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Council of Europe Anti-Racism Commission and Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to prepare reports on Ireland

Strasbourg, 15.03.2012 – A delegation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) and a delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (ACFC) conducted a joint visit to Ireland from 27 February to 2 March as the first step in the preparation of respective monitoring reports. During the visit, the delegations gathered information on the implementation of the recommendations they had made to the authorities in their previous reports and discussed new issues that had emerged since.

The delegations held meetings in Dublin and Galway with representatives of all relevant ministries and other competent authorities, human-rights NGOs and members of vulnerable groups. The ECRI delegation visited an accommodation centre for asylum seekers.

Following this visit, ECRI will adopt a report to be published early in 2013 in which it will make a fresh set of recommendations on measures to be taken by the authorities to address racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance in the country. Among these, three will be revisited two years after the publication of the report as part of an interim follow-up procedure. The ACFC will adopt its third Opinion on Ireland in October 2012. Following the adoption of an Opinion by the ACFC, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will adopt a Resolution containing conclusions and recommendations addressed to Ireland on the implementation of the Framework Convention.

In its 2007 report, ECRI expressed concern about the adequacy of the resources put at the disposal of the various independent authorities fighting racial discrimination, the adoption of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill, the length of the asylum process, the impact of the habitual residence requirement on migrants and the lack of an integration strategy also ensuring equal participation in education.

In its 2006 Opinion, the ACFC found that the Travellers continued to be exposed to discrimination in different contexts; Traveller accommodation plans had been inadequate in a number of localities and their average school attendance and achievement levels remained low. In addition the ACFC observed that further steps were needed to accommodate the growing diversity of Irish schools, including in relation to the increasing demand for non-denominational or multi-denominational schools.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language, as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States. For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

The ACFC is the independent expert committee responsible for evaluating the implementation of the Framework Convention in State Parties and advising the Committee of Ministers. The results of this evaluation consist in detailed country-specific opinions adopted following a monitoring procedure. This procedure involves the examination of State Reports and other sources of information as well as meetings on the spot with governmental interlocutors, national minority representatives and other relevant actors. For more information on the FCNM: www.coe.int/minorities

Link to the Third ECRI Report on Ireland

Link to the Second ACFC Opinion on Ireland

ECRI Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int

FCNM Press contact: Krzysztof Zyman, Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 26 90,
Krzysztof.zyman@coe.int

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 39 11
pressunit@coe.int
www.coe.int