Anti-Racism & Ethnic Minorities’ Issues: What #GE16 Political Parties Say

General Election 2016

Anti- Racism & Ethnic Minorities’ Issues: What #GE16 Political Parties say on…

Here is your last minute summary before General Election tomorrow showing what political parties say on anti-racism and ethnic minorities’ issues, such as addressing racism, integration, equality, hate crime, refugees, asylum seekers, direct provision, the refugee crisis, Traveller & Roma, undocumented, migrant workers, voting and political rights of migrants.


…ANTI- RACISM, INTEGRATION & EQUALITY

FIANNA FAIL

No mention.

FINE GAEL

Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion: In a new term, we will develop a new Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion, built on our three pillars, which will tackle inequality and poverty. Our Integrated Framework will outline measures to help eliminate any persisting discrimination on grounds of gender, age, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion or membership of the Traveller Community. It will draw on existing as well as new strategies, in particular the (i) New Pathways to Work Plan for Jobless Households, (ii) New National Women’s Strategy, (iii) New National Disability Inclusion Strategy, (iv) Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, (v) National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, and (vi) New Action Plan for Educational Inclusion.”

A More Inclusive, Diverse, Fair and Progressive Society: Fine Gael will continue to promote a more inclusive, diverse, fair and progressive society. As the first country in the world to vote for marriage equality, Ireland should continue to lead by example. We will promote equal gender treatment in the workplace, recognise the diversity of our communities and assist those with a disability to fully participate in society. Fine Gael will also strengthen parental choice and diversity in our schools system, reflecting the need in modern Ireland for new forms of multi-denominational and non-denominational education.”

LABOUR

“Ireland’s population is more diverse than ever before and embraces new communities from across the world. We need appropriate integration structures to assist in social cohesion. Labour in government has worked with Migrant Groups to look at new ways to develop better integration practices. We also established a nationwide Polish–Irish festival recognising the unique position of the Polish diaspora – one of the largest ex-pat communities in Ireland. The implementation of the new National Integration Strategy will be a key priority for Labour in the next government. We will create local integration strategies and guidelines for all community groups in receipt of public funding. The new strategy will look at ways to encourage participation in public life, including politics, for migrants and their families.”

SINN FEIN

“Sinn Féin is seeking a new, agreed and united Ireland. We want to build a just, fair and equal Ireland – an economically prosperous and socially and culturally inclusive Ireland. We want to protect our most vulnerable – the elderly, children, the ill, ethnic minorities, those with disabilities – and ensure that equality is the touchstone upon which all policies are formulated.”

“The republican vision of a united Ireland is based on the principles of equality, inclusion and sovereignty. There can be no place for sectarianism, exclusion or discrimination.”

“We will initiate a renewed five-year National Action Plan Against Racism.”

GREEN PARTY

No mention.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

“People Before Profit declares itself completely opposed to racism in all its forms, including Islamophobia, anti-semitism, and anti-Traveller racism. We regard the ordinary people of every nation, ethnic group and creed, as our sisters and brothers. People Before Profit rejects the idea that there is a particular link between Islam and terrorism. PBP will seek to overcome all instances and causes of racism.”

ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

“A left government would introduce real progressive change in Ireland. this means ending all forms of discrimination against migrants, Travellers, LGBTQ people and women”.

“The AAA stands for: For a united struggle for jobs, decent housing, decent pay, against water charges etc to unite all ordinary people regardless of their race, ethnicity or nationality.”

“Oppose racism and Islamophobic prejudice.”

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

No mention.

RENUA

No mention.


…HATE CRIME

FIANNA FAIL

No mention.

FINE GAEL

No mention.

LABOUR

Hate crime is mentioned only in the relation to the LGBT people “…we will enact a national LGBT strategy that will focus on tackling hate crimes…”

SINN FEIN

“We will enact the ICCL’s Criminal Law (Hate Crime) Amendment Bill 2015 to address racism, sectarianism and homophobia in Irish society.”

GREEN PARTY

No mention.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

Hate crime is mentioned only in the relation to the LGBT people: “Introduce hate crime legislation to deal with homophobic and transphobic attacks and proper recording of same.”

ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

No mention.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

No mention.

RENUA

No mention.


…REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS, DIRECT PROVISION & REFUGEE CRISIS

FIANNA FAIL

Address the migrant crisis

The unprecedented levels of migrants and refugees fleeing war torn regions in the Middle East and North Africa presents a serious humanitarian and political challenge to Europe. Ireland must play its part in assisting those in need of refuge at home and in providing help on front line camps. Refugees based here in Ireland and the communities they are placed in must be afforded the supports they need to fully integrate into Irish society. We will:

  • Work with our EU colleagues and international community to help bring an end the civil war that is destabilising Syria and generating the refugee crisis to an end.
  • Support a significant expansion of aid to refugees in camps in the Middle East, including the release of further EU funding for this purpose. We will double Irish funding for this purpose to €1.2m.
  • Stand with others in fighting against the extremists who are using this crisis to promote fear and distrust between groups. We will insist that Europe remain true to its democratic and inclusive values.
  • Continue to accommodate refugees in Ireland as part of a comprehensive international response. ”

Improve Direct Provision Care

Grave political instability, civil war and the escalating impact of climate change is driving the issue of migration into the centre of European debate. As outlined in the above section there is an onus and moral obligation on us as members of the European Union to accept a fair proportion of people who are seeking to escape the horrors of conflict and the ravages of war. We have earmarked €4m to improve Direct Provision.  We will:

  • Increase the adult allowance from €19.10  up to €38.74 as recommended by the Working Group over the lifetime of the Government.
  • Raise the allowance for children from €9.60 up to €29.80.”

FINE GAEL

“Fine Gael will continue to pursue a balanced migration policy that supports our economy and meets our international and humanitarian obligations, whilst also taking a tough approach to tackling illegal migration.

Immigration Bill: We will introduce a comprehensive Immigration and Residency Reform Bill, aimed at modernising Ireland’s visa and residency systems.

Refugee Protection: We will continue to offer safe haven for refugees under EU and UN resettlement and relocation programmes, while promoting the integration of refugees in our communities.

Direct Provision: We will reform the Direct Provision system, with particular focus on families and children.

Abuse of Immigration System: We will get tougher on abuses of our migration system by ensuring implementation of the new enforcement and deportation provisions in the recently enacted International Protection Act. In implementing EU regulations, we will ensure a stringent and effective approach to speedily refusing bogus applications and facilitating removal from the State. We will also increase cooperation with the UK to crack down on the increasing numbers of bogus asylum seekers who are applying for unmerited asylum status in Ireland solely because their UK visa has expired.”

Refugee Crisis: Fine Gael is committed to an increase in our DefenceForces presence in missions abroad and this will bereflected as soon as 2016. We are committed to thecontinuation of humanitarian missions like the recentoperation in the Mediterranean, which has receivedmuch public support.”

LABOUR

“Ensuring a fair and humane system for asylum and refugee applicationsremains a core task. In government Labour has overseen the publication ofa report into the Protection Process including the Direct Provision System.This report included 176 recommendations some of which we have begunto implement including the waiving of prescription charges for those livingin direct provision and increasing the rate allowance paid to children livingin these centres.We have also introduced a Protection Bill which will see new applicationsfor asylum processed more quickly to ensure people are not left living in limbo for many years while their application is pending. If re-elected wewill continue to implement the recommendations within the report toensure that those seeking asylum are treated with dignity and respectwhilst they await the outcome of their application. We will also continueto work on developing comprehensive immigration legislation, which istransparent and clear for those wishing to work and live in the state.”

“We will work with our international partners to prevent political insecurity and to mitigate its effects. In particular we will work to assist people displaced or impacted by war and civil unrest.”

SINN FEIN

  • “We will end Direct Provision and replace it with a not-for-profit model that has integration and human rights best practice at its core.
  • We will amend the International Protection Bill 2015 to address deficiencies in relation to children’s rights, family reunification, and access to work and education.
  • Refugee crisis: Europe is facing its biggest refugee crisis since World War Two and we will ensure that Ireland plays a leading role in tackling this humanitarian crisis.

We will ensure the Irish Naval Service continues to conduct lifesaving rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

We will ensure that the Irish State plays a proactive role at an international level to encourage a cessation of hostilities in Syria and the creation of an inclusive peace process, and pursue a similar approach to other conflicts around the world.”

