Submission from Show Racism the Red Card to Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality

The Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality is undertaking a study of Integration, Multiculturalism and Combatting Racism.The Committee has decided to invite written submissions from interested groups or individuals in relation to these issues. It will consider any written submissions received and may decide to invite a number of contributors to public hearings should it feel that this is necessary.Below is the submission on behalf of Show Racism the Red Card.  Submission to the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and EqualityIntroductionShow Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) welcomes the call for submissions by the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality as regards integration, multiculturalism and combating racism.  The committee is considering these issues against a context of increased diversity within Ireland.Diversity in IrelandIn 2006, 10% of our population was identified as having been born outside Ireland and this figure was confirmed again in the 2011 census.  The largest number of immigrants in Ireland present from Poland, followed by Britain, but significant numbers are present who are from other countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America.Ireland’s youthful diversity is a key attraction to international companies who locate here as they demand multilingual workforces so that their business can operate in the modern global economy.  Therefore there can be no place for racism in Irish society and in particular within Irish education.Racism in IrelandUnfortunately racism has been identified both through our own work and in research by others in Irish society and in Irish education.  In our own work engaging children and young people in education, we have testimonies to examples not reported formally but experienced or witness by young people both within education and within their communities.The ESRI in 2006 identified that 1/3 immigrants had experienced racism in the previous year.  The Teachers Union of Ireland in 2010 identified that 45% of delegates attending their conference had witnessed racism in the classroom.  Furthermore Trinity College Children’s Research Centre identified that racism can affect children as young as seven and that it can have detrimental impact on both physical and mental health. Show Racism the Red Card elin etcPictured: Elin L’Estrange (Survivor of the Uteoya Island Atrocity in Norway) speaking at the launch of SRTRC programme of activities at Tallaght StadiumSRTRC was launched in Ireland in 2006 formally with the support of three players assocations and three teaching unions as an initiative harnessing education and sport to tackle racism.SRTRC produces education resources for teachers and others in education to impart anti-racism education.  We also work with organisations and develop programmes we believe will contribute to the process integration.Our programme of activities includes:-          Anti racism education workshops with schools and youth services-          Work with FAI and GAA to support integration within the fabric of sport-          Anti Racism training for sports development officers, community workers and others to enable them to deliver anti racism workshops-          Online anti-racism training module for those involved in education-          Anti racism creative competition involving 140 schools in 2012-          Intercultural Summer Camp led by volunteers working with young people from different cultural backgrounds, aged 11-15, to an intercultural and fun learning experience-          Racist incident reporting-          Public awareness campaigns

group pic 1Pictured: Participants at Intercultural Summer Camp 2013 in DonegalSRTRC Anti Racism Education The education pack, which is available in English and Irish, of SRTRC includes:1. 18minute DVD feature2. 40 page resource pack guiding educators in how to address different issues relating to the DVD3. Online training module with certificate accreditation by SRTRC to train educators to deliver the anti-racism message.4. Website with downloadable activities and factsheets to help convey the anti racism message.We are also available to deliver training for teachers and others in education to help them implement anti-racism education.pack coverThe 40 page education pack features interactive activities which help those involved in delivering education to promote understanding of related issues such as prejudice, stereotypes and good practice responses to incidences of racism.   The pack is structured to support learning outcomes of the associated DVD.The DVD features:

  • Ireland internationals Seamus Coleman, Simon Cox, David Meyler, James McCarthy, Darren Randolph and Seán St. Ledger.
  • Rihanna Jarrett of the Ireland Women’s Under 19 and Wexford Youth teams.
  • Neil Doyle (FAI / UEFA referee) and Fran Gavin (Director of  the Airtricity League)
  • Dessie Farrell, Chief Executive of the Gaelic Players’ Association.
  • GAA stars Lee Chin (Wexford), Barry Cahill (Dublin), Cliona O’ Connor (Dublin).
  • Leinster and Ireland rugby player Sean O’Brien.
  • Children’s TV presenter Diana Bunici.
  • Students and teachers from Blakestown Community School, Dublin; Adamstown Community College, Dublin; and St. Eunan’s National School, Raphoe, Co. Donegal.

On the DVD, a number of contributors speak about their own experiences of racism, including:

  • A young camogie-player of African origin, who says “while camogie is my favourite sport, I get a lot of abuse, with people from other teams saying that I should not be playing this sport because I am not Irish”.
  • A teenager originally from Lithuania who has lived in Dublin from an early age, who describes how her experiences of racism “started when I was eight years old and other children would tell me to go back to my own country”.
  • Wexford’s dual GAA star Lee Chin, who tells how a friend of his sister experienced suicidal feelings at the age of 10 because of racist abuse.
  • Another young boy says that ‘I just don’t want to go out’, after experiences of racism.

