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Tolerance Promotion

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what strategies his Department has in place to (a) combat racism and (b) promote tolerance between different ethnic groups within Northern Ireland. (86551)

The Government's Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland and A Shared Future (Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland) provides the framework for Government and wider civic society to combat racism and sectarianism and to promote good relations. Both are supported by action plans which set out the practical steps to be taken by Government Departments and their agencies to promote racial equality and good relations.

In addition, the Criminal Justice (No2) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 “hate crime” deals with crimes motivated or aggravated by hatred based on race, religion, disability or sexual orientation. This legislation gives courts the power to increase prison sentences if it is proven that crimes are motivated by hatred.