2022 in review

HUGE THANKS to everyone who worked with us in 2022.

It’s been an incredibly busy year for us, and a very satisfying one! We had 3 full-time team members, 2 part time, and 11 project staff. We are grateful for all our team members and partners and how they help us to further our work on equity, inclusion and justice.

Our clients this year in Ireland, the UK and Europe included:

  • Belfast City Council
  • Fingal County Council
  • Arts Council of Ireland
  • Galway City Partnership
  • Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC)
  • Croí na Gaillimhe Asylum Support Group
  • Policing Authority
  • Maynooth University
  • NUI Galway
  • Irish Network Against Racism
  • Irish Deaf Society
  • European Network Against Racism
  • EU Fundamental Rights Agency
  • Church of Ireland
  • Irish Council of Churches
  • New Communities Partnership

Inequalities in Belfast

Great media coverage from yesterday for our new report on Inequalities Experienced by Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Traveller Residents of Belfast.

‘Call For Action’ On Inequalities Experienced By Minority Communities | Northern Ireland News, 01/12/2022 (4ni.co.uk)

Belfast’s ethnic minorities face racism, poverty and isolation, report finds – VIEWdigital

Belfast Council report on ethnic inequalities in city a “sobering” read – Belfast Live

Inequalities research should be a `call to action’ – The Irish News

Belfast: ‘People are having to leave their home due to racism’ – BBC News

Belfast’s ethnic minorities face racism and poverty, report finds – BBC News

Launch: Inequalities Experienced by Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Traveller Residents of Belfast

We are very excited to share our new report being launched today at City Hall Belfast.
The report on Inequalities Experienced by Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Traveller Residents of Belfast, was commissioned by Belfast City Council with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency NI. It is the first Council commissioned report of its kind in Belfast.
Our research partners are ACSONI and POLCA.


The research interviews were conducted in English, Arabic, Polish, Romanian, Cantonese and other native languages by a team of peer researchers from minority ethnic and migrant communities in Belfast.


The Executive Summary will be available on the Council website today in multiple languages. The full report PDF will be shared online by research partners and also available on request by email from the Council.

New Know Your Rights Guide for International Protection Applicants in Ireland launch

New Know Your Rights Guide for International Protection Applicants in Ireland launch

A new Know Your Rights guide for international protection applicants has been published by ICCL and the Irish Refugee Council.

The Know Your Rights Guide for International Protection Applicants offers a comprehensive guide to the application process and rights while in Ireland, including in work, education, voting, protection from crime and access to supports.

The Guide also emphasises the fundamental freedoms that all humans have, and how they are protected in Irish law. This includes civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights such as the right to protest, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the right not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Guide outlines the current law in a clear and accessible manner to empower international protection applicants to both exercise and vindicate their rights.

The Guide is available at www.iccl.ie/your-rights/

It is currently available online in English, with publication due shortly of French and Arabic versions.

Posters to promote the Guide can be requested from enquiries@lucymichael.ie

The Guide was authored by Dr Niloufar Omidi and Dr Lucy Michael with assistance from Roos Demol, Doireann Ansbro and Sinead Nolan at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), Nick Henderson, Katie Mannion and Alan O’Leary at the Irish Refugee Council (IRC), and Claire O’Riordan and Elizabeth O’Shea at the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA).

This guide was funded by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC).

Special thanks to protection applicants

Special thanks are due to the international protection applicants who gave their time to take part in the feedback groups about this guide. Their thoughtful responses to questions and their discussions helped make this guide as useful as possible. Many thanks also to Zoe Phiri for her assistance in organising
these feedback groups with international protection applicants.
Thanks to case-workers, advisors and others Many thanks also to the case-workers and advisors at the following non-governmental organisations
who provided invaluable advice and assistance: Doras, Crosscare, Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), Jesuit Refugee Service (JRC), New Communities Partnership (NCP) and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI).

Poster showing booklet cover and parts – available on request

Capacity Building workshops with our Belfast research team

L to R: Ezzaldin, Mary, Marty, Eva, Marta, Salwa, Pauline, Csilla, Maria, Dan

We are currently undertaking research in partnership with ACSONI, POLCA and Belfast Intercultural Romanian Association on behalf of Belfast City Council to make recommendations to address ethnic inequalities across a variety of domains, including but not exclusive to: health, education, employment and civic and political participation.

