New research published today by Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre highlights key actions to help ensure the implementation of Traveller policies and see a real improvement in quality of life for Irish Travellers.
“The inequalities that exist for Travellers are a blot on our human rights landscape,” said Pavee Point Co Director, Martin Collins at the launch. “This research can help to map a way forward to Traveller inclusion and equality.”
Minister Roderic O’Gorman TD, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth launched the report and reiterated the opportunity it provides for improved implementation of policies affecting the Traveller community.
The research “Implementation of Traveller Policy: Terrain for Imagination and Challenge”, was carried out by ValueLabs on behalf of Pavee Point, and overseen by an advisory group from national Traveller organisations. It aims to analyse gaps and challenges in policy implementation and highlights that local coalitions could be drivers for change.
“We could see decent homes for Travellers, real opportunities from education and equal outcomes in health. But, we need more robust policy implementation structures, ” said Martin Collins.
According to the research, there is an important role for national stakeholders in enabling local level drivers for policy implementation. This includes ensuring national Traveller policy is in place and extracting learning from local models of policy implementation to inform national guidance.
“We all need to be clear on our approaches in these areas – the need for targeted measures within the mainstream, for example. We need to respect Traveller culture and identity and recognise that the racism experienced by Travellers at both the individual and systemic levels needs to be addressed urgently,” added Mr. Collins.
Meanwhile, the European Commission awaits Ireland’s overdue action plan – National Traveller & Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS) – in the context of the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Participation and Inclusion 2020 to 2030.
“Work on a new NTRIS needs to begin immediately and it needs to incorporate the findings of this research, and the key role it identifies for Traveller organisations,” added Mr. Collins.
The full report can be read online at Pavee Point’s library.