Our Anti- Racism Education workshops use the education pack to address through facilitation the following issues for young people:-          What is racism?-          How does it happen?-          Where does it come from?-          What is its impact?-          How should we respond?Our Anti Racism Creative Competition seeks to build on our educatnioal message so as to encourage young people and their schools to take an active stance against racsim.  This programme is funded with a grant of €27,000 from the Department of Justice, Defence and Equality’s Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration.Minister Alan Shatter TD spoke to open the Creative Competition Awards event of 2013, which was attended by young people from 25 schools from all over the country.  140 schools participated up from 62 in the first year of the programme in 2010.Creative Competition Awards Presentation of Show Racism the Red CardPictured: Phil Mc Mahon (Dublin), Indira Kaljo (Meteors Superleague Basketball team), Diana Bunici (RTE), Cliodhna O Connor (Dublin Ladies), Kevin Kilbane (ex Ireland), Eoin Reddan (Ireland rugby), Jason Sherlock (ex Dublin)Does Anti Racism Education Work?SRTRC carried out a before and after evaluation into attitudes of young people regarding issues around racism and diversity. Below is a sample of questions we asked 60 2nd year pupils in 3 community schools on the southside of Dublin.bob the builderPictured: An entry from Hollypark Girls National School to the SRTRC Creative CompetitionShould we treat people differently because of their religion?Before our workshop, 27% strongly agreed, 42% agreed with this view and 19% disagreed and 2% strongly disagreed with this view.After our workshop 18% disagreed and 82% strongly disagreed with this viewpoint.Is being racist a good thing?Before our workshop 2% strongly agreed, 27% neither agree nor disagree, 47% disagreed and 24% strongly disagreed.After our workshop, 13% disagreed and 87% strongly disagreed.Should refugees and asylum seekers be allowed to live in Ireland?Before our workshop 27% said yes, 18% said no and 55% were not sure.After our workshop, 76% said yes and 24% said not sure.Perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers Before our workshop 14% were neutral in their attitude, 44% negative, 42% positive view.After our workshop 6% were neutral, 2% negative, 92% positive.These figures confirm feedback from teachers as regards the impact of our resources.  The research shows that racism can be tackled but we must not be complacent and it involves intervention.Integration and Anti Racism in schools SRTRC is able to reach 250 schools each year through their participation in the Anti- Racism Creative Competition, FAI Football Against Racism in Europe week and also responses to invitations from schools.  There are nearly 4,000 primary and second level schools in Ireland.  Clearly more is needed so as to have the impact required to challenges of diversity.Does the curriculum reflect the diversity of modern Ireland?  Children from Poland and Britain present in significant numbers, so how for example is history presented in books and teaching.Does religious diversity present challenges within the patronage model of education and how should policy makers address these challenges?Does staffing in education reflect the diversity of modern Ireland?A diversity audit would prove useful for schools in Ireland to assess the situation.  Each school has its own board, patron and independence.  To support implementation across all schools, it would be useful for government to apply equality criteria in response to funding applications.It cannot be assumed that because of diversity or because of highly skilled teachers that we do not need to be concerned about racism.  Racism is an ongoing challenge of the process of integration.This survey shows that there is a lot of work to be done because we have not been able to reach the majority of young people in this country.  The survey shows that actual intervention is needed to make the change in promoting anti-racism education.Integration and Anti Racism in SportCases such as Luis Suarez and John Terry in England have given an increased profile to the issue of racism in sport.  The experience of racism in English football is much transformed from the experience of John Barnes, Cyril Regis and others in the 1980s.  Changes to football legislation combined with the introduction of all-seater stadia and a political willingness served by support to Show Racism the Red Card and the Kick It Out campaign, have combined to assist this transformation.In Ireland, the FAI introduced a change to the rule book with rule 91 concerning the issue of racism.  This rule stipulates that a racist offence within the game should lead to at minimum a red card and a five match ban and / or fine.  Supporters can face a ban of up to two years for incidents of racism.A number of incidents have occurred with regards to rule 91and have involved investigations in to alleged experiences of racism. These have resulted in match bans and fines for players in the Airtricity League and to fans being banned from grounds.The FAI introduced the Football Intercultural Plan in 2007, which aimed to impact on the levels of integration of people from minority background at all levels of the game.  The plan offers a twin track approach of promoting integration and combatting racism.  Funding was provided by the Department of Justice but this has been cut back in the last two years. SRTRC work closely with the Intercultural Co-ordinator to ensure implementation of the plan.The GAA introduced the Respect Campaign which aims to promote sporting behavior and addressing racism is within the remit of the Respect Campaign.  Also in 2009, the GAA introduced a policy change to stipulate the associations anti-racism commitment in 2009.  Those who infringe on this policy can face being charged with bringing the game into disrepute.The case of Lee Chin served to highlight the issue of racism in GAA and resulted in the Wexford County board applying an 8 match ban to players involved and also a 26 match ban involving an umpire.  Since his case hit the headlines, other cases have been investigated by county boards in Armagh concerning Aaron Cunningham, Cavan concerning underage players and for Westmeath concerning minor county players.These are the cases, which we are aware of at the higher levels of the games.  The experience at the grassroots now needs attention.  Sport can serve to bring people together and the result of interaction through sport can serve to break down barriers.A difficulty in responding to racism within sport is that sometimes allegations of racism can occur in the context of other offences.  For example, a racist comment can provoke a violent response.  The referee sees the violent response.The following will help to raise awareness and consequently reduce racism in sport:-          Host anti-racism training for referees-          Host anti-racism training for volunteers-          Adopt an anti racism policy for the club-          Adopt a strategy to promote clubs amongst those not already involved eg minority communitiesGovernment can encourage this process by linking funding to equality standards.Diversity of nationalities is now filtering through the structures of mainstream sports bodies in Ireland.  The Westmeath Minor Gaelic football team has 3 players of African nationalities.  The Ireland Under 15s soccer team has one third of its squad originating from outside Ireland.  The success of players at this level will encourage others to be involved in sport.  Monitoring the levels of diversity is important as it will help policy makers assess the success of integration in Ireland.The proliferation of voluntary organisations throughout Ireland is a huge benefit to our society in so many ways, but many countries do not have the tradition of volunteering that exists in Ireland.  It is good to say ‘get involved’ but maybe there are other issues other than racism, which can act as barriers to participation.  Racism can be one barrier but an absence of a culture of volunteering may be another.  Therefore intervention measures are needed to respond to the challenge of integration.Conclusion SRTRC works in a preventative way to address racism but we do give guidance on appropriate responses.  Harnessing the role model status of sports stars has proven effective in conveying the anti-racism education message.  There are good practice examples such as school intercultural days or activities in the anti- racism creative competition, but there is a need for structured support and intervention throughout all sectors in education and sport.Our five Recommendations to the Joint Committee To conclude this submission, we propose four measures for consideration:

