News 

News

New research by the Traveller Movement shows young Travellers experience high levels of racist bullying in school  

New research by the Traveller Movement shows that Gypsy and Traveller pupils experience very high levels of racist bullying in school which in turn is hampering their educational attainment, leading many to leave school early without any formal qualifications.

Over a six month period eleven peer researchers conducted forty four qualitative interviews with young Travellers in London aged 15-25. The young people discussed school experiences, being bullied, their reasons for leaving school early, family support and what changes were needed to make school life better for Gypsy and Traveller young people.

The research was led by representatives from the Traveller Movement, with the support of ACERT and Southwark Traveller Action Group. The research was sponsored by the Mayor of London’s Citizen Led Engagement programme.   

As the findings show, young Gypsies and Travellers often feel isolated and marginalised within formal education. They experience high levels of racist bullying, and often leave school early without any formal qualifications. This is having a detrimental impact on their ability to integrate fully into society.  

Further, the research found not only are Traveller pupils being bullied by their peers; the majority reported being bullied by their teachers for simply being Travellers.

  • 67% of respondents said they were bullied by their teacher for being a Traveller
  • 40% of respondents were bullied by other pupils
  • 23% left school due to bullying

The majority of the young Travellers surveyed thought school would be a better and safer place if they were not treated differently to other pupils (32%).

 “Don’t separate us and make us feel different, and how you put time to country people [non-Travellers], put time to us too.”

Others felt things would improve if teachers would address the bullying (20%).

  “Stop bullying, there’s no need for it. Don’t make us feel like we have to change because we are Travellers.”

Others thought schools should include Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history and culture in the curricula (12%).

   “Traveller history in the curriculum. Being firm on bullying and recognising that P*key, Gypo, Kn*cker are offensive terms.”

The impact of racism and discrimination is widespread among Gypsy and Traveller communities in the UK. Research by the Traveller Movement in 2017 showed that 91% of people experienced racism due to their ethnicity, with a further 71% stating they experienced discrimination in some aspect of education. As demonstrated by this research these trends in racist behaviours are being replicated in schools by pupils and teachers.

Education officer with the Traveller Movement Chelsea McDonagh said: this research clearly demonstrates that young Gypsies and Travellers suffer unacceptably high levels of racist bullying in their education, leading many to leave school early, or worse, be permanently excluded if they retaliate. There are real lessons to be learnt from this report and we urge school leadership teams to take the findings seriously. Many of the young people in this report wish to remain in school, but they want the bullying to stop. We urge schools to implement strong anti-racist protocols as a matter of priority, and we strongly suggest the Department for Education and Ofsted maintain oversight and remain vigilant to the needs of young Gypsies and Travellers in education.    

This research was kindly sponsored by the Greater London Authority’s Citizen Led Engagement Programme.

Read the full report here: https://travellermovement.org.uk/phocadownload/TTM%20Barriers%20in%20education_web.pdf

Watch an animated video here

 

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton, policy manager

Policymanager@travellermovement.org.uk

Chelsea McDonagh, education policy and campaigns officer

education@travellermovement.org.uk

T: 020 7607 2002

W: https://travellermovement.org.uk/

 

 

 

Timpson Review of School Exclusion - a missed opportunity?

The Traveller Movement welcomes the review of school exclusions by former education Minister Edward Timpson published yesterday (7 May). The report makes 30 recommendations to Government calling for significant changes to the ways schools use exclusions, including making schools accountable for off-rolling (removing pupils unofficially from the register), or using exclusion as a first rather than as a last resort.

We are heartened to see some of our recommendations reflected in the report, such as building the capacity of school governors to ensure exclusions are used appropriately, making schools accountable for off-rolling, and reviewing the disproportionate number of SEN pupils excluded from school. Pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma ethnic groups continue to have the highest rates of both fixed period and permanent exclusions. TMs case work and research consistently shows that exclusion is often used as a first rather than as a last resort. It also showed that racism played a role in each and every case.

While there are many positive recommendations in the report there is no specific mention of racism or the impact of racist bullying, a significant contributor to the early school leaving of many Gypsy, Roma or Traveller (GRT) pupils. Additionally it is impossible to ignore the role of austerity in driving the disproportionately high numbers of exclusions among certain cohorts – cuts to Early Help Teams, dwindling Traveller Education Support Services, and longer waiting times for Education Health and Care assessments means many children’s needs are simply not being met.

The Department for Education has welcomed the review and agreed to all 30 recommendations in principle. The Children’s Commissioner also welcomed the review and published further research on the impact of school exclusions on children.

Additionally Timpson urged Ofsted to “consistently recognise schools who succeed in supporting all children” and further stated “We need to reward schools who are doing this well and hold to account those who are not”. 

Last week the Traveller Movement launched a good practice guide to improving the educational outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils. The report outlines good practice in relation to GRT children in early years, primary and secondary school education, as reported by families, educationalists and schools. The report calls for providing flexibility for students, having high expectations, addressing racist bullying and working in partnership with families, pupils and local communities.

Yvonne MacNamara CEO of Traveller Movement said: we welcome the publication of the Timpson review and its recommendations. Additionally we are encouraged by the emphasis placed by Mr. Timpson on recognising and rewarding good practice in schools. However GRT pupils experience high levels of racist bullying so it is disappointing that this is not given serious consideration in the review.  

Our good practice guide, launched last week in parliament provides a template for schools to promote the inclusion of all pupils and encourages schools to be open and to show a real commitment to diversity and inclusion.   

 

ENDS

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton

Policy Manager

 

T: 020 7607 2002

E: communications@travellermovement.org.uk

 

Notes to Editor

 The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

 

- A link to A Good Practice Guide for improving the outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children in education can be found here

- The Timpson Review of School Exclusion is here

 

With a coordinated effort we can offer an education system more inclusive to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children

A roundtable event, organised by the Traveller Movement, the Children’s Commissioner for England and hosted by Kate Green MP met on Wednesday 29 June in the Houses of Parliament to discuss the disproportionately high number of exclusions given to Gypsy, Traveller and Roma (GTR) pupils.

