Race Relations

CCRU home background on CCRU community relations equality and equity research

Central Community Relations Unit

Race Relations in
Northern Ireland


Existing Powers
Race Legislation
Enforcement Arrangements
Discrimination in the Private Sector in the Provision
of Goods, Facilities, Services, and Premises on the
Ground of Religious Belief or Political Opinion

Appendix: Departmental Programmes
Department of the Environment
Department of Health and Social Services
Northern Ireland Office
Department of Education for Northern Ireland
Department of Economic Development/Training and Employment Agency
Central Community Relations Unit


Earlier this year my predecessor, Peter Brooke, gave a commitment that the Government would bring forward a Consultative Document to examine the scope for race legislation in Northern Ireland. This document fulfils that commitment but also goes on to examine the whole range of Departmental programmes which affect ethnic minorities.

A wide perspective is necessary because the issues which are of concern, not least to ethnic minorities, are varied. The Government would therefore welcome the widest possible range of views, not only about those matters which might be addressed through legislation, but also about those which could be tackled by administrative means, through a variety of policies and programmes.

We want to stimulate broad, informed and constructive debate about the issues raised in this Consultative Document and I would encourage all the ethnic minority groups in our community to provide us with their views.

The Government is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and equity of treatment in all its policies and programmes. The consultation process which we hope will now be generated will be of major help to us in meeting this objective.


December 1992

1.Although there has been legislation on race in Great Britain since 1965, a similar body of law has not been introduced in Northern Ireland. The main reason for this was that successive Governments believed that there was insufficient evidence of problems arising to warrant legislation equivalent to that in Great Britain.
2. The size and distribution of the ethnic groups in Northern Ireland is not well documented, though some studies have estimated a total in the region of 10,000. The largest is the Chinese community (approx. 5,000). There are around 1,000 in the Indian community and there is a small Pakistani community of around 700 with smaller numbers of Jews, Vietnamese and others. There have been representations by and on behalf of the traditional Irish Travelling community to be recognised as a distinct ethnic group. As such they would form the second largest group (just over 1,000).
3. There have been various calls on the Government to introduce legislation on race in Northern Ireland and recently the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights recommended in its Second Report on Religious and Political Discrimination and Equality of Opportunity in Northern Ireland[1] that legislation parallel to that in Great Britain should be introduced in Northern Ireland without delay.
4. Earlier this year the former Secretary of State announced in his response to the Second Report that the Government would publish a consultative document to examine the scope for such legislation for Northern Ireland and to consider various other issues.
5. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has recently presented to the Home Secretary formal recommendations[2] for changes to the Race Relations Act 1976. These recommendations have been submitted under the CREs duties to review the working of the Act (s. 43 (i) (c) of the 1976 Act) and follow a period of consultation by the CRE. The present Consultative Document is part of a separate consultation process for consideration purely in the Northern Ireland context.
6. This Consultative Document covers four broad areas:-
  • existing powers - this section reviews the framework of existing administrative and statutory anti-discrimination and equality measures;
  • legislation - this section examines the content of possible legislation and the form it might take. It also examines the legislative position regarding traditional Irish Travellers and their express inclusion within any proposed legislation. It also includes the question of monitoring and enforcement arrangements;
  • religion and political opinion and the provision of goods, facilities, services and premises - this section addresses the question of making discrimination on the grounds of religious belief and political opinion in the provision of goods, facilities, services and premises in the private sector unlawful;
  • Departmental programmes and policies - the Appendix to the document examines relevant issues and indicates what executive action is planned for the future.

Consultation Arrangements
7. The Government wishes to consult as widely as possible on all aspects of this document, including existing Departmental programmes and the need for legislation, and, in particular, would welcome views from the different ethnic groups in Northern Ireland. Comments on the Consultative Document should be with the Central Community Relations Unit. Stormont Castle, Stormont, Belfast. BT4 3ST, by 31 March 1993.
8. CCRU would be happy to meet groups who might wish to present their case orally and to provide support for translation or interpreting services where these are necessary.

