Thursday, April 30, 2009

Integration changes cultures - lecturer

INTEGRATION IS sometimes used as a euphemism for assimilation in European countries, a senior psychology professor said during a public lecture at Trinity College Dublin last night.

Prof John Berry, of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, said young people from immigrant or ethnic minority groups were sometimes expected to keep their heritage culture only in the private sphere.

“In other words, the public culture is the culture of the dominant group and all other cultures are down and out,” he said.

Prof Berry said most interaction with immigrants tended to take place in schools or in the workplace.

Both cultures would change as a result of this interaction, and “school, health and possibly policing will be changing here in Ireland”.

Friday, April 24, 2009

High levels of racism uncovered in EU report

DISCRIMINATION against immigrants is widespread in Ireland and the country is one of the most difficult in Europe for minorities according to a major report.

The Irish Human Rights Commission said it is gravely concerned at the findings of the report, the first of its kind, which was published by the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency.

Three out of four immigrants from Africa feel helpless in the face of abuse and discrimination that they say affects every sphere of their lives, from ordering a coffee in a cafe to having their children educated.

Even immigrants from other EU countries in central and eastern Europe say they suffer from discrimination with 25% saying abuse is widespread in the country, while more than half of them say they do not know of any organisation that could support or help them.

The figures released in Brussels, which the agency says is just a taster of the full report, shows Africans in Ireland among the top 10 worst groups in four out of five important areas.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ireland not doing enough to support refugees, says UN report

The Irish Government is not doing enough to support those who want to integrate into society here, according to a new report published today by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Many of those questioned for the report said they feel they are being discriminated against in the Irish jobs market because of their skin colour.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tougher criteria for work permits

The Government has today announced it is to make it more difficult for foreign nationals to seek employment in Ireland by introducing revised legislation for work permits.

Under the new arrangements, permits will not be granted for jobs paying under €30,000 per annum. Permits will also not be given for a number of professions including domestic workers and HGV drivers.

In addition, the length of time that employers have to advertise jobs will be increased and tougher conditions for the renewal of permits - including higher fees - will also apply.

A further change will see spouses and dependants of future work permit holders having to apply for permits in their own right.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

FF split over new Brussels partners

FIANNA Fail's European election candidates were at loggerheads yesterday over the party's move to join a new political grouping in Brussels.

Euro candidate Ned O'Keeffe yesterday said he was "shocked" to see fellow party MEP Brian Crowley still expressing opposition to the party's move to join the liberal group in the European Parliament.

Fianna Fail is a member of the obscure Union for the Europe of Nations, where Mr Crowley is a president.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Government urged to scrap referendum broadcasting rules

The Government was today urged to scrap the rule demanding equal broadcasting coverage be given to the Yes and No camps in referendum campaigns.

The joint Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution claimed broadcasters felt they were being straitjacketed into giving the same air time to both sides, even if the opposition was tiny.

Eugene Regan, Fine Gael Senator, said last year’s Lisbon Treaty campaign showed the 50/50 requirement had destroyed informed debate.

All members of the committee supported the failed document, which is expected to be put to the people again in the autumn.