Racism Hurts: Launch Of Peace III Funded Independent Reporting Scheme

Moving house after racist attackThe PEACE III-funded Challenge of Change project has launched an Independent Reporting Scheme for Racist Incidents and Racist Discrimination for the Newry and Mourne area.

The scheme is an independent and confidential mechanism to encourage the local community to report any racist incident within the Council area.

It is supported by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the PEACE III Southern Partnership’s Challenge of Change priority.

At the launch in Bagenal’s Castle on 26th March, Mayor of Newry and Mourne Cllr John Feehan said: ‘All councils have a legal duty to tackle racism within their council area and it is something we take very seriously here in Newry and Mourne. We want our area to be a place where everybody, irrespective of their religion or ethnic origin, can feel welcome and live their lives as they choose, free from any kind of discrimination. We hope this scheme will create a better picture of where we are as a society today and what we can do to move forward’.

Speaking at the event, PEACE III Southern Partnership Joint Chair Dr James McCammick said: ‘A more co-ordinated approach to reporting racial hate crime is required in order to obtain a better understanding of the problem and overcome reporting barriers and this is why we welcome the introduction of the Independent Reporting Scheme’.

Representing the SEUPB at the launch, Programme Officer Tracey Scullion said:

“This EU supported initiative has been specifically designed to tackle racist attitudes and beliefs head on. It will help to reconcile communities by protecting diversity and putting in place measures that will challenge some of the underlying causes of racism and sectarianism.”

Whether as a victim or as a witness, anybody can report any racist incident or instance of discrimination by completing a Racist Incident Reporting Form.

The forms are available in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Slovak and Russian and in other languages on request.

For more information please contact: Justyna McCabe, tel: 028 3031 3189 or email: justyna.mccabe@newryandmourne.gov.uk

Challenge of Change

• ‘Challenge of Change’ is one of the seven priorities outlined in the Peace III Southern Partnership Strategy.

• The Southern Partnership represents Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry & Mourne council areas, with cross border representation from the Louth and Monaghan council areas. The lead partner within the Southern Cluster Partnership is Newry and Mourne District Council.

• Local Authorities are tasked with the development of Peace & Reconciliation Action Plans under the theme 1:1 of the Peace III Programme entitled ‘Building Positive Relations at a local level’. One objective of building positive relations is to challenge attitudes towards racism, this will be addressed under the Challenge of Change priority.

SEUPB

• The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes, PEACE III and INTERREG IVA. The programmes are designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG IVA, Western Scotland.

• The PEACE III Programme is worth €333 million and is aimed primarily at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It focuses on helping Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society.

• For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu

Documents to dowload

Independent Monitoring Scheme Leaflet – English
Independent Monitoring Scheme Leaflet – Polish
Independent Monitoring Scheme Leaflet – Lithuanian
Independent Monitoring Scheme Leaflet – Slovak
Independent Monitoring Scheme Leaflet – Russian

Independent Monitoring Scheme Poster – English
Independent Monitoring Scheme Poster – Polish
Independent Monitoring Scheme Poster – Lithuanian
Independent Monitoring Scheme Poster – Slovak
Independent Monitoring Scheme Poster – Russian

Racist Incident Reporting Form – English
Racist Incident Reporting Form – Polish
Racist Incident Reporting Form – Lithuanian
Racist Incident Reporting Form – Slovak
Racist Incident Reporting Form – Russian