Presse Release: Race Equality Motion debate at Stormont at 4pm today

13 September 2020


In the wake of the Assembly Motion debates on Race Equality, NICRE has prepared a briefing paper to the media on the current state of play on racial equality in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of NICRE, Mr. Patrick Yu said, “Enough is enough! We need actions and not talking the talk!” He further referred to the remarks of the previous Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland in the Forward of its latest Hate Crime Inspection Report in December 2017.

“We must never underestimate the moral responsibility that our political leadership has in articulating the vision of a Northern Ireland that celebrates and protects diversity and embraces the richness that difference can bring to our lives. Leaders must always speak in unambiguous and unequivocal terms, in supporting through actions those who are marginalised or threatened both in their homes and in public space. But words alone are not enough if they are not accompanied by clear actions that demonstrate and reinforce our societal vision.”
Brendan McGuigan Chief Inspector

The state of play on racial inequalities highlights the following key issues which are reinforced into institutional racism as defined by Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (The MacPherson Report) as “The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional services to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin which can be seen or detected in processes; attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.”

These key issues include the followings:
1. Lack of comprehensive legal protection as our current law was enacted in 1976 which was strongly criticised by name at the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination in August 2016 (para 7-8) ;
2. Lack of data collection and disaggregated collected data for equality purposes which was strongly criticised by name at the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination in August 2016(para 13-14);
3. Although we have less than 1000 hate crime per year over a long period of time, if we put black and minority ethnic population into consideration, Northern Ireland is the highest hate crime rate in UK. We are the only devolved administration which lacks of full legal protection. We urge the Executive and the Department of Justice to implement the forthcoming Independent Hate Crime Report in line with the current protection in England, Wales and Scotland as soon as possible;
4. Other issues should be addressed as highlighted in the Conclusion Observations of the UN Committee on Racial Discrimination.


If you have any query on this Press Release and the attached Briefing Paper, please contact the Secretary of NICRE at 07710 767235 or