“We’re all made of the same stuff” – Ireland’s biggest transport companies have launched an anti-racism campaign on public transport this week. The campaign will see over 1,000 posters displayed over a two-week period.
The campaign, which is in collaboration with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Dublin City Council and Transport for Ireland, calls for people to report racial abuse incidents on our public transport whether they experience or witness them.
Ireland has not yet introduced hate crime legislation, according to hate crime experts, this failure to produce legislation discourages people from reporting crimes to authorities. Hate crime experts also have called for legislation to be introduced “as a matter of urgency.”
However, research has found that most refugees and migrants choose not to report racist crimes to gardaí and keep their heads down for fear of being considered troublemakers.
CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland Brian Killoran said that the campaign was very timely in light of events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend which resulted in a death with many injured.
Firstly, racism is in no way tolerated on Ireland’s transport services. It’s a really strong message for us all to send out. Second of all, it’s to celebrate the diversity that exists not just in Ireland but the companies that we work in. It’s reflective of how Ireland has changed over the years and what a massively positive contribution that is.
Ethnic minorities make up nearly 20% of Dublin Bus’ workforce. Bus Éireann counts staff from 33 different backgrounds, the Luas (Dublin City transport system) workforce is made up of 30 different nationalities.
Chief Executive of Transport for Ireland Anne Graham, said that Ireland has become more diverse and more mature in recent years but we cannot just assume that our country has progressed beyond racism now in 2017.
However that doesn’t mean we can be complacent, and prejudice and intolerance – whoever the target may be – need to be tackled head on.
In total, 1,065 posters will be displayed on Ireland’s transport system promoting the anti-racism message over the next two weeks.