What do Good Relations mean?
The aim of policies linked with good relations is to increase interaction between population groups that form our society. Through interaction, peoples sense of security, attitudes and participation are also prompted.
Relations between population groups are a theme penetrating all sectors of society, and its impacts are seen directly in people’s daily lives Consideration of relations between population groups is particularly helpful in the case of minorities because relations make visible structural and social issues that apply to both individuals and groups and affect the realisation of factual equality.
The work on good relations covers the entire population, and work to promote population groups’ wellbeing can be adopted as a goal in nearly all actions pertaining to people’s daily lives, from policy planning to neighbourhood activities.
Fostering good relations is also linked with policies on good relations, directed at the whole population, and the principle of non-discrimination between population groups.
Good relations policies
Good relations policies bring together several policy sectors (such as social, health, environmental, security, integration and equality policies). Pioneering work on good relations policies has been done in particular in the United Kingdom, where theories of group behaviour, developed within social psychology and sociology, are applied.
Good relations policies aim to reduce negative phenomena associated with social relations (e.g. discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech, segregation), which prevent the realisation of equality between individuals and groups. Another aim is to utilise diversity in society.
Population groups and non-discrimination
In a non-discriminatory and just society, the status of people is determined by their skills and experience, not by factors such as age, gender, disability, religion, ethnic background, or sexual orientation.
When talking about population groups, it is important to remember that people are not just members of particular groups. We all have several meaningful relations through which we connect with our environment.
The Good Relations Model provides indicators for the comprehensive fostering of equality between people. In addition, the model illustrates how widely the work done in various sectors of life affects relations at the level of both individuals and society.
Good relations policies can be pursued in all spheres of life and their key forms include:
- influencing attitudes, for instance by providing information and education on fundamental and human rights and by transmitting democratic values, such as equality and egalitarianism.
- fostering the security of various population groups through work against racism and discrimination, by combatting hate crime and hate speech and by identifying places causing insecurity and making them safe.
- adopting measures that increase and improve interaction in various policy sectors.
- utilising tools that prevent and identify conflicts and using a variety of conflict resolution and mediation methods.
- taking measures that support inclusion among various population groups.