A group of three girls are sat on a patch of grass in front of a brick wall with a window. There is a bike laid down on the kerb in front of them and another rested against a small wooden fence to the right, behind them. A caravan can also be seen to the right of the children in the background.

National survey exposes racism and discrimination faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people

A national survey has found that Romany Gypsy, Roma, Irish Traveller and travelling communities experience some of the highest levels of racially motivated abuse, social and economic deprivation, and poor access to health and employment.

Led by the Centre on the Dynamics of Diversity, and supported by Friends, Families and Travellers, the survey had the largest number of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller participants in any national survey to date.

The research showed that:

  • 62% of Gypsies and Travellers had experienced racial abuse, which was the highest out of all minority ethnic groups surveyed;
  • 47% of Roma people had been racially assaulted; and
  • 37% of Roma people have been physically attacked.

The wider effects of discrimination led to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people experiencing the highest levels of social and economic deprivation, with:

  • More than half of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people having no educational qualifications;
  • 85% of Gypsy or Traveller men and 65% of Roma men were in precarious employment, compared with 19% of white British men.

The survey also highlighted stark health inequalities across health outcomes and access to services:

  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller men were over 12 times more likely to suffer with more than two physical health conditions than white British men; and
  • Roma people had the highest risk of not being able to access health and social care services.

Speaking about the survey results, Sarah Mann, Director at Friends, Families and Travellers, said:

We are hugely proud of and grateful to the Romany, Roma and Traveller people that came forward and took part in the Evidence for Equality National Survey, the largest ever participation of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community members in a survey.

As the data shows, the devastating experiences of people from Romany, Roma and Traveller communities are no longer just anecdotal. The racism, hate, discrimination, and gross marginalisation across the board is actively damaging Romany, Traveller and Roma people’s life chances.

The government needs to listen to Romany, Traveller and Roma people, and concrete steps must be taken so that everyone can live healthy lives with dignity, respect, and free from hate.


About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.

Media Contact

Communications Team

Email: [email protected]

Additional Resources

Evidence for Equality National Survey (EVENS). CODE. 2023. View page.

Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CODE). University of Manchester. 2023. View page.

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