UN ‘deeply concerned’ at discrimination against Traveller and Roma children

Recommendations released today by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) urge the Irish state to address discrimination against Traveller and Roma children and to recognise Travellers as a minority ethnic group.

A third of the Committee’s recommendations focus specifically on Traveller and Roma children. The committee repeatedly highlighted their concerns about Traveller and Roma children recommending that the state strengthen its efforts to combat discrimination, stigmatization and the social exclusion of Traveller and Roma children.

This report is further evidence that the Irish State is failing to protect Traveller and Roma children. Traveller and Roma children face discrimination from every angle on a daily basis. If we do not ensure that children have access to an education, healthcare and an adequate standard of living we are not only condemning this generation, we are also failing future generations.’

 Martin Collins, Co-Director Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre.

The committee’s report noted with concern the alleged impunity for publicly expressed discriminatory remarks by public representatives about Travellers.

On 14 of January, the Minister of Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly TD, and Government representatives appeared before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for its examination of Ireland’s children’s rights record.


Pavee Point submitted a Shadow Report to the UNCRC on Traveller and Roma Children’s Rights to the Committee in March 2015, following which we were invited to brief them in a confidential session.


A supplementary report was issued by Pavee Point to the Committee in December in 2015 following the tragedy in Carrickmines.


The UNCRC released its recommendations (Concluding Observations) on Ireland this morning.