The Irish Government was awarded a ‘D’ in terms of Traveller and Roma Children in Report Card 2020. As members of the Children’s Rights Alliance (CRA), Pavee Point echos the CRA call for the recommendations of the Independent Expert Group on Traveller Accommodation to be implemented

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive, Children’s Rights Alliance –

“The Report Card series has consistently recorded a poor performance year-after-year under commitments to Traveller and Roma Children, which receives a ‘D’ grade this year. This grade reflects sustained inequalities in the accommodation circumstances for Traveller and Roma children.

Little has been done to address that fact that Traveller families are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis. While Traveller families make up less than one per cent of the population, they make up nine per cent of the homeless population and face the highest levels of discrimination when accessing housing.

Photograph by Derek Speirs.

Traveller and Roma children are more likely to report being bullied and many children report hiding their identity. In 2019, there were some good examples of new approaches to support Traveller children. For example, the Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) piloted a pilot project in 2019 to improve school attendance for Traveller children in three sites involving people from Traveller and Roma communities as the education workers.

Initiatives like this are a welcome development but we will need to see action in the next Programme for Government if we are to truly improve the lives of Traveller and Roma children.”

Report Card 2020 – Equality Chapter