CALL FOR AN EFFECTIVE NATIONAL ACTION PLAN AGAINST RACISM
Increase in INAR racist incident data prompts Civil Society Coalition call for effective NAPAR
The Irish Network Against Racism (INAR) launched the Report of its 2022 findings from the iReport.ie racist incident reporting system. The total number of incidents reaching 600 (rising from 404 in 2021), the system also recorded 223 criminal incidents, including racist assaults, a record 190 reports of illegal discrimination and 136 reports of hate speech. Compared to 2021, the reports of criminal offences and incidents had increased significantly. Fionnuala O’Connell, INAR Board member said: “The 2022 data shows the continued prevalence of racist incidents in Ireland, confirming racism as an everyday reality for people from minoritised groups. The persistent levels of repeat harassment, and the continued lack of clear responses when they are reported to the authorities is a cause for ongoing concern” she said “Preliminary findings from 2023 are further indicative of a worsening atmosphere for minoritised groups. In recent months the Far Right’s promotion of anti-migrant sentiment has led to an increase in contact with INAR from minority people expressing fear for themselves and their families. This atmosphere is having a deleterious impact on community confidence” Patricia Munatsi, INAR Policy Lead and Chair of the new Coalition for the Implementation of The National Action Plan Against Racism (CINAPAR) added: “The new National Action Plan Against Racism is a welcome development as it puts forward a framework for tackling racism at a systemic and institutional level in all walks of life” she said “However, as chair of the Coalition, I would urge the Government to ensure the effective implementation of the Plan.”
ABOUT THE NAPAR
A National Action Plan Against Racism (NAPAR) is a unique framework that goes beyond individual policies and projects, by putting together a comprehensive set of actions and monitoring mechanisms to tackle racism systemically.
The recommendation for countries to draw up National Action Plans Against Racism came out of the UN World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), which took place in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The Conference’s Declaration and Programme of Action called on countries to “develop or elaborate national action plans to promote diversity, equality, equity, social justice, equality of opportunity and the participation of all.” This was reiterated at the Durban Review Conference in 2009. The call for NAPARs was also advocated by NGOs attending both conferences, as they saw them as a good instrument for national governments to establish concrete, comprehensive and action-oriented strategies to tackle racism in their respective national contexts and to complement existing legislation.
Adopting a NAPAR also sends a powerful signal in public debates and contribute to shift mentalities and attitudes in society,
by using both soft and hard measures. Coordinated strategies combined with tangible guidelines are crucial to maximise the impact of public policies
While the NAPAR is a welcome development especially in terms of its language and acknowledgement of systemic and institutional racism, like any good policy, it needs to be effectively implemented to have a lasting impact. To ensure this, we recommend that the state must:
- Ensure that the National Action Plan is housed and chaired in the highest office of the land to guarantee support and buy-in at the highest levels of government.
- Ensure the full resourcing of the National Action Plan Against Racism by setting aside resources in the Budget for the implementation of the Plan.
- Ensure the monitoring, review and evaluation of the National Action Plan annually; to be done in full partnership with ethnic minority communities.
- Ensure that the National Action Plan is iterative in nature; that it does not come to an end without a successor Plan, so that there are no policy gaps in combating racism and racial discrimination
NAPAR: Relevant resources & documents
OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS
- Interim Report to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
- Irish Government Report to CERD (October 2018)
- ENAR Ireland Submission to ECRI NGO Roundtable (July 2018)
- Declaration of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
- Declaration and Programme of Action (World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance)
- INAR iReport.ie Reports of Racism in Ireland