9. Over the years a number of steps, the more significant of which are listed below, have been taken to protect human rights in Northern Ireland. The Government believes that the protection afforded is already extensive but recognises that the existing body of law and other provisions may be capable of further improvement. It is prepared to take further steps where it believes that they are necessary.
10. Among the major legislative safeguards are the Parliamentary Commissioner Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 which established the office of the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration with powers to investigate complaints of maladministration by Government departments. The Commissioner for Complaints Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 established the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints with powers to investigate grievances against local councils and public bodies.
11. The Prevention of Incitement to Hatred Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 made it a criminal offence intentionally to stir up hatred against a section of the public in Northern Ireland on the grounds of religious belief, colour, race or ethnic or national origins. Provisions rendering acts intended or likely to stir up fear unlawful are now contained in the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 which makes it unlawful to use words or bebaviour, or display any written material likely or intended to provoke hatred based on religious belief, colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origin. The Housing Executive Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 provided that all public authority house building and its allocation on the basis of an objective points system should become the responsibility of a central housing authority, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. This measure was in part designed to meet allegations that some local authorities discriminated in the location and allocation of housing.
12. The Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976 made direct discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion unlawful in employment. The Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989 amended and extended that legislation to outlaw indirect discrimination and provided for the use of affirmative action to secure fair participation in employment. The Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Orders 1976 and 1988 made it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sex or marital status in employment or in the provision of goods. facilities, services and premises and, by virtue of the 1988 Order, in the age of retirement. The Equal Opportunities Commission set up under the 1976 Order keeps under review the operation of the legislation and of the Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970. The Commission can investigate unlawful discriminatory practices and issue 'non-discrimination" notices enforceable if necessary in the courts. The Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 contains provisions which render void any Northern Ireland legislation to the extent that it discriminates against any person or class of persons on the ground of religious belief or political opinion; the same Act provides that it shall be unlawful for Ministers of the Crown, Northern Ireland Departments, local authorities and other public bodies to discriminate in the discharge of functions relating to Northern Ireland on the ground of religious belief or political opinion.
13. In addition to domestic legislation Northern Ireland is affected by international instruments deriving from the United Nations and the Council of Europe. In the first category the major instruments are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which covers, among other things, non-discrimination and equal rights for men and women, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which elaborates on the economic, social and cultural rights set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and provides for the progressive realisation of these rights as resources permit. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides a set of minimum standards relating to children's civil political, economic, social and cultural rights. The European Convention on Human Rights covers among other things the right to life, right to liberty and freedom from arbitrary arrest, right to privacy and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly and guarantees these rights without discrimination on grounds of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion. national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
14. Significant administrative initiatives designed to prevent discrimination and promote equality of opportunity and equity of treatment include Targeting Social Need (TSN), which aims to eradicate unfair social and economic differentials between the two major religious blocs within the community by focusing resources most sharply on areas of highest disadvantage. The Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment initiative is currently being developed to ensure that considerations of equality and equity play a central role in Government policy making and service delivery.
15. The Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights was established by the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 and has provided independent advice to successive Secretaries of State on the broad range of human rights in Northern Ireland. In 1987 the Central Community Relations Unit was established to advise the Secretary of State on all aspects of the relationship between the different parts of the Northern Ireland community. The Unit, which reports to the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, is charged with formulating, reviewing and challenging Government policies in order to address issues of equality and equity and improve community relations.

