You may have noticed in recent weeks an intensive effort by the Immigrant Council of Ireland to increase awareness on important issues such as racism, domestic violence as well as access to justice.
Our efforts have not only led to extensive media coverage but also positive engagement with politicians and others who share our desire for a robust response in each of these areas.
Below I outline some of this work.
Can I also remind you that a critical stage has now been reached in the debate on Irish prostitution law and your support is again urgently needed. We are asking people to spare just one minute at www.turnofftheredlight.ie/action
to add their voice in calls for laws targeting sex buyers.
We are now preparing for a busy few weeks ahead as we engage with the political and legal system to secure real change which will impact on individuals and their families.
Our work would not be possible without your continuing support which not only brings about change but makes a real difference in the lives of the people we support.
Immigrant Council of Ireland
Racism: 120 incidents responded to in 12 months
Martin Luther King, 50 years on
Access to citizenship
Victims of domestic violence
Turn off the red light:Time for action
Mothers and Daughters fundraising lunch
As a frontline agency the Immigrant Council of Ireland has worked to end the complacency surrounding racism and has achieved positive results in recent months. During August we published a substantial body of research on the 120 cases we have responded to over the previous year.
The following are the key findings from an analysis of the 120 racist incidents that were reported to the Immigrant Council of Ireland from July ’12 to July ’13.
Nearly 1 in 5 (19.1%) of the incidents reported affected Irish people from an ethnic minority / migrant background.
The top two kinds of incidents being reported are Verbal Harassment (39.2%) and Discrimination (33.3%) are.
Written Harassment, including anonymous letters and posts on social media websites, leaflets, and posters accounted for 20.8% of all incidents.
The two most prominent places where racist incidents have been reported are At Work (20%) and In the Street (15.8%). Incidents were also reported as happening While Accessing Government, Community or Customer Services (13.3%).
In the previous 12 months 35.8% of the incidents reported involved the ICI liaising with and/or contacting Gardaí for further information. 31.7% of people who made reports were referred by the ICI to other Appropriate Organisations, Agencies and Services, including The Equality Authority, Free Legal Aid Centre, the Department of Justice, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI) and counselling services.
Cyber racism accounts for 16.7% of the 120 incidents reported.
We used the opportunity to outline measures we want taken including the establishment of a national database on racism. You can access our News Release and the full report here
The Oireachtas Justice Committee has now agreed to invite written submissions on racism with a view to holding public hearings, the Immigrant Council of Ireland is fully involved in that process.
MLK’s Dreams, 50 years on
The Immigrant Council of Ireland marking the 50th
anniversary of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr on August 28th
1963. We marked the anniversary across our social media, online, by participating in events with the US Embassy and Dublin City Council and with special posters.
The Journal agreed to use the occasion to publish an opinion piece outlining our perspective on the day, which can be accessed here
While our Integration Manager, Fidele Mutwarasibo, and one of our Ambassadors for Change, Sheelan Yousefizadeh were among those invited to read the speech at Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square.
Christopher D Visosky (American Embassy) with our Integration Manager Fidel Mutwarasibo on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Access to Citizenship
Much has been achieved in the area of citizenship and the Immigrant Council of Ireland warmly welcomed the news that 4,000 people received theirs at ceremonies in August.
However we are also keenly aware that there remains barriers which prevent people from becoming citizens. We published a detailed study on this issue which prompted substantial media coverage and a welcome a debate over the summer. We would encourage you to access the report and study its important findings here
The report prompted an editorial in the Irish Times, which is also worthy of reading and echoed many of our views. That can be accessed here
Victims of Domestic Violence
The Immigrant Council of Ireland has joined with the eight other organisations of the Domestic Violence Coalition in making a submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee seeking greater protections for people trapped in violent relationships because of fears of immigration law.
Our submission was submitted in the summer and sets out areas where we want reform
The need to formally recognise domestic violence in immigration law
Reform of current administrative practices
The provision of safe emergency accommodation as well as welfare benefits
That the Irish government sign and ratify the Council Of Europe Convention on Combating and Preventing Violence against Women and Domestic Violence as a matter of urgency
The press release and full submission can be viewed here
Turn Off the Red Light: Time for Action
In June a significant milestone was reached when the Oireachtas Justice Committee unanimously backed the aims of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign, of which the Immigrant Council of Ireland is a founding member.
Now with the resumption of the new Dáil term it is vital that we maintain the momentum of the campaign in order to secure laws which would end exploitation, abuse and sex trafficking by targeting the buyers of sex.
It is worth noting that the Government has been reviewing the law for over 12-months, the Oireachtas Committee sifted through 800 submissions and held full hearings and during that time 19 children were found in Irish ‘commercial sex’. It is now time to act.
Every email now counts. We are asking all our supporters to give one minute at www.turnofftheredlight.ie/action
and add their voice.
Mothers & Daughters Fundraising Lunch September 27th 2013
Immigrant Council of Ireland founder and Board member Sr. Stan
with last year's guest of honour, Dragon's Den star Norah Casey
Our annual Mothers and Daughters fundraising lunch in Dublin's Fire restaurant on September 27th is drawing closer. This is a special event will raise much needed funds to end sex trafficking and exploitation in Ireland.
This year's raffle prizes include jewellery pieces from Appleby jewellers, dinner in one of Dublin's premier restaurants, Chapter one, lunch in one of Ireland's most famous cookery schools, Ballymaloe and a spa retreat at the Ritz Carlton, Powerscourt, to name but a few!
This year our celebrity auction will give the lucky winners the chance to discuss current affairs over lunch with RTE's Bryan Dobson, Eileen Dunne, or Keelin Shanley, talk sport with Tracy Piggott, speak cúpla focail with Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, debate the economy with David McWilliams or consult celebrity architect Dermot Bannon about plans for your dream home!
Or if you’re an art collector, we have an etching by John Behan, a photograph by Dorothy Cross and a painting by Rebecca McLynn up for auction.
Our speakers this year include author and activist, Rachel Moran, business woman, Norah Casey and former Tánaiste, Mary Harney.
A big thank you to our media partner, Irish Tatler for the ongoing support of our important work.
If you can't make the Lunch, why not support our work by hosting a coffee morning? Find out more here