Alliance MLAs Chris Lyttle and Anna Lo have criticised the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister over the delay in implementing the Racial Equality Strategy. A consultation was launched one year ago but the strategy has yet to be implemented. A balloon launch was held at Stormont to mark one year since the consultation was published.
Chris Lyttle MLA said: “After years of delays, OFMdFM finally published a strategy last June and put it out for consultation, but one year on there has been very little action. It begs the question how much of a priority is racial equality for the First and deputy First Ministers.
“We need to properly recognise the positive contribution of ethnic minorities to our society and highlight the inequalities that they face in health, employment and education.
“It is now imperative that OFMdFM finally implement this strategy, but it is also important that it is given adequate resources to accomplish its targets.”
Anna Lo MLA said: “The First and deputy First Ministers should be ashamed by their abject failure to implement a Racial Equality Strategy.
“The document that was put out for consultation last year was not the strategy that Alliance would have written, with many improvements needed.
“There has been a sharp rise in the number of racist incidents that were reported with 1,356 taking place in 2014/15, up from 982 in 2013/14. There is an urgent need for OFMdFM to finally show some leadership on this issue and implement this strategy to help combat these crimes.”