The event was organised on the back of research** recently published by the Traveller Movement which found that GRT children, in some areas in England, were 27 times more likely to be excluded than the whole school population. The roundtable also heard from the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma community and education professionals on how best to reduce the number of school exclusions. Commenting on the event, the Traveller Movement CEO Yvonne MacNamara said: “The disproportionately high school exclusions amongst Gypsy, Traveller and Roma children is against a backdrop of wider issues in education affecting these children.

It was clear from the discussion at the event that a coordinated approach is needed to tackle the discrimination and bullying which children from Gypsy, Traveller and Roma (GTR) communities suffer every day in school. We hope this event is the first step in a constructive relationship between the Children’s Commissioner, the Department of Education, the APPG for Gypsy Roma Travellers and the community itself to ensure GTR children are offered a more stable and accessible education.

It is only through a coordinated effort, with leadership from the Government and schools, to tackle discrimination and bullying that we can offer a more inclusive education system for all children.” Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner for England said: “Children should only be excluded in exceptional circumstances and when the educational needs of the wider school population means there is no alternative.

There is a lot of ongoing work focussing on the needs and concerns of specific groups around exclusions, including very effective local initiatives specifically addressing high levels of Roma, Gypsy and Traveller pupil exclusions. Good practice from these needs to be shared. Overall the number of exclusions has been decreasing in recent years but we need to look at the role of parents, schools, local authorities and government in driving further improvements for all children.”

Special screening of Never Going to Beat You - Cine Lumiere 7th of March

The Traveller Movement and Brixton Reel are proud to present a special preview screening on 7th March of a very rare film made about the UK Gypsy and Traveller communities called ‘Never Going To Beat You’. It is on the powerful issue of domestic violence within the community, but this violence is a global phenomenon, with international reports stating it is experienced by between 20 to 50 percent of women in each country around the globe. In each culture the violence may be different but the devastating long-term effect on women’s mental and physical health is similar.

The film ‘Never Going To Beat You’ is based on true life experiences and tells the story of 17 year old Moira La Bas, who is about to sit her ‘A’ Levels when she meets Patrick, an older divorcee at a St Patrick’s Day dance. He woos her and wins her over, but Moira’s mother Evie foresees disaster and tries to rally the community to save her daughter. The feature has some gripping performances by new actors and women from the community itself.

The executive producers of the film are The Traveller Movement which is a national charity and campaigning organisation of Travellers and non-Travellers working together to build bridges to bring together the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, service providers and policy makers.

Yvonne MacNamara of The Traveller Movement says:

“An important area of our work is empowering Gypsy, Roma and Traveller women. ‘Never Going To Beat You’ was born from the idea of addressing the difficult issue of domestic abuse by using community theatre as a tool to open up discussion. Fortunately, our paths crossed with the late playwright Jennie Buckman (Giants Theatre), who with the help of eighteen Gypsy and Traveller women wrote the original play on which this film is based”.

Director and Producer: Michael Buckman (Crispy Biscuit Films)

‘Never Going To Beat You’ (15) will be previewed on 7th March, 2.00pm at Cinema Lumiere, Institut Francais, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/never-going-to-beat-you-film-premiere-tickets-93107379679

For more information contact communications@travellermovement.org.uk

Traveller Movement launches report in parliament aimed at improving the educational outcomes of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils

On Tuesday the 30th of April the Traveller Movement will hold a roundtable event in parliament to launch a new report aimed at improving the educational outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils.

Hosted by Lord Young of Norwood Green, the report entitled A Good Practice guide for improving outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in education outlines three years of research, case studies, and good practice, as compiled by the Traveller Movement education and advocacy team. The event also provides an opportunity to hear from experts in the field, as well as case workers and solicitors who support children and their families.

As is well documented, pupils from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller backgrounds have the worst educational outcomes of all ethnic groups; they are least likely to stay in education after the age of 16, and the least likely to leave with qualifications.  Additionally, they have the highest rates of school exclusions. In 2016/17, pupils from the Traveller of Irish Heritage and Gypsy/Roma ethnic groups had the highest rates of both temporary (‘fixed period’) and permanent exclusions.

As well as providing an overview of the presenting issues, the report profiles good practice in schools and outlines what good schools are doing to encourage Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) pupils to remain and to thrive in education. The roundtable will also provide the opportunity to discuss policy solutions that promote the educational attainment of GRT pupils.

At the event attendees will hear from the Traveller Movement education team, as well as the following speakers:

  • Professor Kalwant Bhopal (University of Birmingham)
  • Pauline Anderson (head of learning and skills, Derby City Council)
  • Dan Rosenberg (Simpson Millar)
  • Mark Sims (Ofsted)
  • Emily Frith (Office of the Children’s Commissioner)

Traveller Movement CEO Yvonne MacNamara says: for too long the negative experiences of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils in schools has been ignored or overlooked. As stated in this report, improvements to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupil attainment requires time, flexibility, financial and social investment, and a commitment to equality and inclusion.  We urge the Government to act on our recommendations with immediate effect.

Community Development and Partnerships Officer Christina Kerrigan says: It’s high time the Government paid attention to the endless reports outlining the poor outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children. They need to look at what good schools are actually doing, and they need to address the issue of racist bullying in schools. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children deserve to achieve at the same rate as children from other communities.   

ENDS

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton

Policy Manager

T: 020 7607 2002

E: communications@travellermovement.org.uk

 

Notes to Editor

* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

A link to the good practice guide can be found here:

https://travellermovement.org.uk/education?download=122:a-good-practice-guide-for-improving-outcomes-for-gypsy-roma-and-traveller-children-in-education

The Traveller Movement responds to the EHRC ‘Healing a divided Britain’ report

Commenting on the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘Healing a divided Britain’ report, Yvonne MacNamara CEO of the Traveller Movement said: “The EHRC’s in-depth report rightly highlights the systemic disadvantages and discrimination the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities face across the UK. The Traveller Movement’s 2016 Discrimination Survey found that, as a coping mechanism against racism and discrimination, 77% of Gypsies & Travellers hide their ethnicity. It is shocking that in 2016, people are forced to hide their ethnicity in order to access employment and services. We hope the government works with EHRC and others towards a fairer society, which ensures such practices are no longer necessary.” ENDS Notes to Editor

  1. The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities. We are proud to work together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion. For more information see: http://travellermovement.org.uk/
  2. TM’s interim Discrimination Survey, which surveyed Gypsies, Travellers and Roma can be found here: http://travellermovement.org.uk/old/wp-content/uploads/Discrimination-survey-report.pdf
  3. The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s press release on Healing a divided Britain can be found here: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/widespread-inequality-risks-increasing-race-tensions-warns-ehrc.
 

