Report exposing intolerance is a ‘wake-up call’ - Boyle
Sinn Féin MLA Michaela Boyle has said more needs to been done to educate people and create greater community awareness of other cultures.
The party’s spokesperson on ethnic minorities was speaking after a Life and Times Survey found that almost 50 percent of people in the north would not accept a Muslim or Traveller as a friend.
The report also found that 25 percent of those surveyed would not accept someone from an ethnic minority as a work colleague and that close to 50 percent believed the north was more prejudiced that five years ago.
“This report must serve as a wake up call,” Michaela Boyle said.
“As a society, we should be challenging prejudice and prejudicial attitudes at every level so that everyone living in the north of Ireland has the right to equality before the law and the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law without discrimination.
“Ethnic minorities and those who choose to make the north their home positively contribute to our society, providing substantial economic and cultural benefits.
“Where any of us hears bigotry and prejudice being spoken we have to challenge it. We cannot dismiss it because challenging someone close to us is too difficult. If we fail to challenge it then we are as guilty as those that verbalise it or act upon it.
“Government also has an active role to play is ensuring that our laws reflect the kind of society that we are seeking to achieve. That we protect those who would be targets for the bigots in our society.
“It is beyond time that Racial Equality Strategy 2014 - 2025 was fully implemented.
“Ethnic minority groups need to be adequately funded in order to educate people and help create community awareness of other cultures.”