There are continued high levels of sectarianism and racism in society. Increasing levels of ethnic diversity, alongside relatively high levels of socio-economic deprivation in some areas presents new challenges for achieving greater integration and citizenship.
Due to the history of division in Northern Ireland and the Border Region, some sections of society have not yet developed the capacity to deal positively with diversity and difference.
Local authority led partnerships will be supported under the Programme, involving effective partnerships between the public, private and community sectors, with the capacity to address reconciliation, cultural diversity, conflict transformation and equality.
All projects will involve people from diverse backgrounds; in particular, cross-border activity will be supported and facilitated. This programme will support actions to facilitate the full participation of women in local initiatives and also target those groups particularly impacted by the legacy of the troubles/conflict such as victims and survivors and those communities with low social capital, and those identifiable groups and networks dealing with specific legacy issues such as young and older people, women, the faith community, victims and survivors, those suffering from physical or mental disability arising from the legacy of violence, ex-prisoners, displaced persons and former members of the security forces.
This objective will promote positive relations characterised by respect, where cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.
It will result in an increase in the percentage of people who think relations between Protestants and Catholics are better than they were five years ago; an increase in the percentage of people who think relations between Protestants and Catholics will be better in five years’ time and an increase in the percentage of people who know quite a bit about the culture of some minority ethnic communities.
These result indicators will be monitored from information collected by the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey.