The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality, Mr. David Stanton T.D., today opened and participated in “Promoting Political Engagement of Migrants 2018” at The Atrium in the Department of Justice and Equality’s offices in St. Stephen’s Green. The event brings up to 100 migrant community leaders from all over the State together with a panel of representatives from Irish political parties and groupings and seeks to inspire and equip participants to spread some key message among their communities:
- Everyone has the right to vote in local elections and it’s important to use this vote
- Everyone also has the right to run in local elections and migrants are encouraged to either take this step themselves or encourage/support community members to do so
The event is being held in partnership with a number of migrant organisations (Akidwa, Cairde, the International Organisation for Migration, Forum Polonia, New Communities Partnership, Places of Sanctuary Ireland and Wezesha). The event is being supported through funding from the Office for Promotion of Migrant Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality.
Opening the event Minister Stanton Stated:
“I believe this event has the potential to be a significant step towards achieving the goals of the Migrant Integration Strategy – “A Blueprint for the Future”, which was published by Government in February last year with broad support from all parties. The strategy specifically challenges us, as public representatives, with the following two actions in particular, encouraging migrants to register to vote and exercise their franchise, and encouraging migrants to participate in local and national politics.
The overall vision of the strategy is that migrants are facilitated to play a full role in Irish society, that integration is a core principle of Irish life and that Irish society and institutions work together to promote integration, a crucial step towards this goal, is political participation.”
NOTE FOR EDITORS
Increasing the level of political participation of migrants is a key theme in the Government’s Migrant Integration Strategy – A Blueprint for the Future. Within this theme, there are two specific actions which are directly addressed by today’s event:
Action 58 - “Migrants will be encouraged to participate in local and national politics to the extent that these areas are legally open to them”
Responsible Body: Political Parties
Action 59 – “Migrants will be supported and encouraged to register to vote and exercise their franchise.”
Responsible Body: Dept. of Housing, Planning and Local Government