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Traveller and Roma Policy in Ireland

Traveller and Roma communities in Ireland

The Traveller Community

The total number of Irish Travellers enumerated in April 2011 was 29,573 accounting for just over half of one per cent (0.6%) of the total population Census 2011. Travellers in Ireland have the same civil and political rights as other citizens under the Constitution. The key anti-discrimination measures, the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977, the Employment Equality Acts and the Equal Status Acts specifically identify Travellers by name as a group protected. The Equality Act 2004, which transposed the EU Racial Equality Directive, applied all the protections of that Directive across all of the nine grounds contained in the legislation, including the Traveller community ground. All the protections afforded to ethnic minorities in EU directives and international conventions apply to Travellers because the Irish legislation giving effect to those international instruments explicitly protects Travellers.

The Roma Community

The Roma community in Ireland is made up of persons of Romanian, Hungarian, Slovakian, Polish and Czech origin and Roma have the same rights and responsibilities as any other EU citizen when in Ireland. There are no official statistics on the number of Roma in Ireland but it is estimated to be in the region of 3,000-5000.

In July 2014 the report of the inquiry conducted by Ms. Emily Logan, former Ombudsman for Children, under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 into the circumstances surrounding the removal of two Roma children from their families was published and identified a range of steps that need to be taken, including detailed issues that need to be addressed within An Garda Síochána and the HSE, the Child and Family Agency and others, as well as wider issues that relate to how public services generally engage with members of the Roma community. All of these recommendations were accepted unequivocally. The report of the Group established to monitor the implementation of the recommendations will be published shortly.

One of the recommendations related to the conducting of an up to date assessment of need for the Roma Community in Ireland and the Department of Justice has partnered with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre to carry out an Assessment of Need for the Roma Community. The results should be known by end August 2015 allowing for further improved interactions with and service delivery for the Roma community in Ireland.

** Roma Research **

Final call for expressions of interest for Roma research

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