Traveller and Roma strategy targets access to employment, health

Cross-government policy plan has 120 objectives to address inclusion, discrimination

Travellers protesting outside the Dáil. Currently only 13 per cent of Traveller children complete secondary school, compared with 92 per cent of those in the settled community. Just 1 per cent of Travellers progress to third level. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Travellers protesting outside the Dáil. Currently only 13 per cent of Traveller children complete secondary school, compared with 92 per cent of those in the settled community. Just 1 per cent of Travellers progress to third level. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Improved access to employment, education and healthcare for Travellers and Roma people as well as measures to address discrimination are outlined in a new Government strategy published on Tuesday.

The Irish Traveller Movement welcomed the publication of the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy (NTRIS), a cross departmental integrated national policy plan to address inclusion.

It targets a series of 120 objectives and actions in areas such as education, employment, children and youth, cultural identity, health, gender equality, anti-discrimination, accommodation and public services.

The strategy highlights the importance of protecting and promoting cultural identity for both the Traveller and Roma communities.

It also emphasises access and improved participation and outcomes for Traveller and Roma in education, which are equal to those for the majority population.

Currently only 13 per cent of Traveller children complete secondary school, compared with 92 per cent of those in the settled community. Just 1 per cent of Travellers progress to third level.

The strategy also says there should be adequate provision of accessible, suitable and culturally-appropriate accommodation available for Travellers. It seeks the implementation of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework to ensure full expenditure of funds allocated for Traveller-specific accommodation.

A targeted recruitment drive to train and employ Travellers and Roma staff in public services is also part of the strategy.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Traveller Movement said a detailed operational plan needed to be put in place without delay, with clear targets, timelines and realistic resources for implementation.