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Question

438. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her views on the level of racist attacks; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34579/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I am of course concerned about any level of racist crime and can assure the Deputy that An Garda Síochána monitors this type of crime very carefully. My Department is also continuing to keep the existing criminal law provisions against racism and xenophobia under review.
The Garda Racial Intercultural and Diversity Office (GRIDO) has responsibility for coordinating, monitoring and advising on all aspects of policing Ireland's diverse communities. GRIDO monitors the reporting and recording of hate and racist crime on a continual basis.
Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers (ELOs) are appointed to work with minority communities at local level throughout the country. These officers combined with GRIDO play a fundamental role in liaising with minority groups and work in partnership to encourage tolerance, respect and understanding within communities in the pursuit of preventing the commission of hate and racist crime. GRIDO and ELOs provide advice and assistance to victims of hate or racist crime where required or deemed necessary.
In addition to the work of the Gardaí, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, an office of my Department, is the focal point for the Government's commitment on anti-racism as a key aspect of integration, diversity management and broader national social policy. The Office continues to work with all the relevant sectors to further progress the integration and diversity management agenda. Many of the initiatives which were instigated through the National Action Plan against Racism 2005-2008 continue to be developed and progressed through the support and work of the Office.
A review of our approach to the integration of migrants was launched last year. This review will provide the basis for a new and updated migrant integration strategy. Work on the Integration Strategy is ongoing and a draft was recently sent to key stakeholders for their observations with a view to the Strategy being published as soon as possible. I expect that the Integration Strategy, when developed, will include a strong anti-racism component.