 

Traveller Movement awarded funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation

We’re delighted to announce that we have been awarded £93,134 in funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales to help us make a positive impact on policy and practice in the criminal justice system.

Our project is aiming to

  • address the disproportionality of Gypsy and Traveller youth and adults in the criminal justice system;
  • lobby for consistent and routine data collection and ethnic monitoring across entire criminal justice system;
  • produce high quality research and insights to inform change and best practice and to lobby government for the full implementation of the recommendations made in the Lammy review.

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales has awarded funding to our charity for up to 3 years and 16 other specialist charities and partnerships as part of its new 2020 Criminal Justice National Programme.

The criminal justice system is currently under extreme pressure, facing staff shortages, dangerous levels of overcrowding, assaults and self-harm at record levels, the part-privatisation of probation having comprehensively failed and high rates of reoffending.

Small specialist charities like ours have had huge success in raising awareness of GRT issues in prison and targeting key players and influencers. Yet, despite this expertise and track record, the Traveller Movement and other specialist charities are still not properly involved in how prisons and the probation service are funded and organised. At the start of this new Government and Parliament there is a clear need and chance to make changes to reform and improve the system.

The Foundation’s programme is supporting the specialist voluntary sector to gather evidence, speak up and use their expertise and understanding to help influence policy and practice across the new probation and wider criminal justice system. Charities funded through the programme are seeking to:

  • make the case for better alternatives to prison, by intervening earlier to prevent crime and reduce the number of people going to prison;
  • improve how groups disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system are treated, such as BAME prisoners, young people and women;
  • Improve how the prison and probation service work, in particular by ensuring that specialist and small charities are properly involved and funded.

Ends

 

Notes to Editor

About Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales partners with small and local charities who help people overcome complex social issues. In 2019, the Foundation awarded 344 grants to charities worth £21,402,088.04.

Through long-term funding, developmental support and influencing policy and practice, the Foundation helps those charities make life-changing impact. The Foundation is an independent charitable trust funded by the profits of Lloyds Banking Group as part of their commitment to Helping Britain Prosper.

For more information visit www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk

 

About the Traveller Movement

The Traveller Movement (TM) is a London based leading national policy and campaigning charity. We are committed to the fulfilment of human rights for all ethnic Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities. The charity comprises GRT people and members of the settled community working together in partnership to address the needs in relation to discrimination, exclusion and marginalisation.

For more information visit https://travellermovement.org.uk/

New research into school off-rolling further marginalises Gypsy, Roma and Traveller pupils

Last week (18 April 2019) the Education Policy Institute (EPI) published a report into the off rolling of pupils from school registers. Ofsted defines off-rolling as ‘the practice of removing a pupil from the school roll without a formal, permanent exclusion or by encouraging a parent to remove their child from the school roll, when the removal is primarily in the interests of the school rather than in the best interests of the pupil’.

Off rolling has blighted the educational landscape in recent years. Both Ofsted and the Children’s Commissioner see this as a trend that disproportionately affects children from BME backgrounds, with special educational needs and/or eligibility for free school meals. While the EPI report largely supports these findings, disappointingly it marginalises children from Gypsy and Traveller communities within the report by categorising their off-rolling as ‘family driven exits’, rather than systemic discrimination experienced from within the education system.  

As Traveller Movement research shows, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) pupils are highly vulnerable to exclusion and off rolling. Schools know these practices are unlawful yet they persist, as families are often too afraid to challenge them. Categorising all GRT exits from school as ‘family driven’ without consulting with community groups is ill-informed, inaccurate and perpetuates negative stereotypes. More importantly it lets schools and local authorities off the hook in their duty to account for children missing education. Additionally, depicting all Travellers as highly nomadic is inaccurate. The 2011 census found that 61% of Gypsies and Travellers now live in bricks and mortars accommodation, and Traveller Movement and other organisations believe this to be an undercount, with the figure likely to be as high as 80%.

On April 30th the Traveller Movement will hold an education roundtable in parliament to discuss GRT attainment. We will also launch the Good Practice Guide for improving outcomes for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children in education.

Yvonne MacNamara CEO of Traveller Movement said: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities already experience high levels of marginalisation in society, so it is disappointing to see that trend replicated in the report. Did the researchers engage with any GRT groups to substantiate these claims? These outdated perceptions do little to address the systemic discrimination GRT pupils experience in school.

 

ENDS

 

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton

Policy Manager

Phone number 020 7607 2002

Email address communications@travellermovement.org.uk

 

Notes to Editor

 * The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

 

 

General Election June 2017

Now a General Election has been called on the 8th June, the Traveller Movement will be campaigning to ensure Gypsies Travellers and Roma have their voices heard and are not used as a political football by those wanting to be elected. If you want to have your voice heard, you have to register to vote which can be done here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. We have come up with five key questions to ask your candidates, and a short briefing to explain why these changes are needed! Write to your local candidate or ask them on twitter (using the #OperationTravellerVote hashtag) and make your voice heard! 

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller activists call on the government to tackle systemic inequalities

Leading Gypsy, Roma and Traveller activists tell a packed Traveller Movement conference the time for change is now!

On Thursday the 21 of November leading Gypsy, Roma and Traveller professionals and activists told a packed Traveller Movement conference that the time for radical change is now. Drawing on the findings of the Women and Equalities committee inquiry, prominent Gypsies, Roma and Travellers called on the government to stand up and provide much needed investment to tackle the chronic inequalities that have plagued their communities for decades. 

Taking the recently announced national strategy as a starting point, this year’s Traveller Movement conference asked delegates what they thought should be included in the strategy to tackle inequalities experienced by Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (GRT) in the UK.