16. The Government is open to promoting race relations legislation, and would value views on this. It is recognised that solely administrative measures would be inconsistent with the statutory basis for fair employment and sex discrimination measures in Northern Ireland and race relations in GB.
17. Any consideration of race relations legislation in Northern Ireland must take account of the fact that the distinction between discrimination on the ground of race and on the ground of religious belief is by no means clear. While the Fair Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 1976 ("the 1976 Act") does, of course, render discrimination based on actual or supposed religious beliefs, and on doctrinal distinctions unlawful, the principal ill which it addresses is that of discrimination between two communities with different traditions and aspirations. However the two communities are usually conveniently defined by reference to their religious beliefs. This is a short step away from the definition of "racial group" in section 3 (1) of the Race Relations Act 1976 as meaning:
'A group of persons defined by reference to c oiour, race, nationality or ethnic or national origins."
18. That wide definition, the fairly generous interpretation which the courts in England and Wales have given to it.. and the danger of creating uncertainty between the remedies for racial and religious discrimination mean that the scope for confusion between race and religion must be taken into account in any consideration of the legislative options in Northern Ireland.
19. Three options are put forward for legislation and these are set out below:-
1.separate legislation. applying provisions corresponding to the Race Relations Act 1976 to Northern Ireland, whether in its entirety or adapted to local circumstances;
2. an amendment to the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act1976 to include race, including provision for goods, facilities, services and premises; and
3. an amendment to the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 to include race within its provisions.
Neither the extension of the Race Relations Act 1976 nor the amendment of the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1989 has been included, on the ground that neither option would be appropriate in the context of the particular circumstances and scale of race relations issues in Northern Ireland.

Separate Legislation
20. While there are presentational arguments for having entirely separate legislation on racial discrimination, the potential overlap between discrimination on the ground of race and on the ground of religion could create confusion for complainants as to the legislative remedy on which to rely, given that religious belief is a means by which, in Northern Ireland particularly, community affiliation is defined. Separate legislation would inevitably draw distinctions between racial (in its broadest sense) and religious discrimination. That might induce the courts, in seeking to establish what is the distinction between racial and religious discrimination, to regard complaints hitherto firmly within the scope of the 1976 Act as properly to be construed as racial, rather than religious discrimination. That might greatly diminish the effect of the 1976 Act and could give rise to narrow constructions on the meanings of race and religious belief, to the detriment of the remedies which such anti-discrimination legislation is intended to promote.

Amending the Fair Employment (Northern Ireland) Act 1976
21. Amendment of the 1976 Act to include racial discrimination would enable individuals to pursue their complaints on the basis of alternative pleas if unable to decide on the grounds of complaint, without fear of having selected the wrong legislation. The inclusion of racial discrimination in the 1976 Act might result in the courts in Northern Ireland developing a jurisprudence separate from that in Great Britain on the respective meanings of racial and religious discrimination, but that would be done within the ambit of a single enactment and, therefore, the likelihood of judicial decision developing in such a way as to leave loopholes would be much diminished.

Amending the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976
22. This has an advantage in that there are broad similarities between the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976. And any additional issues would relate to any specific Northern Ireland aspects which need to be taken into account. It does however suffer from the same disadvantage as separate legislation in that the courts would still have to distinguish between race and religion.

22. Realistically there are three options for enforcement:
  • extending the remit of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) to Northern Ireland;
  • giving additional powers to an existing enforcement body in Northern Ireland: and
  • creating a new body for Northern Ireland.
A consideration which is relevant to all three options is how the broader issues of race relations and muiti-culturalism may be accommodated alongside the prime function of enforcement. There s no compelling reason for all the issues involved to sit with one organisation and existing bodies concerned with multi-culturalism and community relations could have their roles enhanced to cover this aspect.

Extending the Remit of the CRE
24. The Government is unaware of any widespread desire within Northern Ireland for the CRE in Great Britain to extend its remit to Northern Ireland and there are persuasive contrary arguments. An expanded CRE could find itself in a difficult position, endeavouring to operate to different legislative codes in two jurisdictions. Even if it were to have an office in Belfast such an organisation could appear remote and might have difficulty in keeping in touch with local concerns.

Extending the Remit of an Existing Body
25. This option would be logical if race legislation were to be enacted by amending existing anti-discrimination legislation since existing administrative systems and the body of knowledge relating to enforcement, case law and research could therefore be used. Its disadvantage is that it might be perceived by ethnic groups as giving less prominence than is justified to issues which affect them.

