Tackling Sectarianism

BCRC has recently commissioned ICR (Institute for Conflict Research) to complete an Anti-Sectarianism Toolkit/Training Programme on our behalf. The Toolkit/Training Programme is in the process of being completed and it is anticipated that a programme of training will begin to be rolled out by BCRC during autumn 2014, subject to availability of funding.

As acknowledged in the ‘Together: Building a United Community Strategy’ issued by OFMDFM in May 2013, sectarianism continues to form one of the main divides within society and we also recognise, as outlined in the ministerial document, that everyone has a role to play in tackling this issue. For our part we believe that the development of a pilot toolkit and training programme with a focus on sectarianism will help make a positive contribution towards the implementation of the strategy.

The BCRC Anti-Sectarianism Toolkit/Training Programme is being developed with the aims to:

  • - Define sectarianism (within urban and rural contexts, locally as well as nationally and internationally)
  • - Outline the history of sectarianism both locally, nationally and internationally using several case studies
  • - Explore the significance of history, previous life experiences and their correlation with trans-generational issues in today’s society
  • - Outline what forms of sectarianism exist today (political, religious, personal, institutional etc)
  • - Outline how, in the context of growing up in a divided society, individuals can internalise, even subconsciously, sectarian thoughts, outlooks and attitudes
  • - Summarise and analyse what models exist (nationally/internationally), whether
  • - Government policies or community strategies, that aim to tackle sectarianism

“The Together: Building a United Community Strategy outlines a vision based on equality of opportunity, the desirability of good relations and reconciliation. It provides the framework for government action in tackling sectarianism, racism and other forms of intolerance while seeking to address division, hate and separation“

“This is an Executive Strategy which places responsibilities on all government departments. However government cannot achieve the shared vision alone; everyone has a role to play. The title of the Strategy acknowledges the reality that it is only through government, community groups, and individuals working together that a new and united community can truly be formed. It is only by working together that we will achieve our aspirations and bring our shared vision to a reality in people’s everyday lives.”