UN Child Rights Committee Calls for Urgent Measures on Traveller and Roma Children
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Pavee Point Traveller
& Roma Centre, along with a coalition of Traveller organisations, welcomes
today’s publication of the Concluding Observations on Ireland by the United
Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Ireland’s record on children’s
rights was reviewed by the Committee for the fourth time last month.
The main areas of concern
in the Concluding Observations draw the State’s attention to a number of areas
of concern for Travellers, Roma and other minority children.
Pavee Point endorses the
Committee’s concern to strengthen measures to eliminate discrimination against
Traveller, Roma and other minority children and to ensure their access to
adequate accommodation/housing, healthcare, education and a decent standard of
“We support the call to
progress the Traveller and Roma mental health action plans and develop a
designated mental health support service for children of minority ethnic
groups, with a focus on providing support to those who have experienced racial
discrimination and related trauma.
“This along with the
resourcing and implementation of the National Traveller Health Action Plan,
which the Committee also recommends, were among priority issues highlighted
with the Committee Members in Geneva,” said Mary Brigid Collins of Pavee Point.
Habitual Residence Condition
Gabi Muntean, Roma Community
Worker in Pavee Point, said she was glad that the State had been asked to
assess the impact of the Habitual Residence Condition on children of ethnic
minority groups, including Traveller and Roma children, and amend social
welfare payments accordingly to ensure that policies do not have a
discriminatory effect on children.
She called for immediate
measures to ensure that child benefit can be granted to all children as an
anti-poverty measure, in line with the announcement of the child poverty unit
in the Department of the Taoiseach.
Targeted Measures Throughout Education
‘For a long time, Pavee
Point and other Traveller organisations have been calling for targeted measures
to improve education outcomes for Travellers’, said Megan Berry, a Community
Worker in Pavee Point. ‘We fully welcome the recommendation for the State to
implement targeted measures to improve the educational outcomes of Roma and
Traveller children at all levels of education, in particular at secondary
level, and to develop the National Traveller Education Strategy.’
National Traveller & Roma Inclusion Strategy
Pavee Point also welcomes
the recommendation to set a clear timeline for the next National Traveller and
Roma Inclusion Strategy and strengthen measures to ensure the enjoyment of
Traveller and Roma children of all rights under the Convention, including with
regard to full and equal access to education, health services and adequate
housing and freedom from discrimination and violence.
National Action Plan Against Racism
For Travellers and Roma,
and all others affected by racism, we urge the government to implement the
recommendation of the Committee that they launch without delay the National
Action Plan against Racism; allocate sufficient resources for its
implementation; designate an entity responsible for the implementation and
monitoring of the plan and ensure that children of minority groups can
participate in the evaluation and optimisation of the plan.
Pavee Point Traveller and
Roma Centre, along with National Traveller Women’s Forum, Minceir Whiden,
Donegal Travellers Project and Galway Traveller Movement made submissions to
the Committee last year and participated in the review of Ireland this January.
In addition to the above recommendations, the Committee draws the State’s
attention to a number of other recommendations on children’s rights and calls
for urgent measures in relation to them.