The research and report will inform the city’s Community Planning document, the ‘Belfast Agenda’, which sets out a shared vision for the future of the city and seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing outcomes of all citizens in Belfast.

Interviewers have been hired from a range of ethnic, national and linguistic backgrounds who have strong connections in the stakeholder communities for this research. Each of the interviewers have been provided with training on ethics and interview methods, technique and data management. This has been supplemented by feedback and support throughout the data collection process.

Two additional capacity-building workshops funded by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust provide opportunities for training and collaboration on data analysis, giving the interviewers detailed insight into how data is interpreted and refined for presentation and the process of identifying and composing recommendations. They are supported to increase their contribution to the interpretation of data and composition of recommendations through this process.

L to R: Ezzaldin, Mary, Marta, Eva, Csilla, Salwa, Maria, Marty, Nattassa, Dan, standing in the hallway of Accidental Theatre Belfast, all smiling widely

Hate Crime Hurts Us All

Today saw the Coalition for Hate Crime launch of the new campaign #HateCrimesHurtUsAll with incredible speakers talking about personal and community experiences of hate and the ripple effects of hate crimes – harm on an individual, community, and societal level.

The Coalition Against Hate Crime Ireland is a civil society coalition whose Members represent groups commonly targeted by hate crimes, including minority ethnic groups, LGBTQI communities, disabled people, and others, as well as academics and researchers working to advance the aims and objectives of the Coalition. @ICCL is the current chair of the Coalition.

The objective of the Coalition is to promote meaningful reform of the law, policy and practice as it relates to hate crime in Ireland including, but not limited to:

hate crime legislation;
improving data collection in the reporting and recording of hate crime and hate incidents;
education; training and awareness raising activities;
hate speech;
cyber hate crime;
supporting victims of hate crime and assuring effective implementation of the Victims Directive.


The campaign is now online
https://www.iccl.ie/news/standbyme-2/
#HateCrimesHurtUsAll

Clockwise: Liam, Patrisha, Blessing, Pradeep, Luna, Lucy, Martin and Ailsa.

Speaking at the launch, Lucy addressed the issue of societal impact.

“Hate crime impacts are felt by people who share some element of identity with the targeted person and those who have a relationship with them – that can include a very large number of people in any community. 

Hate crimes are message crimes. They are committed in order to send a message. They send a message to key groups to be fearful, and to accept a lower status in society, and that message reverberates loudly through the communities around those with a targeted identity. Hate crime isolates.

As Pradeep said, the effects on the victim are long term. So are the same effects on our society. People often imagine a divided society beginning with political statements. But divided societies begin with unsafety.

I’m only standing here because it’s been my privilege to work with a wide variety of groups experiencing hate crime and discrimination. Thank you to the INAR for allowing me to do that with you and the Coalition for allowing me to contribute on that basis.
In 8 years of doing media work around INARs data on racist hate crime, we have always been struck that there has been much more interest by the media in single stories than in the expertise that minority groups develop around patterns of hate. We have had to work hard to amplify that. We have much, as a society, to learn from those who experience hate. As Ailsa and Martin both said, too often, people experiencing hate crime are let down by police and other institutions who deny its very existence. The constant fear that it will happen again tomorrow is the most significant impact of hate crime.

The impact of hate crime on the wider community is intended, not accidental. Hate crimes send the message that selected persons are not entitled to live their lives peacefully and with dignity in our society, and that they are lesser than an imagined majority in the society. They make invisible the commonalities we have with one another, and instead highlight selected differences, whether those be gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. 


They mark out selected identities for victimisation, poor treatment, less empathy, exclusion, and blame for their experiences of hate and exclusion. Hate crimes divide societies, communities and networks at every level. 
That’s why it’s important to take account of the very serious impact they have on an individual, but also our society at large.

Legislation sends a counter message. It sets out that all belong equally, all deserve dignity and safety. Our children, our neighbours, our work colleagues, everyone who lives in and is part of our communities, is protected by the law and should feel it’s protection.

Hate crimes often target one – one person, one venue, one family, one house, but hurt us all.”

Listen back

Is racial discrimination a problem in our third level institutions? RTE Morning Ireland

Language barriers creating difficulties for Syrians resettling in Ireland – on RTE Morning Ireland, Razan Ibraheem, Irish-Syrian journalist, discusses our report on the integration of Syrian refugees in Ireland.

