Congress welcomes the work of the Anti-Racism Committee, including the Interim Report, and this opportunity to feed in views in relation to the development of a new National Action Plan Against Racism (NAPAR).
We believe that a NAPAR is urgently needed, as there has been little coordinated State action to address structural racism and discrimination in Ireland since the end of the previous plan over a decade ago.
We welcome the understanding of racism, the key principles adopted to guide your work and the interim recommendations put forward by the committee, namely that:
- Ireland should withdraw the reservation/interpretative declaration made to Article 4 of CERD.(important indicator of a strengthened approach to tackling racism, and ensuring the protections the Article offers to victims of hate crime are applicable here).
- Ireland takes steps to put in place ethnic equality monitoring across all public services
- Ireland remove all barriers that exist to migrant women experiencing gender-based violence in accessing supports.
We endorse all three of these recommendations. We would add that it is also important to look at ‘intersectionality’ (when people are part of multiple minority groups), to make sure that the most vulnerable are not neglected.
As your report outlines, employment is a key area of economic and social life where measures are required to support full inclusion and participation by groups experiencing racism in society and the economy.
Tackling racism in the labour market needs to address labour market segregation; bias in recruitment; and racism in the workplace. Some specific barriers to full inclusion in the labour market may represent structural or institutional racism and also need to be considered. This submission will concentrate on racism in the employment sphere.