There has been no tangible improvement in the education, accommodation, employment and health of Travellers and Roma despite the Government’s National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy launched in June 2017, a report to the European Commission states.
According to this report, the inequality gap between Travellers and Roma, and the majority population remains entrenched and in the area of accommodation, in particular, the situation and experience of Travellers and Roma has gotten worse.
The situation in education has also regressed with the disbanding of a national advisory forum at the Department of Education and Skills in favour of a NTRIS working group which, until recently, focused on one specific NTRIS action.
The report states that
National employment strategies are insufficiently targeted
The entrenched education inequality gap, between Traveller children and their settled peers, persists with no national mechanism to advance the situation
The main State driver at the Department of Health to improve Traveller health has been dormant since 2012
There is now an urgent need for the publication and implementation of the forthcoming National Traveller Health Action Plan
The Traveller and Roma communities have become increasingly marginal in current policy and political debate on the housing and homeless crisis
Meanwhile Travellers continue to be significantly over-represented in the homeless population
Sustainable Initiatives Needed
While there have been some positive action measures by some State agencies and in the area of ethnic equality data collection – longterm , sustainable initiatives are required, the report recommends.
Measures to be welcomed, according to the report are:
the acknowledgement by the State of the need to provide robust data disaggregated by ethnicity that can monitor outcomes for Travellers and Roma with regard to access to and participation in public services
an education initiative to assist retention of Traveller and Roma children in the education system to be implemented by Tusla in four pilot areas
funding to support dedicated Roma employment initiatives for a two-year period
A National Traveller Health Action Plan drawn up by the Dept of Health in consultation with Traveller organisations
The report was prepared by Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre as part of the Roma Civil Monitor pilot project, ‘Capacitybuilding for Roma civil society and strengthening its involvement in the monitoring of National Roma Integration Strategies’. This is the second of two reports. The previous report was published in March 2018.
The pilot project is carried out for the European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers. It is coordinated by the Center for Policy Studies of the Central European University (CEU CPS), in partnership with the European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network (ERGO Network), the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) and the Roma Education Fund (REF) and implemented with around 90 NGOs and experts from up to 27 member states.