Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups and covered under the Race Relations Act.
They face serious discrimination that has an impact on their health, education and living standards:
Traveller mothers are 20 times more likely to have experienced the death of a child than non-Travellers
In 2003 less than one quarter of Irish Traveller and Gypsy children got five GCSEs at grades A-C—compared to a national average of just over half
A third of Travellers in Britain don’t have a legal or secure place to live—many live by the roadside or on unauthorised developments in constant fear of eviction
Successive governments have made the situation worse.
Councils refuse more than 90 percent of planning applications from Travellers (Barkham, 2005). This compares to 20 percent of non-Traveller applications
Most local authorities are failing to meet their targets to significantly increase accommodation for Travellers by 2011, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (2009)
The Tories are making life worse for Travellers. The Localism Bill removes the requirement on local councils to provide alternative sites for Travellers. It puts the responsibility for determining the “appropriate” level of site provision for Travellers onto individual councils.
This will make provision a lottery and life for Travellers even more uncertain.
Every working class person will feel the pressure
Two inspiring strikes show the way forward