Challenges to Building an Intercultural Ireland A Limerick Perspective (2013)

This document outlines the urgent need for a comprehensive strategy on integration, multiculturalism, and combating racism. It highlight the gaps in legislation and policy infrastructure and propose recommendations for action to the Oireachtas Committee on Integration.

Executive Summary

Doras Luimní (Doras) is an independent non-governmental organisation working to support and promote the rights of migrants living in Limerick city and county. The core areas of our work are direct support, legal advice and advocacy, and integration planning and antiracism. Based on our experience we feel that there is a pressing need to address the issues of integration, multiculturalism and combating racism through a co-ordinated strategy that combines national and local efforts to address these issues. This can be achieved with a clear understanding of the national context, local approaches to integration and the challenges faced in combating racism.

National Context: Creating a suitable environment for best policy and practice in regard to migrant issues with particular reference to the lack of clear legislation around Immigration and the impact of national policies, such as the closure of the NCCRI on Integration.

Integration: Through our work with the Limerick Integration Working group Doras has worked to address integration issues in an environment that is increasingly difficult due to changing social and economic factors. There is a clear gap in policy in regard to national approaches to integration which would provide a framework for local initiatives.

Racism: Doras is aware that racism exists in Ireland through our own research, reports and evidence based on our clients’ experiences. The current legislative and policy infrastructure make it difficult for anyone seeking redress for racist incidents / language and as a result little has been done to combat racism.

Based on our research and experience Doras is making the following recommendations to the Oireachtas Committee on Integration, Multiculturalism and Combating Racism.