Learn more about your rights if you experience discrimination in Ireland
Written by Children's Rights Alliance
This factsheet is an extract from the publication Know Your Rights: The Rights of Children and Young People published by the Children’s Rights Alliance. It is reproduced here with their kind permission. Know Your Rights is a public information project designed to inform everyone, in plain language, of the rights and entitlements children have in Ireland and where to go when they are not respected.
As a child or young person, you have a right to equal treatment. Depending on your age and some legal restrictions, you also have the right to take part in the life of your community, in employment, and to make independent choices about things that concern you.
Equal treatment is about recognising that everyone has the same worth and should be treated with dignity.
Discrimination happens when you are treated differently or less favourably than someone else in the same situation because of:
These personal characteristics are known as ‘discrimination grounds’. You also have a right to be protected from harassment. Harassment includes things like offensive comments and text messages or physical things like pushing or hitting people.
Indirect discrimination is when someone is treated less well than other people because there are requirements which they would find harder than others to fulfil.
You have the right to be protected from discrimination when you:
Sometimes discrimination happens because of:
If you feel you have been discriminated against based on the areas above when trying to access goods and services or in education or employment, you can complain to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
To complain to the WRC you must first notify the person or company that you wish to complain about. You must do this within two months of the event. The WRC has more information about how to make a complaint on its website. The WRC will issue a legally binding decision that will try to fix your situation. In some cases, you may get compensation.
Other options you can contact:
You have a right to be protected against threatening, abusive and insulting words and behaviour carried out:
If you think you have been a victim of this type of treatment, you can contact the Gardaí on 112 or 999 and report it as a crime.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to:
It is also an offence for someone to damage or threaten to damage your property. Again, you can report this to the Gardaí. Read our articles on discrimination and hate crimes in Ireland to learn more.
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.
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