A New Body
26. The creation of a new body to enforce race relations law would give significant prominence to the issues. It has to be considered, however, whether in view of the size of the ethnic minority population this would be the most cost effective means of providing enforcement, administration and research capabilities.

Traditional Irish Travellers
27. The Government has received a number of approaches suggesting that traditional Irish Travellers should be recognised as an ethnic group and specifically covered by any proposed race legislation for Northern Ireland. The Government is prepared to consider this but would want any legislation so drafted that it applied only to the traditional population of Irish Travellers including those who, while they may be now living as part of the settled community, nevertheless originate within the Travelling community and still identify with them.

28. An administrative system for monitoring religion and gender is already in place in relation to Fair Employment law. It is for consideration whether some form of monitoring should be developed to provide information about ethnic minorities, and if so the shape it might take.

29. The Government believes that it would be unrealistic to consider the implementation of race legislation in Northern Ireland without provision for goods. Facilities, services and premises, primarily because these are the issues which most affect ethnic groups. If such provision is made it would leave an anomaly in relation to religion; the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 already outlaws direct and indirect discrimination on the ground of gender in relation to the provision of goods, facilities, services and premises. In addition., the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973 addresses the question of discrimination on the ground of religious belief or political opinion in the enactment of legislation or the discharge of functions in the public sector.
30. It is therefore for consideration whether the 1976 Fair Employment Act should be amended to include a provision relating to discrimination in the private sector provision of goods, facilities, services and premises on the ground of religious belief or political opinion. There are of course inherent difficulties associated with such a proposal, not the least of which is the consideration of whether discrimination might in certain circumstances be justifiable on the grounds of personal security.

31. The Government is committed to providing equality of opportunity and equity of treatment and acknowledges that race legislation could make a significant contribution to this process. However, legislation can only do so much and it is important to ensure that in all policy-making and in the delivery of services there is equality of opportunity and equity of treatment. This is a fundamental objective and the Government will ensure that it permeates the whole system of public administration in Northern Ireland.
32. This Consultative Document provides an opportunity for a wide range of interests to make known their views to the Government and it is hoped that the ethnic minorities themselves will make a major contribution to the consultative process.


1.The following paragraphs detail the policies and programmes of Northern Ireland Departments as they affect ethnic groups. While the main thrust of the Consultative Document is to seek views on race legislation, it is not likely that all the interests or needs of ethnic groups can be accommodated within a single legal framework, and there will always be a significant area of policy making and programme delivery which is undertaken by executive action. This should, nevertheless, be done within a framework of fair treatment and the Government is committed to ensuring that equality of opportunity and equity of treatment permeate the whole process of policy formulation and the delivery of programmes.
2. While the issues covered in this Appendix may not be directly relevant to the proposed race legislation, the Government would, nevertheless, welcome views and comments about policies and programmes as they affect ethnic groups.

Travellers: Legislation, Grant Aid and Site Provision
3. There are approximately 200 families Travellers resident in Northern Ireland, totalling around 1,000 people.
4.Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 (the 1985 Order) the Department may make grants to District Councils in respect of expenditure incurred by Councils in providing, under Section 21 of the Caravans Act (Northern Ireland) 1963, caravan sites for the accommodation of Travelling People. Grants of 100% are available for capital works projects, including the provision of on-site units, in accordance with DOE design requirements. Such units have a minimum plan area of 25 sq metres and amenities include a bath, a toilet and washliand basin, a sink and drainer and a stove. Sites completed or under construction will make provision for around 860 people 86%) of the Traveller population.

5. The 1985 Order empowers the Department, on the application of a District Council, to designate the district of that Council for the purposes of Article 8 of the Order. The Department may make a designation order only if it is satisfied that adequate provision is made in the district for accommodation of Travelling people residing in or resorting to the district. A district having been designated, it is an offence, subject to certain exceptions, for a Traveller to station a caravan for the purposes of residence on any road, unoccupied land or on any occupied land without the consent of the occupier. The Department is reviewing the effectiveness of the designation provisions where Councils have made adequate provision in their districts for Travelling people.

