Committee to consider what more needs to be done by public sector organisations as well as how to develop a clear understanding of racism and how to combat it
Announcement coincides with publication of Migrant Integration Strategy Progress Report
The Minister of State with responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, has today announced that the Government will establish a new Anti-Racism Committee to help in the fight against racial discrimination in Ireland.
Minister Stanton said:
Racism affects many people living in Ireland. Research shows people of non-white ethnicities experience higher levels of discrimination than other groups when looking for work, in the workplace, and when accessing services from both public and private service providers. This persists despite strong legal protections in Ireland against racial discrimination. The new Anti-Racism Committee will review and make recommendations on strengthening the Government’s approach to combating racism, building on the actions currently included in the Migrant Integration Strategy.
The committee’s work will have two strands:
(i) a public sector strand to allow for more in-depth discussions of what needs to be done by public sector organisations and how it can be done, and
(ii) an expert strand that will consider how to develop a clear understanding of racism, where it occurs, and what can be done to combat it, drawing on international experience.
The new Committee will be established later this year and will include representatives of the public, private and voluntary sector and expert views. It will hold a stakeholder dialogue to assess the latest evidence and to identify the views of wider civil society, the business sector, media and other relevant parties. The Committee will also help to generate ideas for reducing racist abuse in the public sphere.
The announcement comes as Minister Stanton submitted the progress report to Government on the Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020. The Strategy Committee, chaired by Minister Stanton since its publication in 2017, is the Government’s framework for tackling barriers to integration and promoting intercultural awareness. It includes actions to combat racism, including strengthening our laws against hate crime; actions by An Garda Síochána to address the under-reporting of racist crime; a commitment from Local Authorities on the early removal of racist graffiti; and Government funding for anti-racism interventions.
The key finding of the Progress Report is the importance of the whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to successful integration, and the benefits it brings to all aspects of Irish life. While the progress report highlights a number of successes – including up to €15m granted in Integration Funding Programmes, the research programmes conducted by the ESRI for the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, and the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 amongst others – the report also helps identify areas where efforts need to intensify in the months ahead. As a result, actions will now be developed to particularly address areas where outcomes for migrants need to be improved. These areas are combatting racism; employment; English language acquisition; and the promotion of integration at the local level.
The progress report, published today, is available on the website of the Department of Justice and Equality at http://justice.ie/en/JELR/The%20Migrant%20Integration%20Strategy%202017-2020.pdf/Files/The%20Migrant%20Integration%20Strategy%202017-2020.pdf
Notes for Editors:
Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020
The Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020 is a whole-of-Government Strategy for promoting the integration of all legally resident migrants in Ireland. It was adopted by Government in February 2017. Its vision is that migrants are facilitated to play a full role in Irish society, that integration is a core principle of Irish life and that Irish society and institutions work together to promote integration.
The Strategy contains 76 actions to be carried out by Government Departments and Agencies over the four year strategy period in the areas of Access to Citizenship and Long Term Residency; Access to Public Services and Social Inclusion; Education; Employment and Pathways to Work; Health; Integration in the Community; Political Participation; Promoting Intercultural Awareness and Combating Racism and Xenophobia; Volunteering; and Sport. It also requires Government Departments and Agencies to have regard to the need to promote integration through their mainstream policies and programmes.
Progress to date
Progress on the Strategy is monitored by a Committee Chaired by Mr David Stanton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration. The Committee includes representatives of Government Departments and Agencies with responsibilities for delivering specific actions under the Strategy and also representatives of non-governmental organisations working in the area of migrant integration.
The Progress Report published today provides a summary of progress up to May 2019 under each of the actions in the Strategy. Below are some examples from the Report.
Key successes to date
The Progress Report provides much useful information on the work being done across Government to achieve the objectives of the Strategy and highlights some important milestones that have been reached since its adoption.
Some of the positives highlighted in the report are:
- The Integration Funding Programmes where up to €15 million so far in grant funding from the Department of Justice & Equality and other public funding bodies has supported a diverse range of community and national projects implemented by third party organisations.
- The Economic and Social Research Institute, working under a multi-annual integration research programme for the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, has published three reports on integration monitoring and data, which will help inform evidence-based policy.
- The Department of Education and Skills’ Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018.
- Ireland’s Second National Intercultural Health Strategy.
- The work of the local Authorities.
- An Garda Síochána’s community policing.
- The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s work towards job-activation and inclusion for migrants.
- The Department of Rural and Community Development’s volunteering and community based sporting programmes and events.