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Migrants have enriched Irish society - Bairbre de Brún

18 November, 2005


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today said that 'no barriers should be put in the way of full participation in Irish society by those who come here to Ireland to live and work'.

Ms de Brún made her comments as she attended the Parliamentarians for Global Action's (GPA) 27th Annual Forum on 'Migration, Immigration and Integration' in Dublin.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I am pleased to attend today's conference. I will be joined by over 100 parliamentarians from over 50 countries to positively contribute to the debate regarding migration and the rights of migrants and their families. Today's discussions will focus on issues including health, gender, human trafficking and the rights and needs of migrants who are vulnerable in their host country

 "Today's conference is set against the backdrop of increasing racism and discrimination against our ethnic minority communities. A multi agency approach is required to protect our most vulnerable in society. It is an absolute disgrace that not one EU country has ratified the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrants and their Families.

"Like many other European countries, Ireland has become a much more plural and diverse society in recent years. Migration into Ireland must be viewed as a welcome and positive development and not a threat as some politicians and media commentators would have us believe.

"In the main, those who come to Ireland positively contribute to Irish society, in the same way that those who emigrated from here to Britain, Australia, the USA and elsewhere enriched society.

"One of the big challenges for us as a society is to ensure the provision of services for those who come to Ireland. In particular, we must ensure that services available are provided in the language spoken by those who live and work here. As our society becomes more plural, it is no longer adequate to think that Irish and English are the only language spoken.

"No barriers should be put in the way of full participation in Irish society by those who come here to Ireland to live and work'. ENDS


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