Discrimination is when a person or group of people is not treated as well as others because of a supposed difference. People are often discriminated against because of their age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, family status, civil status or because they have a disability. The effects of discrimination and prejudice can be severe and no one should ever have to experience them.
Sometimes you may witness other people being discriminated against. Discrimination can happen anywhere, such as in school or college, in the work place or on a night out. If you see someone being discriminated against it can be hard to know what to do to help create positive change but actions in your daily life can help to make a difference.
How can I help prevent discrimination?
- Others should respect your opinions and views, but you have to respect their opinions and views as well.
- Don’t decide what you think of someone because they have a disability, are LGBT or because they are a different race, ethnicity or religion to you. Make an effort to get to know someone before you decide what they’re like.
- Be open when meeting new people. If you respect them and listen to everyone’s views (people with disabilities, immigrants, Travellers, you name it) you’ll realise that prejudices and stereotypes are narrow minded.
- Make an effort to get to know and learn more about local ethnic, religious and cultural minorities. Organise multicultural events like world-food nights or traditional dance nights.
- Don’t let your friends make insulting comments or jokes that discriminate against others. Tell them they are being narrow minded and prejudiced.
- If you or someone you know is being discriminated against, then speak out. Keeping quiet won’t make it go away.
- Make an official complaint in writing to your school/university or workplace. Keep a copy of the letter.
- An employer can’t punish you if you report them for harassment or discrimination. This means it’s illegal for them to fire you or treat you differently after you make a formal complaint.
- If you are a victim of discrimination or harassment (or see it happening) in a public place like a shop, restaurant, pub, cinema or nightclub then report it to the management. If they don’t act, report it to the Gardaí or Police.
- If you see that someone else is discriminated against, do something about it! You can report discrimination and harassment to the Gardaí or Police.
- Support anti discrimination and harassment organisations
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.