Belfast Telegraph

Charity alert over racist bullying rise

By Adrian Rutherford

Childline in Northern Ireland has held dozens of counselling sessions about racial or faith-based bullying.

In the 12 months to April the charity's Belfast and Foyle bases carried out 70 sessions with children.

Across the UK, more than 2,500 sessions took place in the last three years, according to figures released by the NSPCC.

Muslim children said they endured constant name-calling, were accused of being associated with so-called Islamic State, and threatened with violence. Young girls were victimised when they wore a hijab or headscarf.

Some young people said the bullying both inside and out of school made them feel isolated and withdrawn from society, while others skipped school to escape the bullying.

Neil Anderson from NSPCC Northern Ireland said: "No child should be targeted because of their race or faith and we cannot allow prejudice to make children feel ashamed of who they are."

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