Stormont's commitment to tackling racial inequality questioned – BBC

The Executive Office's (TEO) commitment to tackling racial inequality has been called into question by a senior Stormont civil servant.
Kenneth Fraser drafted the Racial Equality Strategy 17 years ago but it has not been implemented.
He said TEO and the civil service had not learnt lessons from the RHI scandal to ensure those with the right knowledge were in policy-making roles.
The Executive Office said it did not recognise this description.
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was an energy initiative set up to encourage businesses in Northern Ireland to switch from fossil fuels to renewable sources, but major flaws in its set-up and implementation meant the scheme risked going vastly over budget.
Mr Fraser was appointed as head of the racial equality unit in 2002, and is the author of both drafts of the Racial Equality Strategy – published in 2005 and 2015 respectively.
The Racial Equality Strategy establishes a framework for government departments and others to tackle racial inequalities, to eradicate racism and hate crime.
Kenneth Fraser said the lack of overall progress after almost two decades since the strategy's first draft was for him a source of deep frustration.
"I look back and there is a parallel there with the renewable heat incentive scheme," he told the BBC's The View programme.
"The expertise we did have in the shape of myself, was just rejected out of hand. Over and over again.
"The message it sends to the people of NI from a minority ethnic background is, you're not wanted.
"We're not interested in what you're doing, you're lucky to be here, you'll have to make do with what we are prepared to give you, rather than what you are entitled to."
Dr Evelyn Collins, chief executive of the Equality Commission, said political leadership was needed to implement the racial equality strategy.
"There needs to be clear political leadership to make change happen. Racism has no place in 21st century Northern Ireland and we need to make sure that we are listening to the voices of those who feel disrespected and undermined here," she said.
Kamini Rao of the Strabane Ethnic Community Association said the full implementation of the racial equality strategy was now critical.
"Northern Ireland is changing, so society needs to change, legislation needs to change," she said.
"People need to be protected. It frustrates me nothing has changed.
"It gives me the message, as someone from a mixed-race background, Stormont does not care about racial inequality."
Cllr Lilian Seenoi-Barr of the North-West Migrants Forum said racial equality was about "access to services, regardless of your background, regardless of your race".
"Imagine going to a salon and not getting somebody to do your hair, could we say that we have achieved racial equality in Northern Ireland when we have a community that is completely excluded on day-to-day services?" she added.
The Executive Office told BBC News NI: "Through partnership working and collaborating with the Racial Equality Sub Group, Racial Equality Champions and ethnic minority communities, we continue to make good progress in delivering many of the key commitments in the Racial Equality Strategy for 2015-2025.
"Implementation of key actions identified in the Racial Equality Strategy for the period 2015-2025 is ongoing as this is a living document to cover that period.
"We will continue to work, in partnership across the executive, with Racial Equality Champions, with Racial Equality Subgroup, our minority ethnic communities and across wider society to deliver the remaining key actions, contained in the Racial Equality Strategy."
The Executive office also said: "The small team which undertook work on race and refugee matters in 2012 has increased substantially, reflecting our increased diversity as a community and the need for TEO to give leadership and deliver.
The View is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.
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