Examples in Combating Racism against Roma/Gypsies, CoE/ECRI 2001

  • Promoting Roma Integration at Local Level: Guidance for NGOs & Public Authorities, European Dialogue 2005

  • Policing Racist Crime and Violence: A Comparative Analysis, EUMC (now EU FRA) 2005

  • (as Consultant) Recommendations on Policing in Multi-Ethnic Societies, OSCE/HCNM 2006

  • Policing and Minorities in the Russian Federation: Key International Documents and Case Studies, CoE 2008

  • The Situation of Roma in Europe: A Challenge for Local & Regional Authorities, CoE/CLRA 2011


Prior to working as an independent consultant, he held academic posts at the University of London (Bedford College & Royal Holloway) and at Brunel University.  During this period he undertook pioneering research on the migration and settlement of Cypriots in Britain: see here for publications and other documentation relating to this research.


Since 2012 he has retired from undertaking major consultancy and research initiatives, but has continued to be active in an advisory role and in making materials from his previous work available to those interested.