Stormont racial strategy 'failing' says Amnesty International

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By Q Radio News

 

Amnesty International claims rising race hate here, shows Stormont's racial strategy is failing.

‘The fact that almost a third of the population describe themselves as racially prejudiced, almost half of young people have witnessed racist bullying in schools, and that these figures are rising not falling, suggests Stormont’s racial equality strategy is failing’ - Patrick Corrigan

Rising figures for racial prejudice, racially-motivated hate crime and racist bullying in schools should serve as a wake-up call for the Northern Ireland Executive that it is failing black and ethnic minority communities.

The figures were published today in an official progress report on the Executive’s Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025.

While the report points to progress in some areas, it also documents:

-       In 2019, 29% of respondents reported themselves as prejudiced against people from minority ethnic communities, up from 20% in 2018

-       In 2018/19 there were 1,124 racially-motivated hate incidents and 699 racially-motivated hate crimes reported to the PSNI, an increase on baseline figures of 976 and 688 for 2013 / 2014

-       In 2019, 45% of young people said they had witnessed racist bullying or harassment in their school, an increase from the baseline figure of 39% in 2014.

Amnesty is calling for a more robust government response to tackling racial prejudice in Northern Ireland, including new long-awaited hate crime legislation.

Pictured - Patrick Corrigan

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director for Amnesty International, said:

“The rising levels of racial prejudice should serve as a wake-up call to politicians and officials charged with making Northern Ireland a better and safer place to live for all.

“The fact that almost a third of the population describe themselves as racially prejudiced, almost half of young people have witnessed racist bullying in schools, and that these figures are rising not falling, suggests Stormont’s racial equality strategy is failing to tackle the deep-rooted racism which scars so many lives.

“Racism makes Northern Ireland a toxic place to live for too many people from minority ethnic and religious communities, whether manifested as playground bullying or arson attacks on homes and community centres.

“We need a more ambitious anti-racism strategy, with more commitment from across Stormont’s government departments, to tackle racial prejudice. That must include improving anti-racism education, upgrading our race equality and hate crime laws, and an improvement on prosecution rates for those responsible for racially-motivated crimes.”

 

 

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