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Be Fair is a campaign to highlight the importance of being fair and respectful to all children in school communities, irrespective of their backgrounds.

The project comes in response to the findings of Irish and international research which demonstrates the occurrence of racial bullying and racist behaviour in children as young as five or six in primary schools. This body of research has found that:

  • Young children can engage in quite serious forms of racism towards their peers.
    This mainly involves ethnic name calling and other forms of verbal taunting.
  • The practice of racism among children is intentionally hidden from adults. Within the social world of children there is a culture of “not telling” while among victims there is a reluctance to talk.
  • Some children who are victims of racial abuse will suffer serious long-term consequences as a result. Resentment and anger are common.

Racism is a serious issue for the children involved and for the future of community relations in Ireland. There are things we can all do but there are no quick fixes.

An important first step towards helping migrant children exposed to racism in Irish schools is recognition and sensitivity to the issue on the part of key adults in their lives.