Policy Briefing Papers

Racism and Migrant Workers in Ireland

INTRODUCTION

Racism, and its impact on the lives of migrant workers, is a matter of grave concern for all societies. To create a more equal and socially-inclusive society, racism must be addressed both at the individual and institutional level. Attempting to address racism only at the level of the individual, as is the most common response, fails to recognise the structural nature of this phenomenon.

This paper explores racism and how it is manifested towards migrant workers in Ireland. Prime examples of institutional racism are evident in accessing public services, employment, ethnic profiling, and the impact of the current recession in Ireland. The paper does not attempt to address all aspects of racism experienced by Black and minority ethnic groups, including the Traveller community, but focuses on a number of salient examples. Key recommendations for future work and action to counter racism are highlighted.

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