Role of the Advisory Committee on Travellers
6. The Advisory Committee on Travellers in Northern Ireland (ACT) was established in July 1986 by the then Minister for the Environment Included in its terms of reference are the provision of advice and encouragement to Councils and those involved in the provision of serviced sites for long-term resident Northern Ireland Travellers and the promotion of better relations between Travellers and the settled community. Membership of the Committee includes representatives of District Councils, Health and Social Services Boards, Travellers and the Northern Ireland Council for Travelling People.

Toleration Policy
7. Generally speaking, Travellers who encamp on Departmental land are allowed to do so subject to certain conditions. These include (a) that no permanent or transit facility for Travellers has been established within the District Council area, (b) that occupation does not constitute a measurable public health hazard or cause pollution to water supplies and (c) that occupation does not create a traffic hazard.

8. The housing provisions made by the public service for Travellers are:-
(a) Serviced sites - permanent sites in Londonderry, Omagh, Newry, Coalisland. Additional sites under construction in Belfast (2), Londonderry and Strabane. Further sites approved in Belfast (2).
(b) Public Sector Housing (allocated to individual families).
(c) Specially designed "Group Housing".

Responsibility for Serviced Sites
9. The provision of Travellers' sites is often a contentious local issue. The vesting of responsibility in a single authority, for example the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, may seem attractive from an administrative point of view. District Councils, which are singularly placed to respond to local needs and circumstances, can experience difficulty in identifying suitable sites and an agency divorced from the local community could have great difficulty also.

Statutory Provision
10. The Health and Personal Social Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 defined the primary responsibility of the Department of Health and Social Services as that of ensuring the provision of integrated health and personal social services in Northern Ireland designed to promote the physical and mental health and social well-being of the people of Northern Ireland. The Health and Social Services Boards, as agents of the Department, have a similar responsibility in respect of those living in their areas.

Access to Services
11. The Department is fully committed to equality of access to health and personal social services and equity of treatment for all the people of Northern Ireland regardless of race or ethnic origin and its publication of "A Charter for Patients and Clients" contains a commitment that health and personal social services should be accessible to all who need them, including people with special needs.

Current Initiatives
12. The Department and the Health and Social Services Boards provide a wide range of health and personal social services to the public and have developed policies to assist ethnic minority communities make use of these and of services which address their special needs. Much of this assistance is provided in conjunction with voluntary oraganisations. For example:-
  • the Department provides funding for the Northern Ireland Council for Travelling People which promotes the general health and welfare of Travelling people and liaises with both Travellers and statutory and voluntary agencies for that purpose;
  • the Southern Health and Social Services Board jointly with the Brownlow Commumtv Trust and the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust have provided grant aid to the Craigavon Travellers Support Committee to employ a support worker to help the local Travelling community;
  • the 4 Health and Social Services Boards have jointly provided funding for a part-time interpreter post to work with the Chinese community;
  • the Eastern Health and Social Services Board jointly with the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust initially provided grant aid for a Multi-Cultural Resource Centre which aims to raise awareness of the strengths, diversities, cultures, values and the existence of ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland. Present funding is provided by the Department through the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW) and the European Regional Development Fund; and
  • CCETSW has taken a particular interest in ensuring that social services staff are educated about ethnic issues and encouraged to address issues of anti-discriminatory practice in Northern Ireland. Most of the guidance documents for college tutors and practice teachers in agencies now provide comment about the importance of and the need to prepare social work students for anti-racist practice.

Proposed Children (Northern Ireland) Order
13. The Government is currently bringing forward a proposal for the most comprehensive piece of legislation ever made in Northern Ireland for children. The proposed Children (Northern Ireland) Order is expected to become law in 1993. It will be based on the Children Act 1989, one of the key elements of which is that local authorities are to have regard to a child's religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background. This will be mirrored in the proposed Order.