Prominent members of the GRT community led the discussions and came up with solutions for the new strategy. Speakers included the founder of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Police Association, Jim Davies; education activist and campaigner, Chelsea McDonagh; the first Roma lawyer to qualify in the UK, Denisa Gannon; and women’s advocate and violence against women expert, Christina Kerrigan. Some of the recommendations included funding for a national education framework; training for frontline workers; tailored mental health support services; and site provision for nomadic Travellers. There was loud applause in response to the suggested scrapping of the Home Office consultation to criminalise unauthorised stopping. 

Leading race equality experts also attended the conference and put forward recommendations of their own. The key note address was delivered by Operation Black Vote founder and director, Lord Simon Woolley CBE. As the Traveller Movement conference fell before a general election, it was wonderful to have Lord Woolley speak about the importance of voter registration. Marginalised communities are frequently used by politicians as political footballs. Lord Woolley encouraged community members to use their votes and hold their politicians to account.

Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movements said: the message from Gypsies, Roma and Travellers is loud and clear: we want change; we want resources; we want support; we want the government to stop criminalising our communities. The time for change is now! 

For more information contact Patricia Stapleton at The Traveller Movement on 020 7607 2002 or on communications@travellermovement.org.uk

 

Ends

Notes for Editors

 * The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

*Full conference report to be published in early January 2020. Sign up to Traveller Movement newsletter for latest updates https://travellermovement.org.uk/

Women and Equalities Committee publish report on Tackling Inequalities in Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities - positive step forward or missed opportunity?

On Friday the 5th of April the Women and Equalities Committee publish the long awaited report into the inequalities faced by Gypsy Roma and Traveller communities.

While we are encouraged to see the report pick up on so many of our recommendations, such as the inclusion of GRT ethnic categories in the NHS data dictionary, some welcome recommendations in relation to education policy and a cross departmental strategy to address the systemic racism and discrimination, we also see this report as something of a missed opportunity.

The report highlights a systematic failure across public services to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), in particular the need to have due regard to foster good relations between communities. This is a welcome acknowledgement. In particular, the report highlights how PSED training seems to focus on how to prevent frontline staff from behaving in an overtly discriminatory manner, rather than tackling the roots of the problem. This is an important acknowledgment, as discrimination is not only overt it is systemic, and quite often embedded in policies at public sector level.

However, we are disappointed in some of the language used in the report as it unfortunately perpetuates some of this racist stereotyping. From the summary the authors state the following;

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have every right to live their lives according to their values and beliefs within the law that that applies to every UK resident. But we have concluded that actions that fall outside the law are not as effectively tackled by local authorities, law enforcement agencies and other public bodies as they are for settled communities.

What the authors should have said is that public authorities and other such public entities have failed in their duties to provide effective services and not put the onus and responsibility back on vulnerable community members. The accountability lies with public authorities to provide services and uphold their public sector equality duty.

It is also disappointing that the disproportionality within the criminal justice system is not highlighted.

Traveller Movement CEO Yvonne MacNamara said:

The failure of statutory services to implement PSED is an ongoing concern and one that needs to be urgently addressed.  While training public sector workers is welcome we believe there should be greater accountability for those organisations found to be in breach of the duty. Perhaps this is where greater focus should be in the future.

A full link to the report can be found here: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmwomeq/360/full-report.html#heading-9

Contacts

commuications@travellermovement.org.uk

Celebrating Gypsy, Roma and Traveller’s History Month

The Traveller Movement GRTHM Exhibition is being held throughout the month of June and July. The exhibition is being held at the Resource for London, in Holloway Road where the Traveller Movement Offices.

We are celebrating with an art exhibition displaying culture, photography, poetry and much much more. Work has come in from members of the community as well as people who work within the communities. The exhibition is an enlightening showcase of culture and heritage as well a walk around the work that the Traveller Movement has done throughout the years.

The exhibition will run until the end of July, at the Resource for London which is open from 9am – 5pm. The address for this exhibition is RFL, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA.

Traveller Movement issues statement on Home Office consultation to strengthen police powers

CEO of the Traveller Movement, Yvonne MacNamara said the following: Why is this Government pouring so much money into this issue when it would cost far, far less to provide sites for Gypsies and Travellers? Nomadic Travellers make up a minority of the Gypsy and Traveller population, yet the Government push ahead with these draconian and costly policies. A 2009 report from the Equality and Human Rights commission showed that the total number of nomadic Gypsies and Travellers would fit inside one square mile of land. This latest consultation in the run up to the general election is a blatant case of electioneering and treats Gypsies and Travellers as political footballs once again. 

While local authorities pump millions annually to remove unauthorised encampments, the other issues facing the communities are ignored. This includes the high rates of anxiety and suicide, poor health outcomes, school exclusions and cuts to Travellers Education Services, and chronic levels of economic and social exclusion. This constant focus on clearing unauthorised sites denies us the opportunity to interrogate these wider issues. In criminalising the most marginalised and vulnerable members of the community, we risk pushing them over the edge. It solves nothing. 

The Traveller Movement and the GRT Women’s Empowerment Network mark International Women’s Day 2019

On Thursday the 7th of March the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) met in the House of Lords to mark International Women’s Day. Coordinated by The Traveller Movement, the WEN officially launched the trailer of the recently filmed Never Going to Beat You, a drama based on Traveller women’s real life experiences of domestic abuse, produced by Crispy Biscuit Films and written with the late playwright Jennie Buckman from Giants Theatre Company for the Traveller Movement.  The event was hosted by Baroness Coussins on behalf of the Traveller Movement with key note address by Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston and co-chair for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Travellers and Roma.

Attendees heard from several members of the WEN, including Christine Browne, Denisa Gannon, and Tina McInerney. 

Kate Green MP a real advocate and champion for GRT people gave the key note address. Kate discussed how the recent government announcement to “crackdown” on unauthorised encampments will do nothing to improve relations between community members and the police.  She also stated there are better ways of improving relations between GRT and settled communities and this included increasing site provision, and providing sufficient stopping places for Travelling communities.