GREEN PARTY

  • “Support the introduction of Humanitarian Visas which would permit the issuing of visas at embassies and consulates.
  • Increase the number of people under resettlement and relocation as part of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.
  • Keep the number of relocated and resettled people under review with a view to increasing the number to a target of five thousand by 2017.
  • Support the suspension of the Dublin III regulations with Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia to reduce the unfair burden on the Mediterranean states of the European Union.
  • Continue and increase the involvement of the Irish naval and defence forces in search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
  • Stop Returns and Return Orders for countries with ongoing armed conflicts, except in cases where the individual poses a security threat, and provide mechanisms which would regularise the stay of nationals from those countries.
  • Support the creation of an EU Asylum service to centralise asylum claims to ensure all states play their part in addressing the refugee crisis.”

On immigration, the Green Party will:

“Introduce an Immigration Act to codify areas such as the right to family reunification, the rights of children and access to permanent residency in order to reduce the level of discretion left to the Minister for Justice.”

On asylum, the Green Party will:

  • Dismantle the direct provision system and replace it with an efficient and humane system for determining the status of asylum seekers.
  • Grant asylum seekers the right to work after 6 months.
  • Create an independent appeals mechanism for asylum decisions and include the asylum and immigration systems within the remit of the Ombudsman and the Children’s Ombudsman.
  • Ensure Ireland works closely with other EU member state to provide a fair and proportionate system of asylum provision for persons fleeing war torn states and continues to support rescue mission in the Mediterranean.
  • We would examine family sponsorship schemes that are successfully implemented in Germany and Austria.”

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

“Ending direct provision; Ireland welcoming refugees and ensuring the necessary funding and resources are made available to ensure people can live with dignity and equality; Ireland taking a proactive role in helping to address the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis since WW2; Ending the practice of deporting asylum seekers.”

“Oppose both the Western and Russian military intervention in the conflict in Syria.”

ANTI-AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

“The Anti-Austerity Alliance opposes all forms of racism and Islamophobia. the wars waged by imperialism in the Middle east and North Africa have helped to create a horrific humanitarian catastrophe with many being forced to flee from their homes. The AAA opposes the policies of Fortress europe and the implementation of racist immigration laws that deny people the right to seek sanctuary from war, poverty and persecution. We oppose the racist scapegoating of refugees and migrants for the absence of jobs, homes and resources that result from the policies of austerity and neo-liberalism.”

“Oppose state racism – end direct provision. Oppose all deportations and racist immigration laws and controls. Oppose the racist policies of “Fortress Europe”. Defend the right to asylum.”

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

End Direct Provision.Ireland’s system of direct provision was only ever intended to be a short-termsolution, but has become a national disgrace. We can and should do more to makea timely decision on a person’s asylum status, particularly in light of the pressingSyrian, Somali and Afghani refugee crisis. A clear short to medium term goal of theSocial Democrats would be to end Direct Provision.”

RENUA

No mention.


…TRAVELLERS & ROMA

FIANNA FAIL

“Although very significant improvements have been made over the last fifteen years, there remain serious issues with regards educational disadvantage for children from the Traveller community. Fianna Fáil is committed to ensuring that Traveller children secure top quality education, to include outcomes (in terms of transfer to further levels and success rates) on a par with those of the settled community. In addition, it is essential that these children’s experiences in education are respectful of the unique culture and mores of the Traveller community. To ensure ongoing improvements for education outcomes among the Traveller Community, FiannaFáil will restore the Visiting Teacher Service for Travellers at a cost of approximately €2 million.”

FINE GAEL

“In a new term, we will develop a new Integrated Framework for Social Inclusion, built on our three pillars, which will tackle inequality and poverty.

Our Integrated Framework will outline measures to help eliminate any persisting discrimination on grounds of gender, age, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, race, disability, religion or membership of the Traveller Community. It will draw on existing as well as new strategies, in particular the (i) New Pathways to Work Plan for Jobless Households, (ii) New National Women’s Strategy, (iii) New National Disability Inclusion Strategy, (iv) Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities, (v) National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, and (vi) New Action Plan for Educational Inclusion.”