Factors Affecting Ethnic Minority Communities
14. Voluntary organisations dealing with ethnic minority communities have much to contribute to facilitating their participation in the life of the Northern Ireland community. It is recognised, however, that such organisations do not themselves have the resources to address all of the special factors that can affect these communities and which may restrict their access to minimum standards of life which the rest of the community takes for granted. For example:-
  • among the Travelling community there is a level of ill-health which is significantly above that of similar socio-economic groups in the settled community:
  • ethnic minority communities have drawn attention to the need for translation of information pamphlets on services provided by all Government Departments since some people have limited command of English. The Chinese community feei that the translation of material on social services would be particularly useful;
  • there is a lack of welfare advice and counselling services specifically directed at the Chinese, Asian, Vietnamese and Travelling communities;
  • child-minding arrangements are a particular problem for the Chinese community, due to the unsocial hours worked by parents in the catering trade in winch many are engaged. Improved creche and nursery facilities are also required. While the Chinese Welfare Association is already attempting to meet some of this need with its Mother and Toddier Group they would like to see a greater involvement by statutory agencies in this area; and
  • amongst recent immigrants to Northern Ireland Asian women feel particularly vulnerable through isolation, lack of support and problems in gaining access to resources.

Travelling Community
15. In relation to other ethnic minorities, Travellers face the most acute problems in respect of ill-health. There is a considerable body of research available on the health and social well-being of Travellers and their children which shows amongst other things that:-
  • adult life expectancy is between 11 and 15 years below that of the settled community and levels of childhood immunisation are generally poor,
  • there is a lack of developmental screening for Travellers' children; and
  • hospital admission rates for preventable childhood illnesses are very high and infant mortality rates are high, as are death rates among children.

Regional Strategy
16. The Department published in November 1991 a Regional Strategy for the Northern Ireland Health and Personal Social Services 1992-97 which set objectives and targets for major improvements in health and social well-being. One of the four main themes of the Strategy is the targeting of services to address the inequalities in health status and social wellbeing which exist within the population.

Health and Personal Social Services Management Plan
17. In March 1992 the Department's Management Executive produced a 1992/93 - 1994/95 Health and Personal Social Services Management Plan which built on the main themes of the Department's Regional Strategy. During the period of this plan Health and Social Services Boards will be expected to give priority to:-
  • identifying those areas and groups with particular needs and ensuring that services are targeted accordingly; and
  • identifying and removing social barriers for disadvantaged groups.
18. The Department in providing services both directly to ethnic minority communities and in conjunction with voluntary organisations endorses the need for an inter-agency and multidisciplinary approach. This requires the co-ordination of education, housing, training and employment agencies, District Councils, voluntary groups and health and personal social services in the assessment of needs of ethnic minorities and in the planning of services to deal effectively with low uptake and barriers which inhibit such disadvantaged groups accessing services.

19. The RUC is fully committed to the equitable treatment of all members of the public, irrespective of racial origin or religious belief. Close links are maintained with ethnic groups such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians, Pakistanis, Jews, Malays and Travellers so that problems peculiar to those groups can be addressed. (For example the RUC is currently involved in consultations with the Chinese Welfare Association about concerns which include burglaries and robberies at Chinese business premises). Whilst there is no mechanism whereby the victims of racially motivated crime or harassment are especially encouraged to report such incidents to police, where a difficulty is reported or identified, local police commanders will devote resources (commensurate with other demands) to deal with the matter; and the services of the Crime Prevention Officer and/or Victim Support Scheme will be called upon as appropriate.
20. The importance of complete impartiality is stressed at all levels of a police officer's training. The emphasis is on impartiality towards the issue of religion, but the Code of Ethics acts as a guide to standards of behaviour in all circumstances. The RUC's Training Branch is currently planning a "Cultural Awareness" package for inclusion in the Initial and Probationer Training Syllabus.

