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Discriminatory Practices Against Minorities

Discriminatory Practices Against Minorities

There is a relatively high level of intolerance towards Roma. They often face discrimination in employment, access to housing, education, healthcare and social welfare. Most notable case occurred in 2013, when the authorities tried to take away two girls from a Roma family, suspecting them being kidnapped due to their “white” appearance. Police acted without preliminary investigation, guided by an anonymous tip.

The so-called Traveller community face similar problems. In January, it was reported that police had entered 40 Traveller families into the PULSE police database, including a 16-year-old minor.

LGBT discrimination has also been noted. A report by GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network), published in late February 2014 has revealed that almost one-in-three lesbian, gay and bisexual workers in Ireland are faced with harassment at their workplace. 10% of LGBT employees in Ireland reported they had already left a job due to homophobic or transphobic discrimination.

Transgender people are able to change their names and gender in passports, but are unable to receive a corresponding birth certificate or other official documents. To receive a new passport, they must provide evidence of gender-reassignment operation. They also face problems when some of their documents are obsolete and cannot be updated after gender reassignment, resulting in difficulties with access to employment, education and social welfare. According to the Basic Rights Agency report, published in 2012, 58% of transgender people have faced discrimination in 12 months.

Ireland practically lacks criminal legislation regarding hate crime. On June 18th, the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) also deplored the lack of hate crime legislation in the country, which had given Irish society a “permission to hate”. The warning came as TENI released a new report which documented 32 incidents of violence or discrimination against transgender persons.

In relation to the period under consideration, iReport.ie saw a reluctance by people who had experienced or witnessed racism to report it to the police (Garda) or other state bodies – with 5 out of 6 people saying that they would not report to the Irish Police or other official bodies. Reasons cited by respondents to iReports survey included: a reluctance to risk exposing oneself to further victimisation by sharing identifying details, a reluctance to engage in a lengthy legal or other process(es) that might result from issuing a report, and a reluctance to use forms that use complicated technical language and other off-putting vocabulary.[1]

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