Falling down the Covid conspiracy rabbit hole. Lucy talks to TippFM interview on disinformation, the far-right, Covid conspiracies, and the right to protest.

How do you deradicalise your close relative who has gone down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole? Newstalk interview with Henry McKean following anti-lockdown protest in Dublin

On the Policed podcast, Nana Nubi and Lucy Michael speak to Dr Vicky Conway about questions and concerns emerging from the killing of George Nkencho by the Armed Response Unit, including the right to life, policing and racism, policing mental health, and accountability  https://tortoiseshack.ie/policed-the-beat-george-nkencho/

On Reboot Republic podcast, Rory Hearne and Lucy talk about racism, Direct Provision, deportations, and the resistance to the far-right in Ireland. https://open.spotify.com/episode/6COdYPh3EQQeRhaRpzRwzV?si=azaQlA2wSs2fDVHh6aGsMw

In the last of The Black & Irish podcast series, Amanda speaks with Lucy about her work with INAR, how allyship needs to be developed, and understanding the importance of unconscious bias. https://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/living/2020/1221/1185734-dr-lucy-michael-on-allyship-racism-and-unconscious-bias/

On the Policed podcast, Majo Rivas, Fiona Finn and Lucy Michael discuss migrant experiences with An Garda Siochana https://podcasts.apple.com/ie/podcast/the-policed-podcast/id1529864553?i=1000490064976



Race Equality in the Higher Education Sector Implementation Plan

Rac

Today sees the launch of the Higher Education Authority Race Equality in the Higher Education Sector Implementation Plan 2022-2024.
Lucy will be speaking about the work we did on the national survey of Race Equality in the Higher Education Sector and how our report informed recommendations.

We found:
More than one-third (35%) of minority ethnic third-level education staff say they have been subjected to racial or ethnic discrimination on campus.
Less than half of minority ethnic staff are on full-time contracts, compared to 38% of white Irish and 25% white other not on full time contracts.
Just over 17% of minority ethnic staff earn over €75,000, compared to 38% of white Irish and 25% of white other
Some 71% said they feel they are treated equally by their colleagues, irrespective of their background
69% said they are treated equally by students, irrespective of their background
Few white staff have reported experiencing racial or ethnic discrimination, but all groups reported witnessing racial or ethnic discrimination against minority ethnic staff
More than half of respondents (52%) said they had never seen or heard the use of racist language on campus or online, while 27% said they rarely have seen such instances. However, staff across all ethnic groups described witnessing racial or ethnic discrimination against ethnic minority staff.

We made recommendations in 8 key areas:

Leadership
Supporting Diversity in Staffing
Making Race/Equality Policies Transparent
Reporting Mechanisms
Awareness and Training
Fostering Diversity in HEIs
Supporting Diversity in Student Recruitment
Data Collection

We look forward to seeing how those are implemented from today.

Balbriggan Youth Forum visit Howth RNLI

Balbriggan Youth Forum provides opportunities for young people in Balbriggan to speak about key social issues, connect with organisations to learn about those issues and how they affect young people, and learn new skills to share with others. BYF was established in 2021 by Balbriggan Integration Forum in acknowledgement that young people needed a platform for their own voices, to share the views of young people in the town and raise issues of concern to them. 

BYF’s next trip will be to the Dáil in September to visit TDs and Ministers, to learn about how local and national politics connect, and explore how young people’s voices can be heard.

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/dublin/fingal/balbriggan-youth-forum-visit-howth-rnli-41946265.html

A group of youth representatives from Balbriggan Youth Forum made an informative visit to Howth RNLI Lifeboats recently. Forum members came to learn about beach safety, safety on the water, the work of the RNLI crews, and how this important rescue operation is supported by volunteers. The members were keen to find out how to keep young people and their communities safe on and near the water, and learn about frontline rescues.

They were given a tour of the station, equipment and lifeboat pier to see the facilities supporting rescues across Fingal and Dublin. Jenny Harris, a volunteer member of the RNLI crew, shared her stories of rescues and being an essential part of a team under pressure. Forum members were particularly keen to find out how to share safety information with their community, and how to support the lifeboat’s work.

The group visited Baily Bites at Kish Fish on the West Pier to try out new seafood, the Martello Tower with it’s fantastic Hurdy Gurdy Radio museum and Balscadden Beach, while learning about the history of the town, its people and its connections with other parts of Fingal.