Irish Centre for Human Rights launch Report on Racism in Taxi Industry

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will launch a report in December which verifies and documents allegations of racism in the taxi industry in Galway. The Centre launched an investigation in July this year to examine racially based tensions in the taxi industry within the city. The interest of the Irish Centre for Human Rights arises from the nature of the institution itself, part of its mandate being community engagement and contribution, as well as its position as Essential Partner in the Galway City Partnership Anti-Racism Strategy. Its capacity is attested to by an international reputation as a leading institution for human rights research, teaching and advocacy. Dr. Vinodh Jaichand, Deputy Director of the Centre, led this methodological, evidence-based research into the question of racism within the Galway city taxi industry through interviews and surveys and focused on employment opportunities and user practices and perceptions. The results of this research form a concise, but also encompassing report, which can replace untested statements and often reactionary comments with detailed knowledge and a deeper understanding. The report is addressed immediately to the people, associations and institutions of Galway, but also more widely to the national government and Irish society as a whole. Recommendations are directed to NUI Galway, the Irish Centre for Human Rights itself, the Equality Authority, the media, Galway City, Galway Chamber of Commerce, the Gardai, the Government of Ireland, and the general public. Dr. Jaichand positions the report within a context where, "Racism has become an increasingly noticeable element in the backdrop to Galway life. Nationally and locally, reports of race-based incidents reflect an increase in the growing anxieties of the general population, due to the inevitable hardships of a recession and intensified competition over jobs and resources. Racial discrimination should never be justified and accommodated because human rights are not a luxury to be observed only when we are a well-off society." Protecting and promoting human dignity has been the foundation of work at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway since its inception in 2000. The Centre pursues this work in all contexts, internationally and locally, through research, teaching, advocacy and community engagement. Speaking during the recent tenth anniversary celebrations of the Centre, the Director, Professor William Schabas said that, "This report, which we believe will have real consequences in addressing local tensions in Galway, confirms the contribution that the Irish Centre for Human Rights makes to the city." He added that, "This is a fundamental issue that should concern us all, one which requires prompt attention to correct the situation." The report will be launched at 6pm on Friday, 10 December at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Guest speaker on the night will be Michael D Higgins, TD. Friday, 10 December also marks the worldwide recognition of human rights defenders. All members of the press and public are very welcome, and warmly invited to attend. For further information please contact Dr. Vinodh Jaichand on 086 167 8682, vinodh.jaichand@nuigalway.ie.
ENDS

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