UN to examine UK Government on Gypsy and Traveller Rights

Today, the UN Committee for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights published their ‘List of Issues’, to which Friends, Families and Travellers and organisations working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities had previously submitted a joint report.

Using the List of Issues, the UK Government will be examined on its compliance in upholding the rights of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK, with the UN picking up on points from the submission made by the coalition of organisations.

The UN have asked the UK Government to report on discrimination in relation to health, education, housing and the overrepresentation of Gypsies and Travellers in the Criminal Justice System, specifically:

  •  Please provide information on steps taken to eradicate racial discrimination against… members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Communities, especially in the fields of health, housing and education, and about actions taken to ensure that implementation of the Brexit does not result in a regression on equality and non-discrimination.
  • Please also comment on the high number of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children in secure training centres, and a prominent increase in Muslim prisoners across different ethnicities over the past decade.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission reporting timetable, the UK will submit its response to the List of Issues by April 2021. Shortly after this, the UK will again be examined by the UN in terms of its compliance with the Covenant and make relevant recommendations.

Speaking on the List of Issues, Abbie Kirkby, Advice and Policy Manager at Friends, Families and Travellers:

“It is vital that these stark inequalities experienced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities across the UK are heard by human rights bodies like the United Nations. We hope that this will put pressure on the Government to take immediate action to address these issues, which have been left unaddressed for too long.”

 

Notes for Editor

About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works on behalf of all Gypsies, Roma and Travellers regardless of ethnicity, culture or background.

Media Contact

Sami McLaren, Communications Officer

Tel: 01273 234 038 Email: sami@gypsy-traveller.org

Relevant Resources

United Nations Human Rights Committee. ‘List of issues prior to submission of the eighth periodic report of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’. May 2020. View list.

Last updated May 7, 2020

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