Anastasia Crickley, Pavee Point Chairperson, has been appointed as a member of the Government’s Anti-Racism Committee and sets out her hopes for this work.

I welcome the opportunity to contribute from my experience and work over the years to the Anti Racism Committee commencing its work today (18 June 2020).

I do so reiterating the calls for action to eliminate racism now echoing around the world in immediate response to the death of George Floyd but bearing also ‘the deep trauma and inter-generational suffering from racial injustice perpetuated through centuries spanning history and borders’ to quote the recent UN statement.

These calls have been re- echoed here by the Black Lives Matter Movement and their colleagues. They have long been part of their struggle for rights as well as part of the struggles of Travellers and Roma and of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers who have all been differentially affected by the implications of COVID-19 in Ireland.

The National Action Plan promised in the Programme for Government gives the Committee’s work, I believe, an urgent and immediate action priority. I look forward to working with the other members to respond to this in ways that incorporate the voice of the organisations which have struggled – often against the odds – to have racism in all its forms recognised and addressed here.

I know that any Irish plan, action or legislation will need adequate resources, monitoring which includes affected groups, and public support from all the political leaders who spoke against racism in recent weeks.

And on this day as we acknowledge Ireland’s successful election to the UN Security Council and congratulate all associated with it I call on our government to make the global elimination of racism a priority for our time there.

For more insight and analysis read Racism is Real Here and There also by Anastasia Crickley.