“National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy: We will publish a revised National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy, aimed at improving the lives of members of the Traveller and Roma communities.”

LABOUR

“We support the formal recognition of the Travelling Community as a group in Irish society with a unique culture, heritage and ethnic identity. In government we have outlined the roadmap to achieve this by commencing work on a new National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy. We will continue to consult with Traveller NGOs on the completion and implementation of this Strategy to address the accommodation, health, education and other issues faced by the Traveller community.”

“We will give responsibility to the Housing Agency to address key concerns around housing for Travellers. We will also look at innovative ways of offering support for education and work place activation for members of the Travelling community. We will more than double the number of Travellers going to college.”

SINN FEIN

“We will recognise the ethnicity status of the Travelling community, including their right to traveller specific accommodation.”

“We will frontload funding to Local Authorities with a good track record of drawing down funds and providing Traveller accommodation, with penalties for those who refuse to build needed Traveller accommodation.”

GREEN PARTY

“Recognise the Traveller Community as a minority ethnic group.”

“Initiating an audit of local authorities’ delivery and implementation of Traveller accommodation plans.”

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

“Recognition of Traveller ethnicity by the Irish State.”

“Establish an Independent National Housing Agency to oversee the delivery of safe and culturally appropriate Traveller Accommodation.”

ANTI-AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

“Traveller accommodation was cut from €70 million to €3 million per annum in the period from 2007 to 2013. It is an outrage that travellers are forced to live in gravely sub-substandard accommodation as a result of the absence of properly funded and equipped halting sites.”

“For investment in properly resourced halting sites. Reverse the cuts to Traveller accommodation.”

“The AAA opposes the horrendous discriminations faced by the Travelling community in Ireland and supports their right to be recognised as an ethnic group”.

“End discrimination against the Travelling community. Recognise Travellers as an ethnic group.”

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

No mention.

RENUA

No mention.


…VOTING & POLITICAL RIGHTS

FIANNA FAIL

No mention.

FINE GAEL

No mention.

LABOUR

“The number of people living in Ireland who were born elsewhere is at an unprecedented high. We believe that all EU citizens who have lived in Ireland for five years should be entitled to vote in general elections. This should be extended on a reciprocal basis. We will mount an information campaign to encourage all non-Irish citizens who have the right to vote, including all those who are currently entitled to vote in local elections, to do so.”

SINN FEIN

“We will ensure that the Seanad becomes a fully inclusive, representative and accountable institution. This requires: direct election by way of universal franchise of all Irish citizens on the same day as the Dáil vote; Northern and Diaspora representation; 50% women members; and representation of marginalised minority groups within Irish society.”

GREEN PARTY

No mention.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

No mention.

ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

No mention.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

No mention.

RENUA

No mention.


…MIGRANT WORKERS

FIANNA FAIL

No mention.

FINE GAEL

“Introducing a scheme to protect migrant workers in the fishing industry.”

LABOUR

No mention.

SINN FEIN

“Women, migrant workers and young people remain particularly vulnerable to ill-treatment in the workplace, with those working in the retail, hospitality and care sectors faring the worst. We are determined to create jobs that are long-term, sustainable, decent paying and that recognise trade union rights.”

GREEN PARTY

“End labour exploitation by creating sector- based employment permits so workers may move between employers and ensure that all migrant workers are able to access the Labour Court.”

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

No mention.

ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

“End yellow pack wage rates for women, migrant and young people- equal pay for work of equal value.”

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

No mention.

RENUA

No mention.


…UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS

FIANNA FAIL

No mention.

FINE GAEL

No mention.

LABOUR

“The Labour Party will introduce, on a one-off basis, an earned regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants living in Ireland. This scheme will be both pragmatic and fair and will be developed in consultation with migrant NGOs and the relevant government departments within the lifetime of the next government.”

SINN FEIN

“We will regularise undocumented migrants and introduce comprehensive legislation dealing with all aspects of immigration and residence in the State.”

GREEN PARTY

“Implement a regularisation scheme for undocumented migrants in Ireland.”

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT

No mention.

ANTI AUSTERITY ALLIANCE

No mention.

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS

No mention.

RENUA

No mention.

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