Africans stake claim on their destiny in Ireland at State consultation
2019-04-01 13:56:12 -
Immigration
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By Chinedu Onyejelem

 

The Department of Justice recently hosted a public and stakeholder consultation on the UN International Decade for People of African Descent.

 

The event, held at the department’s office on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, saw the participation of various communities united in finding a new beginning for Africans in Ireland.

 

This will see Ireland’s African population centrally involved in planning a programme of action across Ireland to observe the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).

 

The department said combatting racial discrimination is central to the initiative in Ireland, adding that identifying disadvantage and devising proactive initiatives to deal with it are already part of the Government’s overall approach to equality and inclusion.

 

Speaking at the consultation, Minister of Integration David Stanton highlighted the strong links between the Irish and people from the 54 nations of Africa.

 

“Ireland has been home to people of African descent for many years,” he said. “The decade invites us to celebrate our connections throughout history and today. Integrating our diverse histories and cultures can support the health and wellbeing of our communities, and enable us to build new and inclusive shared narratives and values.

 

“We are hoping for a rich and creative process that will help to design a celebration of the decade in Ireland that is true to its global themes of recognition, justice and development, but is also very personal to Ireland and to the experience of living in Ireland as a person of African descent.

 

“It is through interaction that we see and feel the benefits of diversity. Integrated communities are communities in which everyone enjoys the right both to participate and to be themselves.”

 

Apart from combating racial discrimination against Africans in Ireland, some of the other themes that were highlighted at the consultation include unemployment and underemployment, the need for Africans to be involved in the telling of their own stories, as well as the need for greater knowledge and respect for Africans in all areas of life.

 

All of these already formed part of the objectives of the UN initiative which came out from the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action from the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in South Africa.

TAGS : UN united nations Irish people Africa African descent
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