United Nations (UN). Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (2020), (CERD/C/IRL/CO/5-9), Concluding observations on the combined fifth to ninth reports of Ireland, 23 January 2020.




United Nations (UN). Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (2020), (CERD/C/IRL/CO/5-9), Concluding observations on the combined fifth to ninth reports of Ireland, 23 January 2020.

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Type of publication


Geographical coverage


Area/location of interest

Not applicable - national level

Type of Institution

Intergovernmental organisation


United Nations (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Main Thematic Focus

Racism & xenophobia

Target Population

General population

Key findings

Alternative' submission from civil society organisations made specific reference to the expereinces of Muslim communities vis hostility and/or discrimination. The Concluding Observations of CERD refered to here made reference to religion as a basis upon which one may experience hostility/discrimination alone/at intersection.
The following details key concerns and recommendations raised by the Committee:
Legislative framework. The Committee reiterated that the State:
1) incorporates the convention in its legal order.
2) that the State review Equal Status Acts 2000-18 and Employment Equality Status Acts 1998-2015 in order to align the definition of racist discrimination with Art.1 of the CERD; Provide for the “explicit prohibition of multiple or intersectional discrimination”; explicitly include “the functions of public authorities”; ensure provision of “effective remedy with a legislative basis” for victims of discrimination.
Institutional Framework. Generally, the Committee recommended that the State “intensify its efforts to ensure that no protection gaps exist in policy and institutional framework for any group of people experiencing racial discrimination.” Specifically, the Committee recommended that:
1) The State develop a new national action plan against racism;
2) The monitoring of racist incidents, provision of anti-racism training be subsumed into existing anti-racial discrimination bodies;
3) The mandate of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission be broadened to incorporate prevention and prohibition of racial discrimination and racism;
4) Ensure effective functioning of anti-racism committee with a comprehensive mandate and budget;
Racist hate speech. The Committee recommended that the State:
1) Strengthen legislation on hate speech, noting all forms/means of communication;
2) Intensify efforts to challenge racist hate speech online/social media;
3) Investigate and penalize Hate speech committed by politicians during campaigns;
4) Ensure the Elections Commission (once established) includes provisions on the prohibition of racists hate speech;
5) Engage in raising awareness of racist hate speech (in order to challenge it).

Racist Hate Crime. The Committee recommended that the State:
1) “Introduce and enforce legislative provisions that include racist motivation as an aggravating circumstance that will result in a penalty enhancement for crimes committed as a result of racial bias;”
2) Ensure the accurate recording of racist hate crime and collection of disaggregated data;
3) Encourage reporting of racist crime;
4) Ensure thorough investigation and prosecution of racist hate crime and provision of support to victims;
5) Provide training for police, prosecutors, judges on the identification, registration and prosecution of racist incidents and hate crimes.
6) Introduce legislation to declare illegal and prohibit racist organisations.

Racial profiling: The Committee raised concerns about “the reportedly high incidence of racial profiling by the Irish police (Garda) targeted at people of African descent, Travellers and Roma, and the disproportionately high representation of these ethnic minority groups in the prison system;” and “a lack of legislation proscribing racial profiling, of independent complaint mechanisms… and lack of (relevant) detailed statistics.” The Committee recommends that the State:
1) Introduce legislation prohibiting racial profiling;
2) Introduce an independent complaints mechanism specific to racial profiling;
3) “Review the policy, practices and training of the police, in collaboration with the communities most affected by racial profiling;”
4) “Incorporate racial profiling issues into the training curriculum of police officers;”
5) Implement in full the Garda Diversity and Integration Strategy 2019–2021;
6) “Collect disaggregated data on racial profiling, publish it regularly and provide the data in its next periodic report.”

Methodology (Qualitative/Quantitative and exact type used, questionnaires etc)

Desk research.

Sample details and representativeness


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