Sinn Féin MLA Bronwyn McGahan has called for the draft Racial Equality Strategy to be signed off by the DUP as quickly as possible.
Bronwyn McGahan said:
“Sinn Féin ministers in OFMdFM have signed off on the draft strategy and I would urge the DUP to get the outline of this vital piece of legislation out into the public domain.
“There isn’t much point in marking Refugee and Community Relations Week unless we act to ensure that foreign nationals are treated with equality and dignity.
“While it is fine to mark both Refugee and Community Relations Week we must demonstrate by actions that we are sincere in developing strategies, which make a difference.
“Refugees come here not out of choice but because they have been forced out of their own countries for many different reasons including social, political and economic.
“These refugees face many problems including racism, isolation and getting information for many things we all take for granted like medical treatment or how to get children enrolled in schools.
‘Sectarianism ranks alongside racism as a hate crime that we must eradicate. Again we need to demonstrate through actions that we are sincere in tackling this scourge on our communities.
“Community relations week provides us with an opportunity to take stock and renew our efforts in developing better relations through the programme of events organised this week.
“The DUP should sign off on the draft Racial Equality Strategy immediately so that it can go out for consultation.
“We must look at how to implement the strategy to improve the lives of all the people who make this place their home.”