Northern Ireland news

Inequalities research should be a `call to action'

Belfast Mayor Tina Black with Dr Lucy Michael, Donald Takura Makoni, Dr Livingstone Thompson and Barbara Snowarska at the launch of a report into inequalities experienced by Belfast’s black, Asian and minority ethnic and Traveller communities
Marie Louise McConville

NEW research has found that some young people living in Belfast are at risk of being bullied because of their ethnicity, faith and background.

Research commissioned by Belfast City Council, Belfast Trust and the Public Health Agency, looked at the inequalities experienced by the city's black, Asian, minority ethnic and Traveller communities.

Many of those interviewed who were from a minority ethnic or migrant background revealed that they continue to face racism, isolation and poverty with this impacting on how they participate in civic, political, social and economic life.

The report also found that inequalities exist across education, work and access to services, that young people are at risk of being bullied because of their ethnicity, faith and/or background, and that people born outside Northern Ireland find it difficult to have their qualifications and skills recognised.

In addition, it was also found that a lack of housing stock is a barrier to integration and inclusion with many residents from minority ethnic/migrant communities trapped in low-paid jobs and find it difficult to progress in their career, very often because of institutional inequalities and barriers.

Belfast lord mayor Tina Black said: "No one could deny that this research makes for very sobering reading and it should be a call to action for everyone.

"Clearly we can, and should do better; and today we gave a commitment that we will.

"Belfast is a diverse city, and I'm proud to say we are a City of Sanctuary but the experiences documented in this report challenges us and our partners to reflect on what it means for our organisations, and to make sure we work together to do all we can to create a city of equals and address issues around racism, prejudice and discrimination.

"The findings also show what we already know; that people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and Travellers, are not represented in key institutions and boardrooms, so there is much work to be done to remove the barriers that exist and encourage better participation in all aspects of civic life."

Northern Ireland news