Today’s discrimination research published by IHREC and the ESRI is more hard evidence of the inequalities faced by Irish Travellers – evidence that can no longer be ignored – says Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre.
National Plan Against Racism
The research “Who experiences discrimination in Ireland? Evidence from the QNHS Equality Modules” shows 1 in 8 people experience racism and that Travellers experience much higher levels of discrimination in the workplace and in access to public and private services.
“These are facts that can no longer be ignored,” said Martin Collins, Pavee Point Co Director.
“Now it’s not just Traveller organisations who are highlighting this situation but it is also independent organisations talking about hard evidence,” he said.
“We need a National Action Plan Against Racism and for equality legislation to be strengthened,” said Ronnie Fay, Pavee Point Co Director.
Public Service Recruitment Quota Needed
This report shows that Travellers are almost ten times more likely than the White Irish group to experience discrimination in seeking work. And women are almost twice as likely as men to experience discrimination at work.
“Imagine how difficult it is if you are a Traveller woman out there looking for a job,” said Ms Fay.
“We knew from Census 2016 that there is an 80% unemployment rate in the Traveller community – and we know that discrimination is a major factor in this, something again that has been confirmed by this report. “The State can no longer ignore that employment activation schemes are not working for Travellers.
“We’re calling on the Government to lead on this issue and introduce a public service quota for the recruitment of Travellers.”
Remove barriers to taking discrimination cases
“Irish Travellers are 22 times more likely than White Irish to experience discrimination in accessing private services. This is outrageous,” said Martin Collins.
“Imagine the impact this has on Travellers trying to access shops, restaurants, hairdressers, pubs, banks and more and lead a so called ‘normal’ life.
“Traveller discrimination cases under the Equal Status Act do not reflect this level of discrimination and shows that the Act is not working in this area.
“We need discrimination in licenced premises, for example, to be like all other equality cases and heard in an equality tribunal and not in a District Court.
Hearings in a District Court are expensive as you need legal representation and there is often limited understanding of equality issues.”
Inclusion of an ethnic identifier in routine admin data systems
The report also highlights the need for ethnic data. “Ethnic data is needed to provide an evidence base to document the reality of discrimination against Travellers in 21st century Ireland,” said Ms. Fay.
“This evidence needs to be acted upon so we can stop the reality in Ireland where 97% of Travellers die before reaching 65years of age,” added Ms. Fay who called for the ethnic question to be included in national census and other administrative surveys.
Full IHREC/ESRI research report here – https://www.ihrec.ie/app/uploads/2017/11/Who-experiences-discrimination-in-Ireland-Report.pdf