Racial Harassment
21. The Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 prohibits acts intended or likely to stir up hatred against or arouse fear of groups defined by reference to their religious beliefs, colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins. The Order has been rarely used and in view of the concern expressed by representatives of ethnic minority groups that racial attacks do occur and are on the increase, comments would be welcome on why the enforcement of the law, whether under this Order or generally, does not reflect this.

Educational Provision for the Children of Ethnic Minorities
22. Education and Library Boards under Article 6 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 have a duty to secure appropriate educational provision suitable to the ages, abilities and aptitudes of children in their areas. A further duty rests on Boards under Article 44 of the 1986 Order to have regard to the general principle that pupils shall be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents so far as is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure.
Primary and Secondary Schools
23. The provision made for the education of children from ethnic minorities who are attending primary or secondary schools would normally take the form of a more generous staffing ratio or the support of a teacher specialising in teaching English as a foreign language where the need for such provision has been established. for example, the Southern Board made additional teachers available some years ago when the "Boat People" arrived in the Craigavon area after fleeing from Vietnam.
Local Management of Schools - Funding
24. Since April 1991, when Local Management of Schools (LMS) was introduced, the resources allocated to each primary school and controlled or maintained secondary schools are calculated in accordance with a formula determined by each Education and Library Board. The formula allocates resources for individual schools on the basis of age-weighted pupil numbers, protection for small schools, premises costs and other factors which could include a factor relating to the number of children from ethnic minorities. In the case of schools with fully delegated budgets the management of the resulting budget shares, including the determination of staffing complements, is the responsibility of each school. In those primary schools which have only part of their budget shares delegated to them, teacher staffing complements are still determined by the Education and Library Board in the case of controlled schools or by the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools in the case of those schools for which it is responsible.
25. Education and Library Boards are empowered to mount specific initiatives within the overall block grant allocated to them by the Department and such initiatives could include special provision for children of ethnic minorities where a Board is satisfied that the number of such children and their needs justify provision outside the resources made available to schools through the LMS formula..

Further Education
26. Further Education Colleges in Northern Ireland provide vocational courses designed to equip students with the skills necessary for employment in a wide range of occupational areas. They also provide courses of a non-vocational and recreational nature. All courses provided by colleges are open to everyone, irrespective of ethnic origin.
27. Courses in colleges are delivered through the medium of English. If students whose first language is not English. including members of ethnic minority groups resident in Northern Ireland, are to have the same opportunities to benefit from further education as "local" students, they first need to achieve an appropriate level of competence in the English language. The Further Education colleges are well placed to provide them with such competence and several colleges already provide ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) courses. Colleges will continue to respond to identified demand for such provision.
28. The Department encourages colleges, where they are aware of the existence within their catchment areas of particular ethnic minority groups, to identify the particular further education needs of such groups and to consider how they might meet these needs.

Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
29. All courses of ITT in Northern Ireland must, like those in England and Wales, satisfy the criteria of the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education in order to be approved by the Department as suitable for the professional preparation of teachers. The following criteria relate to racial matters:-
  • on completion of the courses, students should be aware of the links and common ground between subjects and be able to incorporate in their teaching cross-curricular dimensions (eg equal opportunities, multi-cultural education and personal and social education);
  • courses should also cover other aspects of the teacher's work including: the school in its wider social context, including issues of culture, gender and race. In Northern Ireland this element in courses should cover Education for Mutual Understanding (EMU) and Cultural Heritage; and
  • in all stages of selection of candidates, institutions should ensure that equal opportunities are given to every candidate, irrespective of race, nationality or gender.

In-Service Training (INSET)
30. Boards are not aware now of any problems in Northern Ireland arising as a result of non-English speaking pupils in the classroom. Should problems arise, the Boards would make appropriate special arrangements, such as the employment of a teacher specialising in the teaching of English as a foreign language.

