Racism has a devastating impact on people’s lives – it affects the individual, their family and friends, and their community. As a country, we can and must do better.
We know how lonely and isolating it can be to go through something like this. If you or your family have been the victim of a racist incident, here are a few things you can do.
Report it to the Gardaí
Did you know about the Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers (ELO) in your community? When you report an incident of racism, the Gardaí will inform you of the designated Liaison Officer in your area. They are trained to provide specific support and advice to victims of racist incidents.
You may also wish to contact your local social worker, through Tusla.
Talk to your child’s school – what is their role and what can they do?
All schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy, which should include an anti-racist statement. Ask them if they have restorative justice practice in place. This is a process carefully facilitated by members of the staff, with the consent of parents and young people, by supporting young people to resolve conflict, air grievances and aims to put things right.
The Responding to Racism guide, published by the Irish Network Against Racism (INAR), is a very comprehensive resource, which you can download. Read the section on Education (p.133) to find out more about your rights and what you can do, and what schools should and can do to end racism.
Talk to someone
It is so important to reach out to people you trust, your friends and family.
There are also supports out there. The Immigrant Council of Ireland offers a free and confidential helpline (including referrals to counselling services where appropriate). Call 01 674 0200, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Text50808 is a free 24/7 text service for young people, if they need to talk to someone, any time of day or night.
Report it when it happens
Ireland does not have hate crime legislation. INAR, along with many organisations including ourselves, are working hard to change this. Having live information and up to date figures on racist incidents is crucial to influencing change in this area.
By reporting to https://www.ireport.ie/, you are contributing to raising awareness of the scale of racist incidents here in Ireland.
Reach out to MRCI
As a community work organisation, MRCI’s approach is underpinned by a deep commitment to human rights, equality and anti-discrimination. This means supporting communities to challenge oppression, racism and prejudice in all its forms.
Our team is here to provide you with support and advice on how to deal with a racist incident. You can always contact us. We are here for you.
Together we will continue to tackle racism and build a more equal Ireland for everyone.
In solidarity, MRCI team