Christine Browne spoke of the RomBelong programme, a targeted widening participation programme aimed at increasing the numbers of pupils from Gypsy and Traveller backgrounds at Kings College London. Chrissie discussed her own upbringing as a proud Gypsy woman, but of feeling unwelcome at school. It is essential that Gypsy and Traveller young people feel welcomed and included in every stage of their education. Traveller Movement’s own research revealed that 70% of Gypsy Traveller people experienced discrimination in some aspect of their education, which is why the RomBelong programme is so important.

Roma solicitor Denisa Gannon spoke of her amazing work supporting Roma clients in Leicester but also of the great challenges she faces due to decreased legal aid funding for vulnerable clients.

Tina McInerney and Yvonne MacNamara from TM introduced the trailer for, Never Going to Beat You, the recently completed short film based on Traveller women’s real life experiences of domestic abuse. This film was a real labour of love between the Traveller Movement, the late Jennie Buckman from Giant’s Theatre, and Crispy Biscuit Films, the film company headed up by Jenni’s son, Michael Buckman.

Michael, as producer and director of the film discussed the importance of this work and how it was a great honour to tell this story with the women from The Traveller Movement. Tina McInerney from WEN and the Traveller Movement discussed how the film will be used as an educational tool in opening up conversations about domestic abuse. The attendees watched a three minute scene from the film, which all agreed was a stunning and accurate portrayal of coercive control within a relationship. 

Following the clip, Cris McCurley of Ben Hoare Bell solicitors spoke of the recently published draft Domestic Abuse Bill and how government need to do much more to protect victims. While the draft bill introduces some positive new measures, it is overly focussed on prosecution rather than victim protection with very little investment in victim support services. 65% of women were turned away from domestic abuse shelters last year due to budget cuts, and two women are killed every week in England by a partner or ex-partner. There is an epidemic of domestic violence in the UK and the bill falls short in addressing that. Domestic violence costs the UK economy £66 billion every year. It is in everyone’s interests – women, men and children– to invest in shelters and domestic abuse support services, including accredited rehabilitative perpetrator programmes. It is also critical that local authority social workers receive sufficient training to engage in a culturally appropriate way with communities.

As stated by Kate Green MP, investing in women is the best way to make a whole community succeed. There is so much more we need to do the make sure all families are safe.

Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movement, says:

While this event showcased the achievements of some exceptional Gypsy, Roma and Traveller women, the government needs to do much more to promote the social inclusion of all GRT women, and this includes protecting those experiencing domestic abuse. We know from our own work that services are stretched, social workers are overworked and ill-prepared to work with community members, and women and children suffer needlessly as a result. Advocacy around the domestic abuse bill will be a major piece of work for us this year, and we will be calling on community members to support us.

A community member who attended the event said the following:

I found the whole event interesting but I enjoyed the film clip the most of all, and hearing from Tina her speech and word hit home a lot, as I have also been a survivor of domestic violence. And the young girls I was with have a better understanding of what’s right and wrong in a marriage.

 

ENDS

 

Contact

Patricia Stapleton

Partnerships Manager

Traveller Movement

E: COMMUNICATIONS@TRAVELLERMOVEMENT.ORG.UK

M: 0207 607 2002

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

 

 

The last acceptable form of racism?

The Traveller Movement’s research,‘The last acceptable form of racism?’, is the most extensive of its kind and sheds new light into Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) people’s experience of prejudice and discrimination in areas such as education, employment, healthcare and access to services. It also reveals the full extent to which hate crime impacts on community members everyday lives, the coping mechanisms they use, and how likely they are to seek help.

  • 4 out of 5 (77%) of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have experienced hate speech or a hate crime. This ranged from regularly being subject to racist abuse in public to physical assaults.
  • Despite the experience of prejudice being so common for Gypsies, Roma and Traveller (GRT) only 1 out of 5 (13%) sought help. GRT people said they felt the police or legal professionals would not help them so saw seeking help “pointless”.
  • Half of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people have experienced discrimination in the workplace. This ranged from being fired once the company learned of their heritage to colleagues refusing to work with them because of their ethnicity.
  • The dominant coping mechanism Gypsies, Roma and Travellers used when trying to avoid racism was to try and hide their ethnicity (77% said they regularly attempted to hide their ethnicity).
  • 70% of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers said they had experienced prejudice in education, with teachers being mentioned most frequently in the context of perpetuating stereotypes and overlooking bullying and racism.

 

The Traveller Movement and Rene Cassin call for an end to hate speech in politics

The Traveller Movement and Rene Cassin launch new anti-hate speech campaign calling for more respectful language in politics 

On Wednesday the 16 of October, the Traveller Movement and René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights, will launch a new anti-hate speech campaign.

The #Cut It Out campaign aims to tackle hate speech and inflammatory rhetoric in politics against ethnic minorities or religious groups. By cutting out words that show who the hate is being directed at, we reveal that hate speech is unacceptable in all its forms.

Research has shown time and again that racist or derogatory language by politicians against minority groups can lead to a spike in hate crimes, while racist and irresponsible reporting in the media can lead to a backlash against all community members. This is unacceptable. The Traveller Movement is working with Rene Cassin to challenge this and instead promote inclusive and value-driven language.

The campaign calls on politicians to sign a pledge, and to challenge their fellow politicians when they use hateful language. 

Yvonne MacNamara CEO of the Traveller Movement said: we continuously challenge politicians who use hateful language against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. We would like to see all politicians sign the Cut It Out pledge, and commit to using respectful and inclusive language when discussing all members of our society.

Mia Hasenson-Gross, CEO of René Cassin said:  intolerance and hostility towards any community is unacceptable and stands in stark contrast to our values. Calling out abusive or inflammatory speech used by parliamentarians, or any elected representative, is crucial. We are calling on all politicians to Cut It Out.

The campaign launch will take place in the House of Commons to mark Hate Crime Awareness Week, 2019. 

Tickets are available via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-hate-crime-awareness-week-cut-it-out-tickets-69983766329

 

The Traveller Movement and the GRT Women’s Empowerment Network hold exclusive event in parliament to mark International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) Women’s Empowerment Network will meet in the House of Lords to promote GRT women’s equality. The event will kindly be hosted by Baroness Coussins on behalf of the Traveller Movement, and will hear from several prominent members of the GRT women’s network, as well as MPs and peers and members of the legal profession.

