Minister O’Gorman publishes discrimination report to inform equality policy

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman, has today published a report on discrimination in Ireland. The report compiles data from a number of sources to provide data on the experience of discrimination reported by three groups: persons aged 18 years and over, children aged 12-17 years and Travellers and Roma. The report also provides findings on attitudes and perceptions regarding discrimination in society.

Below are some of the main findings by group:

Experience of discrimination among persons aged 18 years and over

• In 2019, 17% of persons aged 18 and over living in Ireland reported having experienced some form of discrimination in the previous two years, compared to 12% in 2014.

• Those who had a non-white ethnicity were most likely to experience some form of discrimination (33%), followed by those who were unemployed (30%). People aged 65 years or older were the least likely to report experiencing discrimination (11%).

Experience of discrimination among children

• In both the Health Behaviours and School-Aged Children Study (HBSC) and Growing Up in Ireland (GUI), children who experienced discrimination were most likely to report that they experienced it on the basis of age.

• Children from less advantaged social class backgrounds were the most likely to have experienced discrimination on the basis of ‘place of birth of self, parent or grandparent’ (30%), compared to 24% among children from the most advantaged social class backgrounds.

Experience of discrimination among members of the Traveller community

• Overall, 90% of Travellers reported that they had ‘ever’ experienced discrimination, with 77% reporting that they had experienced discrimination ‘in the past year’.

• Around three-quarters (72%) of Travellers living in Ireland reported experiencing discrimination when trying to rent or buy houses in the previous five years.

The report identifies variation in experiences of discrimination by different factors such as by gender, nationality, race disability status, sexual orientation, religion, membership of the Travelling community, and social class. In this way, it helps identify which of these population subgroups are likely to experience discrimination and allows policy makers to design targeted and effective strategies to tackle discrimination. .

Speaking about the report, Minister O’Gorman said, “This is an important resource for Government, policy makers and indeed anyone interested in fighting discrimination and promoting equality. The report highlights that over a number of surveys certain population groups are more likely to experience discrimination.

“The numbers of Travellers reporting experiences of discrimination are particularly stark and unacceptably high and this should prompt widespread reflection. But knowing is not enough, we must do and this report will inform a number of Strategies including the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy review this year. It is also important in the context of my Department’s review of the Equality Acts. “The report also provides us with data which is key to implementing equality budgeting across all Government Departments, an important initiative that started this year and will mean decision-makers consider the impact of fiscal policies through an equality focus,” Minister said.

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