ICI launches racist incident reporting and support service
Resource type: News
The Immigrant Council of Ireland |
The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) will start a new service next week for people who have experienced or witnessed racist incidents.
The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) is an independent, non-governmental organisation working with and for migrants by providing information and support, advocacy and strategic litigation.
They also conduct policy, research and campaign work and provide a training service.
The ICI’s Racist Incidents Support and Referral Service will provide information and support, including referrals to counselling services where appropriate, for people who have experienced a racist incident, as well as record data, report on trends and advocate for legislative and policy change where necessary.
The service will operate as a pilot programme initially, with an experienced staff member available each Friday to take calls on a dedicated phone line – 01 645 8058 – and meet people face to face by appointment. The service will be expanded, if required.
“Our aim in launching this service is to fill two very important needs,” ICI’s chief executive officer, Denise Charlton, said.
“Firstly, we will offer a range of supports to people who have experienced or witnessed a racist incident, from providing information and assistance in relation to existing avenues for seeking redress, for example An Garda Síochána, the Equality Tribunal or the Press Ombudsman, through to linking people with counselling services if required.
“Secondly, we will record data and report regularly on emerging trends.
“Our extensive links with migrant, community, and faith-based organisations, and the fact we are an Independent Law Centre, gives us a unique opportunity to provide a comprehensive service in an area that is lacking now.”
Ms Charlton said information would be collected about what type of incidents are occurring, for example, actual or threatened violence or property damage, offensive remarks or communications, discrimination in the workplace, and discrimination when applying for a job or in the rental market.
Information would also be collected about where the event or events occurred and those responsible if possible.
ICI founder Sr Stanislaus Kennedy said Ireland could not begin to address racism and xenophobia until it acknowledged its existence.
“For too long, Ireland has been in denial about the racist incidents occurring in our communities and our collective responsibility to combat racism,” Sr Stan said.
“We know from our experience working with migrants who have experienced racism that people are subjected to violence and threats of violence, have their property damaged and are subjected to racist taunts and discrimination. We might wish to deny Ireland has a problem but until we expose it, we cannot address it.
“To do this effectively, we must not only support those who experience racism but also have more accurate information about the number and type of incidents occurring.”