Monitoring and enforcement, including the use of sanctions, are among the measures needed to combat racism in Ireland, according to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.

The commission has made recommendations for Ireland's National Action Plan Against Racism, which is due to be published before the end of the year.

The 90-page report sets out what needs to be done in areas such as policing, education, media, politics, employment and healthcare and includes 130 recommendations for State action.

It highlights the need for anti-racism to be promoted across the political and public institutions through training and more diverse recruitment in An Garda Síochána, the courts, healthcare and teaching professions.

The commission explicitly calls for a participatory annual public forum on the advancement of anti-racism to be established, and for the plan to have its own specific budget line and designated leadership within Government.

It reports that people from ethnic minority backgrounds do not enjoy equal access to public services and highlights barriers such as the limited availability of appropriately trained interpreters, weaker accountability where State services are delivered through private actors and divides in education and healthcare.

Recommendations include embedding mandatory anti-racism programmes at all levels of the education system, including initial teacher training and continuous professional development programmes.

It said that anti-racism education should include content tailored to different groups' experiences of racism such as Travellers and people of African descent.

On policing, the report suggests addressing "existing negative attitudes amongst Garda members towards minority ethnic groups" and set out measures to address racial profiling, including reports from young minority ethnic people.

It calls for increase increase access to healthcare for ethnic minority groups disproportionately impacted through lack of access to private healthcare services, due to being over-represented in poverty and unemployment.

It also said the mental health impacts of racist incidents, discrimination, micro-aggressions and a lack of accurate representation need to be taken seriously, because they have the most detrimental impact on mental wellbeing, leading to constant alertness, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

On ethnic equality monitoring, the report said the shortfall in data on racial or ethnic origin in Ireland needs to be addressed. The IHREC said it has profound consequences for understanding of racial discrimination in Ireland.

The commission will present its recommendations in person to the Government’s Anti-Racism Committee in ten days' time.

Ireland’s Human Rights and Equality Chief Commissioner said addressing racism in the country requires mobilisation across society.

Sinead Gibney said priority not only needs to be in law, but in places of education, work and where people meet.

"Racial discrimination leaves a trail of human destruction for those targeted, which can lead to substance abuse, depression, thoughts of suicide, and people cutting themselves off from public services.

"The commission has heard directly how mental health problems among ethnic minority children and young people are 'not taken seriously enough’," she said.