Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre urges the Irish Government to act on recommendations in a new Council of Europe report that outlines  challenges that still remain to improve the social and economic situation of Travellers.

The report from the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities also details the significant discrimination of which it says Irish Travellers are victim to in numerous aspects of their daily life.

“This is a wide-ranging and insightful report that gives the Irish Government the way forward in making a real positive impact on life for Irish Travellers today,” said Martin Collins, Pavee Point Co Director.

“We urge political leaders to act on this report to promote respect for diversity among all citizens,” he added.

Accommodation

The report urges local authorities to tackle the problem of failing to provide Traveller specific accommodation and to review trespass legislation that criminalises Travellers.

Lack of implementation

The report accuses Irish authorities of “a lack of clear and concrete implementation plans, with specific targets, indicators, timeframes and allocated resources” across a variety of areas.

The Convention calls for a joint national and local campaign raising general awareness of the level of discrimination Travellers experience.

Need for Awareness Raising on Discrimination

It encourages specific awareness-raising programmes targeting licensed services’ owners.  It calls for a new National Action Plan Against Racism with clear targets, indicators, timeframe and resources.

The report warns that the Traveller language Cant is endangered and is need of revitalisation and that the central elements of Traveller identity need to be promoted.

Other aspects covered in the report include Traveller employment in An Garda Siochána, the need for a Traveller Employment Strategy, a Traveller Education Strategy and Traveller quotas in political representation.

 This is the Fourth Opinion of the Convention which was slowed down  by a  22 month delay on the part of the Irish State in reporting to the Convention.

The Framework have also published the Government’s Comments on the report.