Over the last two decades, Ireland has undergone a massive transformation to become a highly diverse and multi-cultural society. Most Irish people welcome this diversity and the benefits of having a more global society. ICOS hopes that all international students receive a warm welcome and have a positive experience in Ireland. Sadly, however, despite being considered completely unacceptable by the vast majority of Irish society, you may experience racism while you are in Ireland.
If you have witnessed or been a victim to a racist incident in your school, college or university you should report the incident to the international office, the equality officer or to the school management. If the racist incident is in relation to a member of staff, you should look to follow the complaints procedure of your school, college or university.
If you have witnessed or been a victim to a racist incident involving physical assault or any other incident of a criminal nature, you should report it to An Gardaí Síochána (Police Officers in Ireland). Unfortunately, under current legislation many racist incidents cannot be considered crimes. However, ICOS still urges victims of racism to take action.
Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers
Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers are trained to provide specific support and advice to victims of racist incidents. If you report an incident of racism, the Gardaí will inform you of the designated Liaison Officer in your area.
The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) Ireland is a national network of civil society groups who are committed to combating racism and all related forms of discrimination. As a member of ENAR Ireland, ICOS is committed to working against racism, and promoting good anti-discrimination policies and procedures in Irish higher education, as well as in the wider community.
ENAR Ireland has a reporting system - iReport - through which racist incidents in Ireland can be recorded. By reporting incidents of racism, you allow ENAR Ireland and ICOS to provide evidence to policy makers in Ireland that racism is a reality that needs to be taken seriously.
ENAR Ireland has produced a 'Responding to racism guide: How to report racism and where to find help'. This a great resource for those who have experienced or witnessed racism, and/or those supporting them.
If you wish to report a racist incident, you can contact us. Any information provided will be handled in the strictest of confidence. Remember that it is only by reporting racist incidents that action can be taken.
Why report racism?
- If you do not report racism it stays invisible
- To understand who is experiencing racism
- To provide evidence to policy makers in Ireland
- To devise effective local strategies for combating racism
- In some cases, if you are willing, to take action against the people responsible