The GRT Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN), which has been supported by the Traveller Movement for the last two years, are a group of women from GRT communities who campaign across various areas of public life. The WEN work together and separately to raise awareness of everything from barriers to social care or education, access to justice, domestic abuse, suicide and mental health, and antigypsyism.

In addition to hearing from the WEN, attendees will be treated to an exclusive clip from the recently filmed “Never Going to Beat You”, a drama based on Traveller women’s real life experiences of domestic abuse, produced by Crispy Biscuit Films and written with the late playwright Jennie Buckman from Giants Theatre Company.

The film – which will be officially released in the autumn – is an important awareness raising tool highlighting not only the complexity of domestic abuse but the prejudice experienced by women of the Traveller communities when leaving abusive relationships.

Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movement, says:

We are delighted to celebrate the GRT Women’s Empowerment Network today, and we are very excited to show an exclusive clip from the recently filmed drama Never Going to Beat You. This has been a real labour of love for the Traveller Movement, Crispy Biscuit Films and Giants Theatre Company. This is such an important issue for the women’s network, and one which will be a major focus of our advocacy work over the next few months.

Members of the Women’s Empowerment Network are available for interview and quotes. Please call on 0207 607 2002

ENDS

Contact

Patricia Stapleton

Partnerships Manager

Traveller Movement

E: partnershipsmanager@travellermovement.org.uk

M: 0207 607 2002

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

 

New YouGov poll finds shocking racism toward Gypsies and Travellers

Only four out of ten parents (41%) in Great Britain would be happy for their child go to the home of a child who is a Gypsy/Traveller for a playdate and over one in four adults (42%) in Britain said they would be unhappy with a close relative having a long-term relationship or marriage with a Gypsy/Traveller, a Traveller Movement / YouGov poll has found. The nationally representative YouGov survey suggests the shocking level of prejudice still facing Gypsy and Traveller people in Great Britain. Key findings

  • Only around a third (34%) of GB adults consider Gypsy/Traveller to be an ethnic group.
  • Only four in ten (41%) GB parents would be happy for their child having a “playdate” at the home of a child who is a Gypsy/ Traveller.
  • Over one in ten (13%) GB adults think that pubs and restaurants in the UK should refuse Gypsies/ Travellers because they are a Gypsy/Traveller.
  • One in four (42%) of GB adults said they would be unhappy with a close relative having a long-term relationship or marriage with a Gypsy/Traveller. This compares with 28%, 10% and 3% of GB adults would be unhappy with a close relative having a long-term relationship or marriage with a person who is a refugee/asylum seeker, Black Caribbean or White British respectively.

You can find the summary of the results here.

The press release can be accessed here

Cassie Marie McDonagh, an Irish Traveller, wrote an article in the guardian and including findings from this survey. Do read and share.

 

TM Annual Conference bookings open

The booking lines are now open for this years conference: Waiting, Waiting, Waiting - is the wait finally over!! Government Announces New National Gypsy Roma and Traveller Strategy. 

This year’s conference will provide a platform for community members, public institutions and supporters to write the blueprint for the new cross-government strategy to tackle Gypsy Roma and Traveller inequalities. It will discuss the impact of weak data monitoring, hear the voice of communities and produce a report to inform the strategy.

This year's Conference will be taking place on Thursday 21st November.  

TM WEN Annual Review 2018/19

Welcome to our second annual review for the Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller (GRT) Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN). The network was launched in 2017 as a platform for GRT women to raise awareness of issues affecting their respective communities with support, administration and resources provided by The Traveller Movement (TM).

LGBT support

The Traveller Movement has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of LGBT people within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities. The initiative is the first of its kind in the UK and aims to challenge homophobic attitudes within the GRT community as well as providing valuable resources and support for LGBT Gypsies and Travellers who often feel they have nowhere to turn. For resources, including a support sheet with a list of organisations who can help please see the links below.

You can watch our

.be">YouTube video here

Support sheet: Support for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller LGBT+ people and their families

 

Traveller Movement issues statement regarding Channel 5 show The Town the Gypsies Took Over

“We are very disappointed that the production company Firecracker have chosen to make another ridiculing and mocking programme about Gypsy and Travellers. Yet again we see the cutting and pasting of their expert editorial team as they decontextualize the real story to push up their profits.  Starting with a provocative title “The Town the Gypsies took over”.  Appleby is one of the oldest Gypsy and Travellers fairs in the country and decreed by royal charter. Why not tell the real story here!  As before we strongly urge community members not to engage with production companies that are only in the business of ridiculing and hurting. Shows like these reinforce negative stereotypes and lead to a spike in racist abuse for Gypsy and Traveller people, both online and in person. If Firecracker want to learn what a good documentary consists of see Damian La Bass work for the BBC A Very British History – Romany Gypsies. Following My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, we received numerous calls from Gypsies and Travellers being denied services, wedding venues being cancelled, and a spike in racist bullying at school which still continues to this today. We intend to raise our concerns yet again with Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Agency and would encourage community members to do the same”

ENDS

 

Contacts

Policymanager@travellermovement.org.uk 

 

 

Traveller Movement welcomes commitment from Church of England to tackle racism against Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller communities in the UK

The Church of England has passed a motion calling on its leaders to combat racism “in all its forms” against Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller communities.

The motion was passed at the General Synod - the Church’s national assembly - on Saturday the 23rd of February calling it “a blasphemy” against Christ to tolerate racism and discrimination against the Roma, Gypsy, and Traveller communities.

 A report published the same day also called on church leaders to make land available for new sites for Gypsy and Traveller communities.

 Furthermore the report made the following recommendations:

  • Speak out publicly against racism and hate crimes directed against Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Roma
  • Urge the Media to stop denigrating and victimising these communities
  • Instigate a Commission on Sites for Gypsies and Travellers and encourage the local and national Church to make land available for new sites managed by Housing Associations
  • For Bishops in the House of Lords to continue to speak out boldly against legislation that seeks to further marginalise Gypsies Irish Travellers and Roma
  • We urge the Bishops to call on central government to address the extreme distress of those Roma who have migrated to the UK in recent times and are anxious about their ongoing status in the light of the Brexit negotiations.
  • For each Diocese to be encouraged to appoint a Chaplain to Gypsies and Travellers, to harness the potential for Church growth here, and work to combat racism in the Church and wider community.

