Almost one in eight people in Ireland have experienced discrimination over the past two years, a new human rights report has found.
A new study based on CSO data has been published jointly by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
It examines people’s experiences of discrimination at work, in recruitment and in accessing public services (education, transport, health, other public services) and private services (housing, banks/insurance companies, shops/pubs/restaurants).
Emily Logan, chief commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, said: “Access to and use of good quality data and empirical research are of crucial importance in identifying the barriers to the full enjoyment of human rights and equality that persist in our society, as well as the people whom these barriers most affect.”
Ms Logan added: “The Irish Human rights and Equality Commission’s core statutory role is to promote and protect human rights and equality in Ireland. As such, it is a strategic priority of the Commission, working with specialists such as the ESRI, to make a contribution to the knowledge base necessary for better understanding, and therefore challenging gaps in human rights and equality protection.”
Frances McGinnity of the ESRI, the lead author of the report, said: “Discrimination can be damaging to the individuals who experience it, in terms of their self-esteem, well-being and for their material outcomes such as their income and access to valued positions and services.
“There are also costs at a societal level. Discrimination in the labour market may be economically inefficient, as the skills of individuals are not effectively used. Discrimination can also undermine social cohesion. Monitoring and tackling discrimination is therefore an important issue for Irish society.”