Ethnicity, Human Rights and Data Collection

Pavee Point, together with National University of Ireland Maynooth, held a seminar on ethnic data collection as part of Traveller Pride Week 2013. The seminar focused on the importance and legal basis of data disaggregated by ethnicity, as well as models of good practice in national and European contexts. Specific focus was placed on ethnic data collection in relation to Traveller and Roma communities.

Seminar participants underlined a need for an ethnic identifier in data collection and analysis in order to ensure the development, implementation and monitoring of effective policies and practices in relation to members of minority ethnic groups in Ireland. It was highlighted how the current lack of such data hampers evidence-based policy making; assessment and monitoring of efficiency and effectiveness of policy and practice; as well as monitoring discrimination and racism at policy and service levels.

While legitimate concerns with ethnic data collection were acknowledged, it was underscored how a number of international and European human rights bodies and legal instruments allow and support the collection of such data. These instruments assert the necessity of ethnic data in fighting racism and discrimination and promoting equal opportunities.

A report on the seminar on Ethnicity, Human Rights and Data Collection is forthcoming.

For more information, contact Ronnie Fay, Co-Director of Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre ronnie.fay@pavee.ie

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