 Traveller Movement research from 2017 found that 91% of Gypsy, Roma and Travellers have experienced discrimination due to their ethnicity. A YouGov poll from 2018 also revealed that one in four (42%) of GB adults said they would be unhappy with a close relative having a long-term relationship or marriage with a Gypsy/Traveller.

 Traveller Movement CEO Yvonne MacNamara said:

 Given the long history of racism and discrimination against Travelling communities this report is most welcome. Insufficient site provision is often the cause of much online hate and negative media portrayals of GRT communities. We applaud the Church of England for taking such a positive stance. We would urge the Government to follow suit.

 

ENDS

Contact

 Patricia Stapleton

Partnerships Manager

Traveller Movement

E: communications@travellermovement.org.uk

M: 0207 607 2002

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community charity dedicated to promoting inclusion and community engagement with the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in Britain. For more information see: http://travellermovement.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

Worried about your child being taken into care? Advice and new research

Are you worried about your child being taken into care? Not sure who to turn to for help? Well we’ve created a helpful guide for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families and the organisations that work with them. This has been put together with input from family law specialists and provides a list of organisations and firms who can help you if you need urgent advice. New research In response to the concerns about Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children being ‘deliberately targeted’ by social services and ‘forcibly adopted’ we analysed the ‘Looked After Children’ data from the Department of Education and submitted further Freedom of Information requests to receive the full data relating to Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. Our research found that there is no evidence of coordinated and deliberate targeting of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children at the national level. Whilst every case where a has to be adopted away from their family is a tragedy for those involved, and there is a clear need for additional foster parents from GRT communities, there is no evidence to suggest sustained patterns of deliberate or disproportionate use of the care system to target GRT children and families. Other findings include:

  • There are slightly higher rates of initial referrals for enquiries for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children, but the majority of Child Protection Plans (particularly for Irish Traveller children) are concluded after a relatively short period of time (three months or less).
    • This indicates a need for increased cultural competency training for social care, educational and other relevant professionals as well as a need for enhanced dialogue with the communities on how social work professionals perceive and interact with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
  • It is also likely a number of young people on longer-term plans may be in secure accommodation/youth detention. This may help explain why some of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children are subject to Child Protection Plans for over two years.

Information guide

Traveller Movement annual conference - details announced

The Traveller Movement is delighted to announce that our annual conference will take place on Thursday the 21 of November in Resource for London. 

The title of this years conference is Waiting, Waiting, Waiting - is the wait finally over!! Government Announces New National Gypsy Roma and Traveller Strategy. 

This year’s conference will provide a platform for community members, public institutions and supporters to write the blueprint for the new cross-government strategy to tackle Gypsy Roma and Traveller inequalities. It will discuss the impact of weak data monitoring, hear the voice of communities and produce a report to inform the strategy.

You can view the conference brochure in the link below. Booking lines open on the 02 of September 2019 

New Children’s Commissioner report shows home-educated children are failed by lack of inspection oversight

 

A new report released by the Children’s Commissioner for England highlights the lack of systematic oversight for home-educated children in England. It also shows a huge increase in children disappearing from schools to be educated at home, with the numbers more than doubling since 2013.

The Commissioner, Anne Longfield is calling for stronger measures to ensure children are not treated unfairly. Ms. Longfield is also calling for a compulsory register of “off-the-grid” children, and for stronger measures to stop schools ‘off-rolling’ pupils and greater supervision for children being home-educated.

Given the over-representation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) children in home-education settings this report by the Commissioner is welcome. It proves that poor inspection and regulation by local authorities further disadvantages students upon leaving mainstream education.

The Traveller Movement’s education and advocacy project, funded by Esmée Fairbairn receives frequent requests for support from Gypsy and Traveller parents whose children are bullied or off-rolled, and who are being poorly served within the schooling system. Traveller Movement research in 2017 found that local authorities did not track the attainment of home-educated children, or carry out regular inspections once a child had been taken off roll. This finding was further validated by a legal briefing with support from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which demonstrated that local authorities could potentially be liable for legal action for failing to protect vulnerable children. 

 

Traveller Movement CEO Yvonne MacNamara said:

 Once again the issue of elective home education is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Not only are GRT and other BME communities consistently marginalised in mainstream education, they are virtually abandoned in home education settings. Something has to change. We think legal action may be the only way forward.

 ENDS

 

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton

Traveller Movement

E: communications@travellermovement.org.uk 

M: 0207 607 2002

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community charity dedicated to promoting inclusion and community engagement with the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in Britain. For more information see: http://travellermovement.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Traveller Movement responds to the EHRC ‘Healing a divided Britain’ report

Commenting on the Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘Healing a divided Britain’ report, Yvonne MacNamara CEO of the Traveller Movement said:

“The EHRC’s in-depth report rightly highlights the systemic disadvantages and discrimination the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities face across the UK.

The Traveller Movement’s 2016 Discrimination Survey found that, as a coping mechanism against racism and discrimination, 77% of Gypsies & Travellers hide their ethnicity. It is shocking that in 2016, people are forced to hide their ethnicity in order to access employment and services.

We hope the government works with EHRC and others towards a fairer society, which ensures such practices are no longer necessary.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor

The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities. We are proud to work together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion. For more information see: https://travellermovement.org.uk/
TM’s interim Discrimination Survey, which surveyed Gypsies, Travellers and Roma can be found here: https://travellermovement.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Discrimination-survey-report.pdf
The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s press release on Healing a divided Britain can be found here: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/widespread-inequality-risks-increasing-race-tensions-warns-ehrc.

Traveller Movement launches new film about Travellers and social services in parliament

On Thursday the 11 of July the Traveller Movement will launch a new short film in parliament about Travellers and social services.

Co-produced with members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities, the film depicts the good and bad scenarios when working with social workers.

There have been concerns in the last few years about the disproportionate number of children from GRT communities being taken into care, or forcibly adopted.

While Traveller Movement initial research could not find any hard evidence to support this disproportionality, unsurprisingly these anxieties persist. The film addresses these concerns by encouraging engagement, but it also calls on social services to ensure social work practice is open, transparent and culturally sensitive.