  1.  Policy changes to demonstrate zero tolerance for racism
  2. Anti Racism training for teachers and those involved in sport to result in good practice in responding to racist incidences
  3. Anti Racism Education to target young people in clubs and schools
  4. Monitoring and Reporting incidences of racism within education, sport and other sectors
  5. Diversity Auditing within education, sport and other sectors.  This would act to support evaluation of progress towards anti-racism and integration. Auditing would involve a verification process to assess measures in the given organisation.  An example of this process would seek data as to numbers of people from minority backgrounds in the school, sport or organisation at all levels including staffing.

On behalf of Show Racism the Red Card, I wish to thank you for giving us the opportunity to make this submission and trust it will be of interest.Yours in Education & Sport,Garrett Mullan __________________Board of Directors: Aodhán Ó Riordáin TD, Emmet Malone, Eoin Mc Cafferty, Emily Mc Ginty,  Martina Quinn, Des Tomlinson, Peter Mc DevittReferencesGuide for Teachers Intercultural Plan Intercultural Standards Anti- Racism Training modules Programme Racism the Red Card Education pack Racism the Red Card DVD 2013What is Racism against racism in schools against racism in sport and its consequences’s and Don’ts in responding in an integrated Ireland guidelines to sports capital grants1.1.1 Evidence of non-discrimination To be considered for a grant you must provide evidence that your organisation does not discriminate against anybody on the grounds of gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, religious belief, or membership of the Traveller Community.Suitable evidence of non-discrimination includes, but is not limited to, a statement outlining your policy on non-discrimination or a copy of the rules, procedures or constitution of your organisation.

On behalf of Show Racism the Red Card, I wish to thank you for giving us the opportunity to make this submission and trust it will be of interest.

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