20 May 2021

The Independent Anti-Racism Committee has today launched the first of its ‘stakeholder dialogue’ events, as part of its development of the new National Action Plan Against Racism for Ireland.

This online event is being hosted by Professor Caroline Fennell, Chair of the Anti-Racism Committee and Commissioner with the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. Non-governmental organisations with expertise in access to justice, ethnic minority rights, and related areas will have an opportunity to give their views on how the forthcoming National Action Plan Against Racism should address racial equality in the area of access to justice.

Discussion will include issues relating to discrimination, complaints mechanisms, under-reporting, and forms of redress. Issues affecting women and young people will also be covered.

In addition to the stakeholder dialogue events, the Committee is currently running a wider consultation for members of the public, and this consultation remains open until July 14.

Welcoming the start of the stakeholder dialogues, Roderic O’Gorman T.D., Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said:

I welcome the start of the Anti-Racism Committee’s stakeholder dialogues. Racism is an ongoing and complex problem, and its effects are felt throughout society. As we develop policy responses to racism, it is essential that the voices of those affected and their representative organisations are heard. Consulting with organisations active in the fight against racism, and with members of the public, will help the Committee to develop a Plan that can be effective in tackling racism in all its forms in Ireland today.

Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte said:

Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission should always be to confront ignorance with knowledge and isolation with the outstretched hand.

Professor Caroline Fennell, the independent Chair of the Anti-Racism Committee, said:

As Chair of the Anti-Racism Committee, I am pleased to open the first of the Committee’s stakeholder dialogue sessions. As a Professor of Law and member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission,  I am acutely conscious of the importance of today’s theme of Access to Justice, which is so critical to delivery of a fair and equal society. Over the course of this and subsequent sessions, I look forward to hearing the views of participants as to how we can make Ireland a better place for all of its residents to live, regardless of their ethnicity.