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Report shows worrying rise in racism and homophobia

22 February, 2006

Sinn Féin Equality and Human Rights Spokesperson, Caitriona Ruane commenting on the report published today highlighting in increase in racist attacks by almost 80% last year, and an increase in homophobic attacks by 175% has said that it is evidence of the need to challenge societys attitude towards difference and diversity.

Ms Ruane said:

"This report is an appalling indictment on attitudes within our society and a lack of tolerance for people from different countries of origin or ethnic background or who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

"Everyone no mater what their ethnic, racial or religious background or sexual orientation is has the right to live free from attack and free from the fear of attack and intimidation.

"These figures show us today that there is a big job of work to be done in challenging the attitudes towards difference and diversity in our society and specifically towards violence directed at people who are perceived as 'different'.

"It means that we need a concerted campaign to root out, challenge and eliminate discrimination wherever it exists because it is discrimination that feeds such violence.

"This means that we need more resources to promote tolerance and diversity and that we need to take a broader stand against racism, homophobia, sectarianism and bigotry in whatever form it takes." ENDS

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