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Racial Equality and Good Relations

Our Vision - ‘A society in which racial diversity is supported, understood, valued and respected, where racism in any of its forms is not tolerated and where we can all live together as a society and enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection.’
The Unit’s aim is to promote racial equality in Northern Ireland. We have central responsibility for policy relating to people from minority ethnic backgrounds.
A Racial Equality Strategy was published by the Unit in July 2005. The strategy sets out a framework for Government and all sections of civil society in Northern Ireland for the creation of a community where racism, in any of its forms, is not tolerated and where all people enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection.
On 27 April 2006 Lord Rooker, Minister with responsibility for Racial Equality announced the publication of the first annual action plan - 2006 which will implement the Racial Equality Strategy.
Our role is to:
  • prepare and implement an action plan for the Racial Equality Strategy;

  • develop and implement the Government’s response to racism and racial incidents in respect of transferred matters;

  • manage a funding scheme to support minority ethnic groups and projects which promote good relations between people from different ethnic backgrounds.

  • Chair and provide secretariat to the Northern Ireland Racial Equality Forum, the thematic group on Travellers issues and the thematic group on combating racism and racial incidents;

  • promote awareness of race and minority ethnic issues across all Northern Ireland departments and advise Ministers on how policy and programmes might impact on people from minority ethnic backgrounds;

  • advise Ministers and their departments on how they can take account of issues relating to people from minority ethnic backgrounds in their work: including identifying and disseminating best practice and challenging where necessary;

  • communicate with the minority ethnic voluntary sector in Northern Ireland, other departments and Whitehall; and

  • co-ordinate Northern Ireland responses and inputs on race equality and good race relations issues to national and supra-national bodies.
Find out more about the legislation relating to race issues in Northern Ireland, the Race Relations Order or access our publications.