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ESRI: Black people report highest rates of discrimination in Ireland

More than one in ten adults in Ireland say they have been discriminated against based on factors such as age, gender, disability, ethnicity, or race, according to the ESRI.

Image: JFunk via Shtuterstock

MORE THAN ONE in ten adults in Ireland say they have been discriminated against, with black people reporting the highest rates of discrimination.

That’s according to a new study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) which found black people were almost four times more likely to have faced discrimination than white people in Ireland.

Women were more likely to experience discrimination than men, particularly in the workplace, while people aged between 45-64 were more likely to have faced discrimination while looking for a job.

People with a disability were more likely to have experienced discrimination in services, particularly in health and transport.

Asian people and people from other ethnic groups were more likely to report discrimination in both work and some services than white Irish people, but were still less likely to have experienced it than black people.

One in ten of those who said they had experienced discrimination took formal or legal action in response. The report found that those people who did take action were generally more well-off and had better knowledge of their rights.

The highest rates of discrimination were reported in recruitment and in the workplace, with the lowest rates found in education, public services and transport.

The research, which covered the period 2008 to 2010, found there has been relatively little change in the rates of discrimination reported over the last decade, although it did note a small uptick in the number of people who said they had experienced serious discrimination which had had a major effect on their lives.

“Discrimination remains an enormous challenge to Irish society,” said Renee Dempsey, CEO of the Equality Authority, which jointly published the report along with the ESRI.  She said that Ireland needs to strengthen its commitment to equality “as a key element of our strategy for economic recovery”.

The figures were based on an analysis of the Central Statistics Office’s Quarterly National Household Survey from 2010 which questioned people about their experiences of discrimination.

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