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Newstalk

15.19 29 Nov 2017


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Young people from minority backgrounds have said they regularly face racism and exclusion - commonly from older people.

That is according to a new report by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI), which is calling for more youth services where young people can share their experiences.

The council spoke to 50 young people from minority backgrounds across the country to put together the report.

They spoke of the racism, exclusion and the integration issues they face.

Speaking this morning, the author of the report, Anne Walsh, said racist insults tend to come from particular quarters:

"They are largely coming from older people," she said. "They said younger people are more understanding."

"But yes they did get it from peers as well.

"The evidence was also that the street racism tended to happen in more rural areas and in more economically deprived areas.

"Now I don't for one second believe that middle class people are not racist. I just think it manifests in a very different way."

Racism

At the launch of the project this morning, Emmanuel Samuel outlined on his experiences as a young person in Kilkenny.

"Walking down the street, you can get someone saying something to you like, 'go back to your own country and stuff like that,'" he said.

"Those are the down sides, the negative bits of it.

"Even in sports, sometimes we get abuse from other teams."

Amina Moustafa was born in Dublin, to an Irish Mum and Egyptian Dad and says to some people, she can never be really Irish enough.

"I've never actually lived in Egypt and I don't know their culture because I only ever went there on holidays," she said.

"So when I say I'm Irish, my mum says to say that because that is what you know more of.

"But people don't take me as Irish so I am like, 'what am I supposed to be then?'"

Youth services

Anne Walsh, who authored the report, said there is a real lack of appropriate youth services available for minority young people.

"We are calling for people who work with young people to make those spaces available," she said.

"A lot of the young people want to self-organise but having qualified people around them is really important.

"Having those spaces available and making those spaces available is really important - there are not that many."

Discrimination

Emmanuel had this message for those people who still choose to discriminate:

"No matter where we are coming from, at the end of the day, we are breathing the same air," he said.

"We eat the same food, we get sick from the same diseases and cured by the same medicines."


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