9 May 2002
Speaking today at the launch of the Sinn Fein proposals on Social Inclusion, Dublin South East candidate in the election, Daithí Doolan said:
``In today's Ireland where we have already identified the fact that the provision of public services is totally inadequate, there are those who claim that asylum seekers and immigrants are partly responsible for this. The responsibility for hospital waiting lists and the housing crisis lies with present and previous governments.
``We had these problems before immigrants arrived and we will still have these problems unless a radical approach is taken.
``Racism on our streets is now a daily reality. We believe that the response to racism must be built at a community level. Where racism exists it affects human beings and represents a violation of fundamental rights. The challenge to racism is to the forefront of the campaign to achieve equality in our society.
Sinn Fein are proposing a six point action plan:
- Anti-racist education packages to be introduced to the school curriculum
- The next government ratifies the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their families
- The reform of the work permit scheme - grant permits to workers not employers
- Speeding up the processing of asylum claims
- The right to work or study for those claiming asylum
- Multi-agency approach to be adopted to aid immigrants in the attempts to integrate with Irish society
These are innovative and practical proposals. The current status quo is resulting in a rise in an obvious rise in racism and is not an option as Ireland becomes even more multi-cultural. The benefits of such a society must be promoted and cherished. Sinn Fein for our part will continue to work with ethnic minorities and other marginally groups. There can be no a-la-carte approach to equality.''
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