33.2% of LGBT+ people reported they have experienced a form of discrimination in Ireland over the last two years, according to a Central Statistics Office (CSO) survey. People from a non-white ethnic background followed closely with 33.1% reporting discrimination. Though Ireland has taken strides towards inclusivity, these statistics reveal the worrying reality where many still suffer.
The CSO reported that 18% of people, 18 or over, have experienced discrimination. In the CSO’s Equality and Discrimination Survey, 32.3% of people said they have an understanding of their rights under Irish equality legislation.
Under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2015, discrimination in the areas of accommodation, education, the provision of goods and services are prohibited. ‘The Acts’ cover nine main grounds: sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, family status, age, disability, marital status, and membership of the Traveller community. Discrimination is an incident where “a person is treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated,” according to the Irish Statute Book.
Sexuality was given as the main grounds of discrimination, with 9.1% giving it as a reason. Discrimination towards sexuality was experienced predominantly by men. 9.5% of men gave sexuality as the reason for discrimination over 8.8% of women.
11.8% of people said they have experienced discrimination in the accessing of services. Work was reported as among the highest places for discrimination with almost one in ten (9.4%) saying they have experienced it. Bullying and work conditions were cited as the main reasons for work-related discrimination.
A large portion of people (30.2%) surveyed has experienced discrimination due to unemployment.
“Of those who had experienced discrimination in the two years prior to interview, seven out of every ten (70.4%) took no action in response to their experience,” according to the CSO.
The results highlight the need for hate crime legislation in Ireland. The ‘Burning Issues 2’ survey revealed that a Hate Crime law is now the number one priority for the LGBT+ community in post-marriage equality Ireland.
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