Combating violence against migrants through restorative justice

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Marta Vitoria Matos dos Santos
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Restorative justice has been found an efficient alternative to repair the harm caused by hate crimes and help in the healing of societal divides such as those between migrants and non-migrants. This study investigates how the restorative justice approach can be an alternative way of preventing and resolving hate incidents due to the increased number of hate crimes in Ireland. A survey was chosen as part of the methodology. It was conducted with hundred-ten migrants who shared their experiences and perspectives in an inductive approach method. Given the migrants' communities and victims needs, such as the barriers migrants face to access the justice system, a victim-centred approach is needed and can be done through restorative justice. The literature suggests that in hate crime cases, restorative justice could improve the emotional well-being of hate crime victims and community empowerment. It also assists in addressing the prejudices that underpin various forms of crime and create an opportunity to heal and transform the relationship between the government/criminal justice system and the community. The study shows that most migrants who experienced violence in Dublin did not report the case to the local police. The literature and this study have identified that migrants lack trust in the local authority and highlight the urgency of changes in the criminal justice culture to respond to hate crime in Ireland. The importance of investments in minority communities' programs to combat prejudice and build confidence in the justice for a more just and cohesive society
Vitoria Matos dos Santos, 2021