Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and the Unite Against Hate campaign endorsed the Common Platform paper and welcomed the partnership approach in addressing racial inequalities in our society.
Recent months have witnessed a drastic increase in the number of hate crimes reported to the PSNI. Hate crimes are particularly serious, as they compromise the quality of life for individuals and communities. Hate crimes damage people and the social fabric of Northern Ireland.
Combating hate crime requires consistent, integrated and multi-agency approach.
The Racial Equality Strategy needs to demonstrate clear leadership and commitment to the development of the Hate Crime Action Plan to improve the strategic and operational response to hate crime. Hate Crime Action Plan should focus on victim support, prevention and intervention, should tackle under reporting and consider the implications for the criminal justice agencies.
We need to bring everyone together with the collective goal of building more positive attitudes towards diversity in Northern Ireland, challenging prejudice and hatred.
Living with diversity is an integral part of modern life and we all need to take responsibility for creating an atmosphere where diversity is accepted as normal.
The Common Platform paper has been agreed by organisations working for and with people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds living and working in Northern Ireland, in response to the draft Racial Equality Strategy, A Sense of Belonging, produced by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
The Common Platform highlights agreed common themes and principles that the undersigned organisations believe are critical to the successful implementation of a strategy.