We work to support the development, implementation and monitoring of policies and initiatives that respect Traveller and Roma cultural identity. We aim to contribute to positive outcomes using both mainstreaming and targeted approaches. This includes engaging with UN bodies, European Institutions and State bodies. We make submissions across issues affecting Roma and Travellers and sit on a number of national bodies overseeing Traveller and Roma policy.
In June 2015 we attended the pre-sessional hearing of the UNChildren’s Rights Committee in Geneva. This followed a detailed submission to the Committee on the rights of Traveller and Roma children. This was an opportunity to highlight issues affecting Roma and Traveller children including, lack of acknowledgement of Traveller ethnicity, experiences of poverty, lack of access to education, poor health, the inclusion of Traveller children on the Garda PULSE system and the removal of Roma children from their families.
Read our full submission to the UN Committee , March 2015
Read our UPDATE on our submission to the UN Committee, December 2015
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
In June 2015 we attended the 55th session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights where Ireland was examined under the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. We highlighted issues, including a lack of acknowledgement of Traveller ethnicity, Traveller health and education inequalities, lack of access to social supports for Roma and the need for ethnic data in Ireland. We did this through our own submission and lobbying and by participating with an alliance of civil society organisations, coordinated by FLAC. We welcome the strong recommendations made by the Committee in relation to Traveller and Roma rights.
Civil and Political Rights
In June 2014 we attended the 111th session of the human rights committee where Ireland was examined under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings
We attend and contribute to the OSCE (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) human rights work annually. We attend and present at the Human Dimension Implementation and Supplementary meetings. This includes making official statements to the OSCE and member states in relation to the implementation of the Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti.
European Union Platform for Roma Inclusion
We attend annual meetings on Roma inclusion in the EU. In 2015 we participated in the European Union Platform for Roma Inclusion. The European Platform for Roma Inclusion brings together national governments, the EU, international organisations and Roma civil society representatives. The 2015 meeting focused on examining the policy commitment to Roma inclusion by EU member states and setting the agenda for the future steps of the European Platform for Roma inclusion.
National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy Steering Group
The Department of Justice and Equality set up a steering group for a National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy in 2015 which is chaired by Minister Ó Ríordáin. This body is responsible for revising the National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy. This consists of departmental representatives and Traveller and Roma civil society representatives. This is the first national policy forum with Roma representation. Pavee Point are represented on this group and are working to revise the National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy in 2015.
Ireland’s National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy
Pavee Point have campaigned for a revised progressive and inclusive National Traveller Roma Integration Strategy since 2012 when Ireland’s first strategy was developed. A strategy should incorporate the recommendations of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020; and the 10 Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion. This should include:
- achievable national goals with targets for Traveller and Roma inclusion. These goals should address, as a minimum, the four EU Roma integration goals relating to access to education, employment, healthcare and housing;
- actions to explicitly address racism towards Roma and Travellers and include measures to address gender inequality; and
- clear objectives, actions, impact indicators, time frames, clear lines of responsibility, funding mechanisms and strong inclusive monitoring and evaluation methods.
National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee
The NTACC The National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (NTACC) was established, on a statutory basis, under the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998.
The Committee is tasked with advising the Minister in relation to accommodation for Travellers; in relation to the participation of Travellers in the provision and management of accommodation and Traveller accommodation programmes.
Traveller Education Advisory and Consultative Forum
This forum is chaired by the Social Inclusion Unit in the Department of Education and Skills. The forum was established to advise on the implementation of the Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy.
National Traveller Health Advisory Committee
NTHAC consists of members from three national Traveller Organisations, the Department of Health and the HSE. This Committee oversees Traveller health policy, strategic planning and development. To date is has produced the Traveller Health Strategy 2002-2005, the All Ireland Health Study and piloting an ethnic identifier. The Committee is currently awaiting the outcome of a review to determine future work.