The Executive Office (TEO) is committed to building a society in which racial equality and diversity is supported, understood, valued and respected, where people of minority ethnic backgrounds have a sense of belonging which is acknowledged and valued by people from all backgrounds.

Racial Equality Strategy 2015 - 2025

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025 was approved by Ministers and published in December 2015, establishing a framework for action by Government departments (and others):

  • to tackle racial inequalities and to open up opportunity for all;
  • to eradicate racism and hate crime; and
  • along with the Together: Building a United Community policy, to promote good race relations and social cohesion. 

Specific Outcomes of the Racial Equality Strategy that we want are:

Equality of service provision

  • People from a minority ethnic background can access and benefit from all public services equally.

Elimination of prejudice, racism and hate crime

  • Effective protection and redress is provided against all manifestations of racism and racist crime and a victim-centred approach is promoted.

Increased participation, representation and belonging

  • People from minority ethnic backgrounds participate in and are represented fully in all aspects of life - public, political, economic, social and cultural - and enjoy a shared sense of “belonging”.

Cultural diversity is celebrated

  • The rights of people from minority ethnic backgrounds to maintain their culture and traditions in line with human rights norms and to pass them on to subsequent generations are recognised and supported.

Racial Equality Indicators Report

The Racial Equality Indicator Report monitors the progress of the Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025.  The Racial Equality Indicators Report is an annual publication monitoring progress on four key outcome areas: equality of service provision; combating prejudice, racism and hate crime; participation, representation, and belonging; and respecting cultural diversity.

The Strategy along with the accompanying indicators designed to monitor the progress of the Strategy were launched for consultation on 19 June 2014.  The public consultation exercise ended on the 10 October 2014. You can still download the draft Racial Equality Strategy and the Racial Equality Strategy Indicators consultation documents consultation via the links below:

Departmental Racial Equality Champions

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025 contained a commitment to establish a network of Racial Equality Champions across all departments in the NI Executive.  This was a strong demand from the minority ethnic sector, expressed during the public consultation exercise on the Strategy.  The Racial Equality Champions’ initiative is intended to ensure that messages about the importance of racial equality and good race relations are consistent and visible to all staff across Government departments.  They are supported by the Racial Equality Delivery Team in the Executive Office, whose work is underpinned by the Strategy.  The Racial Equality Champions work with the Racial Equality Subgroup to identify gaps in the services provided by departments and how to close them.

Racial Equality Subgroup

The Racial Equality Strategy 2015-25 committed to the establishment of a Racial Equality Subgroup as a representative and independent body from minority ethnic communities that gives them a voice in the strategy and keeps our actions informed and relevant; it is chaired by a member of the group independent from Government.  The Racial Equality Subgroup membership comprises of people working with or representing minority ethnic people and migrants, including representatives of refugees and asylum seekers, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.  The Subgroup’s function is to act as a strong voice within Government here on issues specifically affecting minority ethnic people, migrants and race relations.

Minutes of the Racial Equality Subgroup meetings can be accessed via the link below:

Travellers Thematic Group

As part of the Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025, a Travellers Thematic Group has been established.

The Group aims to provide information and advice to the Executive Office on particular issues faced by Travellers and to support work to identify actions that can deliver real improvement in the lives of Travellers.

Roma Thematic Group

As part of the Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025, a separate Roma Thematic Group has been established to address the unique issues faced by this Community. The group aims to inform and advise The Executive Office on best practices and identify actions that can progress improvement in the lives of the Roma Community. 

Minority Ethnic Development Fund

The Minority Ethnic Development Fund (MEDF) provides support for voluntary and community organisations working with minority ethnic people and groups.  The aim of the Fund is to assist minority ethnic and local community organisations to promote good relations between people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Whilst the MEDF has previously operated on an annual basis, in line with review recommendations, funding will now be multi annual and applications were invited for a three year period, from 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2025.

The fund closed to applications on 27 January 2022

Funding awards fall into three broad categories or ‘tiers’

Tier 1

Tier 1a
Funding awards between £100 - £5,000.

Tier 1b
Funding awards between £5,000.01 - £10,000.

Awards may be for one-off events/projects or for projects lasting for three years (1 April 2022 – 31 March 2025).

Tier 2

Tier 2a
Funding awards between £10,000.01 - £30,000 per annum.

Tier 2b
Funding awards between £30,000.01 - £45,000 per annum.

Funding is intended to meet central management, development and administrative costs and thereby enable organisations to develop and provide services and projects.

Funding runs from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.

Tier 3

Tier 3a
Funding awards between £45,000.01 - £60,000 per annum.

Tier 3b
Funding awards between £60,000.01 - £75,000 per annum.

Funding is intended to meet central management, development and administrative costs and thereby enable organisations to develop and provide services and projects.

Tier 3 applications must also include clear proposals to provide a mentoring role with smaller or less experienced organisations and/or to work collaboratively with others in the sector. 

Funding runs from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.

Successful organisations

A list of successful organisations can be found here:

Supporting documents

You can still view the documents for the 2022-25 funding by clicking on one of the links below:

Further information

If you require further information, or if you wish to be added to our mailing list, you can contact us via email:

Privacy Notice

The Privacy Notice below seeks to inform you about how The Executive Office proposes to use your personal data for the purpose of the Minority Ethnic Development Fund.

Consultation on the Review of the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997

A 12-week public consultation on a review of the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997 was launched on 27 March 2023 and closed on 18 June 2023. The review is a key action within the Executive’s Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025, intended to strengthen Northern Ireland’s race legislation so that it offers at least the same level of protection, if not better, than other jurisdictions across these islands. The Executive Office worked and engaged across key stakeholders across the range of sectors and has developed proposals for amendments to the current order to create a brand-new draft Racial Equality Bill. The consultation document and details of how to respond can be accessed here.

Guidance for Ethnic Equality Monitoring in the Public Sector

Under Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025, there is an action to examine where ethnic monitoring should be introduced and consult on proposals for implementation. Public bodies need robust information to monitor inequalities, develop evidence-based policy and to plan service delivery. The Guidance for Ethnic Equality Monitoring in the Public Sector document is the definitive monitoring guide to assist public bodies in improving service delivery and equality of opportunity for minority ethnic and migrant populations living here. The guidance presents a standardised monitoring framework for the collection of data and is based on best practice, recent developments in Government Statistical Service guidance and the 2021 Census of Population.

Refugee Integration Strategy

The Executive’s Racial Equality Strategy 2015-2025 provides a framework for Government departments to tackle racial inequalities and to promote and encourage good race relations and social cohesion for Irish Travellers, minority ethnic people whose families have been here a number of generations or who have recently arrived, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees.

The Racial Equality Strategy states there is a strong case for a separate Refugee Integration Strategy, to ensure a smooth transition between being an asylum seeker and a refugee and to ensure that refugees can build a new life here and realise their full potential.

The Executive Office continue to work and engage across key stakeholders in various sectors and have developed a Draft Refugee Integration Strategy that that reflects the thoughts and ideas of those stakeholders whilst building on learning from programmes such as the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.  

Racial Equality Strategy 2005-2010

A Racial Equality Strategy was published in July 2005. The strategy set out a framework for government and all sections of civil society in Northern Ireland for the creation of a community where racism, in any of its forms, is not tolerated and where all people enjoy equality of opportunity and equal protection.

You can access the strategy and related publications via the link below:

Related publications and legislation

Contact us

Racial Equality Delivery Team


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