Limerick teams up with Barcelona to tackle racism and immigrant myths

Limerick is teaming up with Barcelona to fight racism and tackle myths about immigrants in a first-of-its-kind move in this country.

The ‘Anti-Rumours Campaign’ is being launched to herald Limerick’s joining the Intercultural Cities Network — a grouping of cities all over the world which work to develop new ideas and practices concerning migrant integration.

Limerick is the second Irish city to join the network after Dublin.

Doras Luimní, a non- governmental organisation which helps Limerick’s immigrant population, is leading the campaign.

Karen McHugh, chief executive of Doras Luimní, said: “The Anti-Rumours campaign was devised by Barcelona municipality in 2010 and proved to be highly successful in tackling and countering misconceptions and prejudices that were held by many people throughout that city. Limerick will be working with Barcelona to devise and implement an Anti-Rumours strategy for Limerick, as a preventative measure against racism.”

During the coming weeks, Doras Luimní will hold a series of workshops where business, cultural, Limerick City/County Council, Garda and other organisations will give views on the issues of immigrant integration and racism. It is hoped that this research will help build up a strategy on how best to tackle racism and help migrants integrate.

Migrants make up 9.7% of the overall population of Limerick City and county.

A recent study of racism in Limerick published by Doras Luimní showed 60% of respondents had experienced some form of racism in Limerick. The majority of the reported cases involved verbal attacks.

Mc McHugh said that, by joining the Intercultural Cities Network, Limerick will be able to look at programmes and policies in dealing with racism on a global basis and benchmark its progress with other cities in the network.

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