The National Action Plan Against Racism (NPAR) 2005 – 2008


In 2001, the Irish Government launched a three year national anti-racism awareness programme entitled “Know Racism” with the aim of stimulating an awareness of racism and respect for cultural diversity. The programme had a budget of approx €4.8 million.The programmes’ activities included national advertising initiatives, publicity events and support for local anti-racism awareness initiatives, partnerships and research. The programme completed its three year term in December 2004 and was followed by the National Action Plan Against Racism 2005 - 2008.

The National Action Plan Against Racism (NPAR) 2005-2008 was launched in January 2005 by the then Taoiseach and the then Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform. The Plan provided strategic direction to combating racism and to promoting a more inclusive, intercultural society in Ireland. The development of the Plan was preceded by a 12 – month consultation process involving a wide-range of stakeholders, including Government, the social partners and civil society.

The publication of the Plan was in fulfilment of a commitment given at the World Conference against Racism in Durban 2001. Ireland was one of the leading States in the world in putting a National Action Plan Against Racism in place and only the second EU State to do so.

Work undertaken under the National Action Plan Against Racism 2005 - 2008

A Strategic Monitoring Group was established to oversee the implementation of the National Action Plan Against Racism and was chaired by Lucy Gaffney. The group included representatives from a wide range of key stakeholders - Government bodies, the social partners (IBEC, Congress, representatives of the voluntary and community sector etc.), minority communities and the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism. Implementation of the plan was supported by a budget of €5 million.

A Final Report of the Strategic Monitoring Group was submitted to the Taoiseach and the then Minister of State for Integration in January 2009. The Group conceded that, while the National Action Plan Against Racism was an ambitious plan and not everything was achieved," there has been a substantial penetration of anti –racist policies, programmes and activities and awareness raising initiatives". It also sets out key challenges and puts forward some recommendations which the National Action Plan Against Racism Strategic Monitoring Group believe must be addressed if the overall objectives of diversity management are to be met.

Present situation

The emphasis now is on implementation of the sectoral plans ( e.g the Intercultural Health Strategy, the Intercultural Education Strategy, the Garda (Police) Diversity Strategy etc)which flowed from the National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008 and on the funding of certain anti racism measures ( e.g the annual Holocaust Memorial Event, the Show Racism the Red Card Annual Creative Competition for schools etc) within available funds.

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