Written Answers - Anti-Racism Measures

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 747 No. 3

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 431.  Deputy Jonathan O’Brien Information on Jonathan O'Brien Zoom on Jonathan O'Brien  asked the Minister for Justice and Equality Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter  if he will introduce a new national action plan to combat racism; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35669/11]

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter I would firstly like to state that this Government is firmly committed to combating and challenging any and all manifestations of racism. Ireland was one of the first states in the EU and, indeed, in the world in developing a National Action Plan Against Racism. When the National Action Plan Against Racism was launched in 2005, it was conceived as a four-year programme to run until the end of 2008. It was designed to provide strategic direction towards developing a more intercultural and inclusive society in Ireland and was largely integration driven. Under the Plan, support was provided towards the development of a number of national and local strategies promoting greater integration in our workplaces, in An Garda Síochána, the health service, in our education system, in the arts and sports sectors and within our local authorities.

The Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in my Department maintains this Government’s commitment and focus on anti-racism as a key aspect of integration, diversity management and broader national social policy. The Office continues to work with all the relevant sectors to further progress the integration and diversity management agenda. Many of the initiatives which were instigated through the National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008 continue to be developed and progressed through the support and work of the Office. For example, an Arts and Culture Strategy and an Intercultural Education Strategy were launched in September 2010 and a Workplace Diversity Strategy is ongoing.

The National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008 was very ambitious and wide ranging in its scope. Since 2005, there has been a substantial penetration of anti —racist policies, programmes and activities and awareness raising initiatives. The focus is now on the continued implementation of the sectoral strategies which flowed from the Plan. In light of these measures, I do not intend to focus on developing a second National Action Plan against Racism.

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