Education of Travellers Children
31. The policy objective of the Department with regard to the education of Travellers' children is that they should be educated along with children in mainstream education ic be fully integrated into ordinary schools. The education provision made should however be such that the Travellers' children's own identity is respected. While the policy seeks to reduce disadvantage, it also seeks to recognise the Travellers' own distinctive culture.
32. The provision of serviced sites is considered to be of crucial importance to the development of the education of the Travellers' children and has been influential in encouraging school attendance in, for example, Newry, Coalisland, Londonderry and Omagh. Travellers' children have been attending a number of schools across Northern Ireland from time to time eg in Armagh, Craigavon, Ballymena, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Irvinestown, Strabane, Magherafelt etc. There is a Travellers' school in West Belfast (St. Paul's) which caters for Traveller children from the West of the city. This school exists for historical reasons but separate schooling is not in accordance with the policy of educating Travellers' children in ordinary schools.
33. The Department has recently issued a draft policy circular for consultation to relevant educational and other interests in Northern Ireland.

Overseas Nationals
34. The entry and stay of non-EC nationals in the UK is controlled by the Home Office under the Immigration Act 1971. A non-EC national wishing to take up employment in Northern Ireland usually requires the permission of the Department of Economic Development which can be obtained from the Training and Employment Agency.
35. The application for a work permit is made by an employer, for a named worker, for a specific vacancy and must include proof that the vacancy has been advertised widely enough to allow suitable UK and EC nationals to apply. In general the issue of work permits is limited to overseas workers between the ages of 23 and 54 years (inclusive). They should hold recognised professional qualifications or have a high degree of skill or experience required for posts for which resident UK or EC labour is not available.
36. The number of work permit applications received over the last few years was:-
1990 - 320 of which 215 permits were approved
1991 - 395 of which 207 permits were approved
1992 - 267 of which 109 permits have been approved

Training and Job Opportunities
37. It is estimated that around 75% of Travellers in Northern Ireland are unemployed. This may be because of their lack of formal education, which leaves them ill-equipped to comnete in the job market, or because of the alleged unwillingness of employers to consider Travellers for employment. Mainstream training programmes have not been attractive to Travellers.
38. While retaining the main elements of their culture, the Travellers' economic activity has undergone amajorchange due to urbanisation in the latter half of the 20th century. Rural based occupations such as tinsmithing, casual farm labour, horse-dealing and hawking have been replaced by tarmacing, carpet-selling, scrap metal collecting and dealing in cars and caravans. In pursuit of these activities Travellers still rely on the advantage of mobility and low overheads to exploit any available niche in the market economy.
39. The Action for Community Employment (ACE) programme currently supports several groups of Travellers in various parts of Northern Ireland. Mound 30 posts (costing around £150,000 pa) are attached to a number of ACE projects in West Belfast, Craigavon, Armagh and Londonderry.
40. The Chinese Welfare Association (CWA) has sponsored an ACE project since 1986. Currently it has 10 ACE workers and attracts funding of £58,000. Activities undertaken include welfare advice, an after school club for Chinese children and home tuition of non-English speaking children.

41. The Central Community Relations Unit (CCRU) provides grant towards the salary of a Race Relations Adviser within CWA and general support costs. The remit of the Race Relations Adviser is to help the Chinese population to integrate within the community while retaining their cultural identity and to assist with the racial problems which they experience.
42. CCRU also provides grant aid from the EC Physical and Social Environment Programme towards the salaries of two designated posts within the Multi-Cultural Resource Centre. The aims of the posts are to raise awareness of the culture, traditions, strengths, diversities, values, needs and existence of ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland and to encourage co-operation between them and the rest of the Northern Ireland community.

[1] Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights "Religious and Political Discrimination and Equality of Opportunity in Northern Ireland - Second Report" - Cm 1107
[2] Commission for Racial Equality - Second Review of the Race Relations Act 1976

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