Reporting racism, either as a victim, witness or a supporter, can be a confusing and complex task to navigate. Whether you yourself have experienced racism, witnessed it happening to someone else or come across it online, it is important to take action, report it and make a formal complaint, even in cases where taking a legal route may prove challenging. We hope that the below article will help you recognise what actually happened, what steps to take next, where to report it, and what are your rights as a victim.
If you believe the content or behaviour you are reporting is prohibited in Ireland, please contact relevant authorities listed below, so they can accurately assess it for possible violations of law. However, before you go ahead with making a complaint, please take a moment and read our previous article listing what you should take under consideration while reporting racism.
We encourage the reporting of ALL types of racist incidents to iReport.ie and relevant bodies and we hope that this article will make this process easier and clearer for those affected.
IDENTIFYING THE FORM OF RACISM
Before you report racism, recognise what happened
Before you report a racist incident, you should identify the form of racism that has taken place. Was it discrimination in employment or in access to services, which relates to equality legislation, or a criminal act which relates to criminal law? See bolow for information what racist crime and discrimination are, as answering this important question is crucial to determine where and how you should prorgress with reporting the incident.
A hate crime is a crime motivated by prejudice when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their perceived membership of a certain social group.
Hate crime has two important elements:
- CRIMINAL ACT: Hate crimes are acts which are treated as crimes in CRIMINAL LAW. Those offences include:
- Assault, including assault causing harm or serious harm.
- Criminal damage to property or threat of criminal damage.
- Rape or sexual assault.
- Public order offences (disorderly conduct, threatening and abusive behaviour, affray, violent disorder).
- BIAS MOTIVATION: Hate crimes are motivated, at least in part, by bias or prejudice against someone’s real or supposed identity or background.
Racist crimes should be reported to An Garda Síochána.
occurs when a person is treated in a less favourable way than another person is treated in a comparable situation based on any of the nine prohibited grounds listed in the EQUALITY LEGISLATION:
- Gender (including transgender)
- Civil status
- Family status
- ‘Race’ (includes skin colour, ethnicity and nationality)
- Religion (or none)
- Sexual orientation
- Membership of Traveller Community
The tenth ground of discrimination has recently been added.
- Housing assistance (i.e. in the provision of accommodation)
Discrimination is outlawed by Irish equality legislation in the workplace and in the provision of goods and services.
All racist discrimination cases, either at work or in access to goods and services, should be reported to the Workplace Relations Commission.