Discrimination is a pervasive issue in societies worldwide, and Ireland is no exception. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) defines discrimination as “treating someone less favourably than another person in a similar situation because of a personal characteristic.” The characteristics listed in the Irish Constitution are called the 9 Grounds of Discrimination. Discrimination on these grounds is illegal and considered a violation of human rights.
The 9 Grounds of Discrimination in Ireland
This article explains 9 grounds of discrimination in Ireland and their meaning.
Gender Discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently because of their gender. For example, if women do the same job but get paid less than men, this is sexism. Gender discrimination also includes discrimination against transgender people.
Civil status refers to an individual’s marital status or whether they are single, separated, divorced, or widowed. Discrimination on this ground includes denial of housing or employment based on marital status.
Family status discrimination occurs when people are treated differently because they have or want children. This includes refusing to hire or promote someone because of family responsibilities.
Sexual orientation discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their sexual orientation. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, including harassment, unequal pay, and exclusion from social or recreational activities.
Age discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their age. It includes discrimination against young and older people, such as denying someone a job because they are too young or old.
Disability discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their disability. Discrimination can be direct or indirect, such as denying someone a job because of their disability or failing to provide reasonable accommodations.
Race discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of their race, colour, nationality, ethnicity, or origin. Discrimination can take many forms, including harassment, unequal pay, and exclusion from social or recreational activities.
Religion discrimination is when someone is treated differently by religion or belief. It includes discrimination against atheists or people with no religion and denying someone a job or promotion because of their religion.
Membership of the Traveller community
When a member of the Traveller community is treated unfairly, this is known as discrimination against Travellers. It entails exclusion from employment, harassment, and denial of services or accommodations.
Examples of Discrimination in Ireland
Discrimination can take many forms; unfortunately, it is still prevalent in Ireland. Here are some examples of discrimination based on the 9 grounds:
- A woman is denied a promotion because she is pregnant
- A gay couple is denied the right to rent a property
- A person with a disability is denied access to a public building because there are no wheelchair ramps
- A person is subjected to racial slurs and harassment in the workplace
Legal Protections Against Discrimination
Ireland forbids discrimination on any of the nine grounds. Legal safeguards against discrimination are offered by the Equal Status Acts of 2000 to 2018 and the Employment Equality Acts of 1998 to 2015 in contexts like employment, housing, education, and the provision of goods and services.
These Acts make it illegal for employers, service providers, landlords, and others to discriminate against someone on any of the 9 grounds. The IHREC and WRC are responsible for enforcing these Acts and investigating complaints of discrimination.
If a complaint is upheld, the offender or organisation may be forced to pay the victim compensation and take action to stop discrimination in the future.
What to do if you experience Discrimination in Ireland
You can take numerous actions to defend your rights if you encounter prejudice in Ireland. You should first lodge a complaint with the person or institution accountable for the prejudice. If you feel uncomfortable approaching them, you can file a complaint with either the IHREC or the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
The IHREC and WRC are responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in Ireland. They investigate complaints of discrimination and can take legal action against the person or organisation responsible.
You can also seek legal advice from a solicitor or the Free Legal Advice Center (FLAC). They can advise you on your rights and help you take legal action against individuals or organisations responsible for discrimination.
Discrimination on the 9 grounds is illegal and violates human rights in Ireland. It can take many forms, including harassment, exclusion, and denial of service.
If you experience discrimination, you should take action to protect your rights. Speak to the person or organisation responsible, make a complaint to the IHREC or WRC, and seek legal advice if necessary.
The 9 grounds of discrimination in Ireland are gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, religion, and membership in the Traveller community.
The IHREC is the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. It is accountable for promoting and protecting human rights and equality in Ireland.
WRC is the Workplace Relations Committee. Responsible for exercising workers’ rights and resolving workplace disputes in Ireland.
If you experience discrimination in Ireland, you can complain to the person or organisation responsible, the IHREC or WRC, and seek legal advice if necessary.
Yes, discrimination on any of the 9 grounds is illegal in Ireland and violates human rights.