The film will shortly be available to view on the Traveller Movement website and on our YouTube channel. 

Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movements says:

This film came about due to concerns within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities about a disproportionate number of children being taken into care. We hope this film will go some way to informing the community about their rights, but also how to challenge social services if they feel they are being treated unfairly.

Lucy Hadley, Campaigns & Public Affairs Manager at Women’s Aid:

“This video is an important awareness raising tool to both address concerns within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community about the social care system, and ensure that social services understand these concerns and provide the right response. Sadly too often professionals lack an in-depth level of understanding of domestic abuse and other safeguarding issues within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community and how to provide safe and effective support.

Mary Mason, Chief Executive of Solace Women’s Aid says:

‘We believe in bridging the gap in understanding between social services and the people they serve. It is important that both sides engage openly and without judgement to ensure Traveller families are best supported to build stronger futures together.’  

 

ENDS

 

Contacts

Patricia Stapleton

Policy manager

T: 020 7607 2002

E: communications@travellermovement.org.uk

W: https://travellermovement.org.uk/

 

Notes to Editor

* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion.

Read The Care System and Gypsies, Roma and Travellers: an investigation https://travellermovement.org.uk/reports?download=120:the-care-system-and-gypsies-roma-and-travellers-an-investigation

Read a fact sheet on local authority care proceedings: https://travellermovement.org.uk/advocacy-support/useful-resources?download=132:are-you-concerned-that-your-child-may-be-taken-into-care

Visit the Traveller Movement YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1SnfRK7M7PGmnkghtGq4hQ/videos

Visit Women’s Aid website: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/

Visit Solace Women’s Aid website https://www.solacewomensaid.org/

TM Annual Conference 2018

View our latest annual conference report here:

 

Brexit and Irish citizens in the UK: how to safeguard the rights of Irish citizens in an uncertain future

The rights of Irish citizens are at risk because of Brexit according to our latest report, authored by migration barrister Simon Cox. The paper found that the rights Irish citizens currently enjoy in the UK only have a legal grounding in their status as EU citizens and not as Irish citizens. These rights include:

  • Exemption from deportation;
  • The right to rent private accommodation; and
  • The right to work in the UK.

This means that after Brexit, Irish citizens may no longer enjoy these rights unless legislative action is taken to enshrine the rights of Irish citizens in to British law. The paper examines what would happen to the rights of Irish citizens under UK law, if the UK were to end the special status of EU citizens before putting in to place legal provisions to protect the rights of the 381,000 people of Irish birth currently living in the UK. This includes many Irish Travellers who hold Irish citizenship. The legal analysis found:

  • The immigration status of Irish citizens arriving from outside the Common Travel Area would be unclear. There would be no explicit legal right for these people to enter, to stay, to work, and to rent private accommodation, nor any explicit legal bar on removal or deportation.
  • The lack of clarity on the status of Irish citizens could make the British citizenship of their children unclear.
  • There would be no explicit bar on exclusion of Irish citizens from Northern Ireland, regardless of their ties to Northern Ireland.
  • Irish citizens would be excluded from cash benefits.
  • Irish citizens would be excluded from non-cash social welfare, unless this would violate their human rights.
  • Irish citizens may be excluded from free NHS treatment.

The paper recommends that the simplest, and therefore most effective, means of guaranteeing the rights of Irish citizens after Brexit would be a general law providing that Irish citizens should be treated equally with British citizens. 

The paper and project was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. https://www.jrct.org.uk/

 

Project for young Gypsies, Roma and Travellers in London

Do you want to learn research skills and take part in designing and filming a video about the difficulties London Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people face in education?

Are you 18 – 25 years old? (Or 15 – 17 in which case you will need an adult escort)

You will:

  • Take part in 3 training sessions in Holloway and at City Hall, and receive £20 voucher from every session you take part in, plus travel costs 
  • Learn research skills such as designing a questionnaire and interviewing
  • Conduct 3 – 5 interviews, and receive £20 voucher for each completed interview!
  • Help to design a video with a professional film company
  • Act in a video (voluntary)

This project is funded by the Mayor of London as a part of their Citizen Led Engagement program.

The project will document what are the barriers London’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller young people have in relation to education. We will teach you the skills you need to produce the project you want.

The first meeting will take place Wednesday 19th June 10.30am – 2.30pm at Traveller Movement offices, 356 Holloway Road, N7 6PA.

If you are interested, please contact Christina by Friday 7th June

Email: partnerships@travellermovement.org.uk

Phone: 020 7607 2002       Mobile: 079 08433413

The last acceptable form of racism?

The Traveller Movement’s research, ‘The last acceptable form of racism?’, is the most extensive of its kind and sheds new light into Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) people’s experience of prejudice and discrimination in areas such as education, employment, healthcare and access to services. It also reveals the full extent to which hate crime impacts on community members everyday lives, the coping mechanisms they use, and how likely they are to seek help.

4 out of 5 (77%) of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have experienced hate speech or a hate crime. This ranged from regularly being subject to racist abuse in public to physical assaults

Despite the experience of prejudice being so common for Gypsies, Roma and Traveller (GRT) only 1 out of 5 (13%) sought help. GRT people said they felt the police or legal professionals would not help them so saw seeking help “pointless”.

Half of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people have experienced discrimination in the workplace. This ranged from being fired once the company learned of their heritage to colleagues refusing to work with them because of their ethnicity.

The dominant coping mechanism Gypsies, Roma and Travellers used when trying to avoid racism was to try and hide their ethnicity (77% said they regularly attempted to hide their ethnicity).

70% of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers said they had experienced prejudice in education, with teachers being mentioned most frequently in the context of perpetuating stereotypes and overlooking bullying and racism.

Download Full Report

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About us

The Traveller Movement is a national community charity promoting inclusion and community engagement with Gypsies, Roma and Travellers.

The Traveller Movement seeks to empower and support Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities to advocate for the full implementation of their human rights.

Address

The Traveller Movement,
The Resource Centre,
356 Holloway Road,
London, N7 6PA.

Tel 020 7607 2002 | Fax 020 7607 2005

Registered Charity: 1107113

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