Racism is wrong and should be challenged!
There are a number of different ways in which discrimination can take place, we’ve outlined the main ones below and steps on how you can challenge and report it if it happens to you.
What does the law say?
Equality Act 2010
English Gypsies and Irish Travellers–Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised as two distinct ethnic minority groups in law because they are recognised as members of communities with a shared history, culture and language stretching back over hundreds of years. As such they are granted the full protection of the Equality Act.
New Travellers – New Travellers are not a legally recognised ethnic minority group because their history only goes back to the early 1960s. However, all individuals and groups are granted protection under The Human Rights Act.
Types of Discrimination
Members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities can often face harassment and discrimination on a daily basis as a result of negative stereotypes and deeply ingrained cultural prejudices. Unfortunately, many instances of harassment and discrimination go unchallenged because they are subtle and indirect. However, there are ways to counter harassment and discrimination and there are specific instances when it can be successfully challenged.
Direct Discrimination– Direct discrimination happens when an individual or body (such as a brewery, shop or a service provider) openly discriminates against an individual or group because of who they are. Examples of this would be things like a pub or shop putting a sign on the door say ‘No Travellers’.
Indirect Discrimination– Indirect discrimination happens when a service provider such as a local authority, health authority, school, etc.. excludes an individual or group or restricts their access to services because of who they are. Examples of this would be a local authority housing department refusing to put a member of the Gypsy and Traveller communities on a housing waiting list because because they have not been resident in the housing authority’s area for more than six months.
Because members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities face continuous eviction and are often forcibly moved from one area to the next, it is often impossible for them to be resident in one specific locality for a sufficient length of time. The person concerned would have to show that they had remained in the general area (i.e., the county) and had local links (such a children attending local school or a history of employment).
Race Hate Case Studies:
Case Study A
Client A called our national advice line after being refused service in a pub. The client had been to his local pub after the management had changed. He was told that they didn’t serve Irish Travellers because some Irish Travellers had previously been in a fight on the premises. There was no link between the people who had been involved in the fight and our client. When our client challenged the ban, he was informed that the police had advised the landlord to take this action.
We served the publican with an RR65 (Race Relations Questionnaire) and made a complaint to the police regarding their advice.
Case Study B
A client contacted our advice line after her daughter’s wedding was spoiled by the actions of hotel workers. The family had booked a large, expensive wedding with the hotel. It was booked well in advance and initially the hotel staff/manager/wedding coordinator were friendly and helpful. Then a wedding guest stayed in the hotel on other business and mentioned that they were coming back for a Gypsy wedding.
At the next meeting with the wedding coordinator they were asked outright if they were Gypsies. When they said yes the hotel came up with a list of further requirements that had not been in the original contract, including; additional security personnel, fencing around the marquee and an additional deposit against damages. The service they received was also affected; the bar was closed early, they were barred from the main dining room of the hotel for breakfast and staff members were generally rude to them.
We referred this case and it was taken on by the legal team of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Case Study C
A vulnerable homeless family were being supported by our outreach team. The mother was pregnant and one of the older children in care. They went from emergency B & B accommodation to housing. Neighbours in the new house were seriously racially abusive towards the family shouting ‘Pikey’ and smearing excrement on their door.
We supported the family to access police and victim support. We also assisted with getting the family rehoused.
How to report racism
Report Racism GRT
This is a hate incident reporting site and support service that is run by and for Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in the UK by Herts Gate. If you have been the victim of a hate crime or hate speech because of your Gypsy or Traveller identity, use this website. By using this reporting tool you are providing Report Racism GRT with evidence to support the case for a more effective government approach to combating hate crime and hate speech.
Visit the Report Racism GRT website.
You can call the Report Racism Hate Crime Officers around the country to report an incident.
- If you are in or near Hertfordshire, call 07534 790984
- If you are in or near Brighton, call 07399 336832
- If you are in or near Leeds, call 07399 336836
There is a website supported by all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where victims of hate crime can report the crime online. There is now a section dedicated to reporting hate crime against Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. True Vision provides information for victims and the public about what hate crime is, why it is important to report it when it happens, and sets out the range of ways hate crimes can be reported, including via a new online reporting form.
The site also provides links to organisations that can offer support and advice on hate crime related issues. Internet hate crime can also be reported on the True Vision website and you can find more info about this here.
Discrimination from an organisation or service
Equality Advisory Support Service
The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) is an advice service aimed at individuals who need expert information, advice and support on discrimination and human rights issues and the applicable law, particularly when this is more than advice agencies and other local organisations can provide.
If you have experienced discrimination from an organisation or institution eg. been refused entry at a pub because they have a ‘No Travellers’ policy, been fired from work because you are a Gypsy or Traveller, been followed by security staff around a supermarket because you are a Gypsy or Traveller, then EASS may be able to assist you in making a complaint or challenging this.
Telephone: 0808 800 0082 | Textphone: 0808 800 0084
Howe and Co Solicitors
Have you suffered from discrimination?
- Have you been refused service or entry to a bar, club restaurant or hotel?
- Was it because you are a Traveller or a Gypsy?
You don’t have to accept this!!
Howe & Co Solicitors can help you to take action, get an apology and seek financial damages. Contact us as soon as possible
Telephone: 020 8840 4688
Email: [email protected]
Download the Friends, Families and Travellers Race Hate Crime poster.
Download Marc Willers’ article on tackling race hate speech.