Belfast Telegraph

Racial equality measures proposed

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have published proposals on racial equality.

It follows a spate of racist attacks in Northern Ireland and claims a protest against the allocation of public housing for an African family in east Belfast was motivated by prejudice.

The First Minister said: "Northern Ireland society has changed dramatically over the past decade and has been enhanced by the rich diversity of those people who have made their home here. They make a valuable contribution to all our lives and any actions that make people feel unwelcome, vulnerable or intimidated must be condemned by us all.

"Nobody should be judged on the colour of their skin, their political or religious background or race. This consultation is an opportunity for all sections of our community to voice their views on how to make Northern Ireland a society that respects diversity. The Executive is committed to stamping out all forms of racism and to making Northern Ireland a peaceful and tolerant place where everyone feels welcome and valued.

"Everyone with an interest or contribution to make should take this opportunity to get involved in this important consultation process."

The Deputy First Minister said: "I unreservedly condemn the recent race hate crimes and all forms of intimidation. The Executive is determined to promote equality, mutual respect and tolerance for all people in society. We must develop a society where racial equality and diversity is supported, understood and respected. Social, cultural and religious diversity should help build bonds between people not create conflict.

"The Executive is determined to tackle racial inequality head on, however, we can't do this alone. Through this consultation document we seek to gather a wide range of views from anyone with an interest in racial equality. Consultations like this are so important because they provide an opportunity for all of us to share our knowledge and experience in a way in which we can make a difference in people's lives.

"If we are to combat racism and racial inequalities we need the support and participation of all sections of society and I urge you to make your voice heard."

Public meetings will take place at a range of locations throughout September and October, when the consultation closes.


From Belfast Telegraph