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Travellers are ten times more likely to face discrimination compared to other Irish people

The findings are contained in a new report which details experience of discrimination.

Emily Logan of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
Emily Logan of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
Image: Leah Farrell

TRAVELLERS ARE ALMOST 10 times more likely to deal with instances of discrimination than white Irish members of the general population.

That was one finding in a major new study of discrimination in this country carried out by the ESRI on behalf of the Irish Human Rights Equality Commission (IHREC).

The study is based on CSO data taken from 15,000 people that asked individuals whether they’d faced discrimination in the past two years.

It looked at relative discrimination faced by a different sub-groups within Irish society including women and different religious and ethnic groups.

The discrimination recorded is that which is covered by equality legislation, both employment-specific and otherwise.

In terms of discrimination faced by Travellers, the authors of the detailed report found that members of the community face “very high” levels of discrimination relative to others.

This discrimination was clear across different areas including employment and housing and in the public sector, but was most pronounced in the private sector.

Irish Travellers were 22 times more likely to face discrimination when availing of private services, particularly in shops, pubs and restaurants.

Workplace discrimination faced by Travellers could not be compared because there weren’t enough members of the community in the workplace for a representative sample.

The research found that Irish women were almost twice as likely to face discrimination at work compared to Irish men but that in other areas that was not a significant difference.

Black respondents were three times more likely to face workplace discrimination compared to white Irish respondents but the research found there was no significant difference between that faced by white non-Irish people and white Irish people.

The report also outlined how instances of discrimination may go under-reported for a variety of reasons.

Upon publication of the report, chief commissioner of the IHREC Emily Logan said that anti-discrimination legislation is strong but that it puts the onus on impacted individual to make a complaint.

“The law isn’t triggered until the actual discriminatory practice has taken place, then the law is triggered,” Logan said.

But there are a whole lot of cultural reasons that affect a person’s willingness or ability to take that individual action, but that is quite difficult. Which is why I’m saying we at the commission are putting a good bit of resource into the proactive space.

The report is available to read in full here 

Read: Tánaiste says she was ‘disturbed’ and ‘disappointed’ by Halligan’s comments during interview >

Read: ‘People in council estates won’t put down their address on job applications for fear of discrimination’ > 

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