Wednesday 21 April 2021

Roderic O’Gorman T.D., Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth has today (21st April), published the Interim Report of the Independent Anti-Racism Committee, as part of the development of a new National Action Plan against Racism for Ireland.

To complement the publication of its Interim Report, the Anti-Racism Committee today opens its Public Consultation.

The Interim Report is the first report from the Committee. It sets out the overall approach the Committee is taking to its work, which is in keeping with fundamental principles of human rights and informed by United Nations guidance on tackling racism. In the Interim Report, the Committee introduces its guiding principles and understandings of racism; briefly summarises the societal and policy context for its work; and identifies some of the priority issues necessary to consider in the development of a new National Action Plan against Racism for Ireland.

In making its Interim Report to Government, the Committee made three recommendations for immediate action: remove Ireland’s reservation to Article 4 of the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; take steps to put in place ethnic equality monitoring across all public services and remove all barriers to accessing support for migrant women experiencing gender-based violence.

The Government has considered these recommendations and has asked Minister O’Gorman to bring forward proposals for their implementation.

The Anti-Racism Committee’s Public Consultation is now open for 12 weeks, from 21 April to 14 July 2021. Written submissions can be made by email to antiracism@equality.gov.ie . A series of consultation events will be held in the coming weeks. Information on these events and how to register will be published on the Department’s website.

Alongside the Minister’s publication of the Interim Report, the Committee has published a consultation document to explain what the consultation is about and to highlight some important issues that members of the public are invited to give their views on. These include:

  • Access to Justice;
  • All forms of media and communications, including new technologies;
  • Employment, Education, Health and Accommodation;
  • Inclusion and Participation.

The Committee welcomes submissions from stakeholder organisations and members of the public on any areas that they feel should be addressed in Ireland’s National Action Plan Against Racism. The Committee intends to develop an Action Plan that is action-oriented and practical.

Publishing the Report and welcoming the launch of the Committee’s Public Consultation, Minister O’Gorman said:

Racism is an ongoing and complex problem, the effects of which are felt throughout society, and I am committed to ensuring that this Government plays a leading role in tackling it. I look forward to the National Action Plan against Racism that is due later this year, and I will continue to work with the Committee as they proceed with this important work. This is why I welcome the launch of the Committee’s Public Consultation today as it gives everyone an opportunity to have their say about how we can effectively tackle racism in all its forms in Ireland today.

I want to thank Caroline Fennell, the Committee’s Chair, and the members of the Anti-Racism Committee for their time and ongoing work. Racism is a serious issue in our society, and can manifest in many different aspects of people’s lives. I have brought this Interim Report to Cabinet and secured approval to consider pathways to implement these recommendations.

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

As Chair of the Anti-Racism Committee, I am pleased to present our Interim Report in accordance with our Terms of Reference. The Anti-Racism Committee is particularly cognisant of the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in which this report is presented, and the differential impact of the pandemic upon migrant workers, those living in direct provision, and members of the Traveller community. We are now embarking upon an intensive phase of stakeholder dialogue and consultation as part of the development of a new National Action Plan Against Racism.