Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre welcomes State accountability

The family in Athlone whose child was removed from their home in 2013 have secured €60,000 damages in a settlement of their legal action.  Pavee Point welcomes the awarding of damages in light of the trauma that the young child endured.  The Logan Report noted the serious impact of these events on the child and it is important that this is acknowledged.

The Logan Report also noted that this child’s Roma ethnicity was influential in determining the decision to remove him from his parents with no objective or reasonable justification and constituted ethnic profiling.

“As a member of the Roma community I welcome the acknowledgement of wrongdoing by the State and that the family have received a settlement.” said Gabi Muntean, Community Development Worker Pavee Point “It is important for the Roma community to see accountability for these actions and that Roma in Ireland can have confidence in the State” she continued.

There have also been other positive initiatives since the publication of the Logan Report.  The Department of Justice have commissioned a national needs assessment of Roma in Ireland and have committed to develop a strong inclusive National Traveller Roma Inclusion Strategy.  Roma peer researchers under the aegis of Pavee Point have undertaken research with Roma families throughout the country to identify key human rights issues in areas including health, education, accommodation, employment and child and family support.

However, major actions to promote Roma inclusion still need to be undertaken.  Roma children continue to live in poverty and in inadequate living conditions in Ireland.

“There are little resources for family support for Roma families and they are falling through the gaps.  Roma children are at risk of being taken into care because many Roma families need support to meet their basic needs of food, health services and adequate accommodation” said Siobhan Curran, Roma Project Coordinator.

“We are calling for a small investment in Roma led community development initiatives in the areas of health, education and family support.  The Traveller primary health care projects have been extremely successful throughout the country and similar projects are needed for Roma” she continued.

“We are also calling on the Department of Social Protection to remove child protection from the habitual residence condition so that children have access to basic supports.  The habitual residence condition continues to impact Roma in Ireland whereby children suffer due to the status imposed on their parents.”