A report released today by the Cabinet Office revealed that for the first time, the Roma community will be recognised in the 2021 Census. Friends Families and Travellers welcome the announcement and hope to hear news soon that NHS England will include Gypsy, Roma and Traveller ethnicity in their data collection methods.
In a press release today, a spokesperson for the Office for National Statistics said:
“Information on the Roma community is needed to identify discrimination and introduce measures to prevent it. There is also evidence that data on Roma are needed in planning services, for example to help plan school places, understand language needs, review housing needs, and to plan housing development and design.”
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has made this recommendation following three years of consultation, question design and testing. The new tick box will appear under the White ethnic group category, following consultation with members of the Roma community.
Activists and organisations from across Gypsy, Roma and Traveller civil society, including Friends Families and Travellers, have been campaigning for years for the inclusion of Roma communities in data collection by the government. The fact that information on ethnicity of Roma communities has historically been excluded from government data collection has meant that the inequalities faced by this community have often been overlooked.
Commenting on the change, Sarah Mann, Director of Friends Families and Travellers said:
“We know that Roma communities face some of the harshest inequalities in the UK across health, education, accommodation and more. We hope that the inclusion of Roma communities in the 2021 census will ensure that evidence is collected on these inequalities and action is taken to address them.”
The announcement follows news earlier this year that a scoping exercise is underway to identify Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities as separate groups within the health and social care system. In March of this year, Lord O’Shaughnessy confirmed that the scoping exercise is due to be completed by the end of 2018.
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.
Sarah Sweeney, Communications and Health Policy Co-ordinator
Tel: 01273 234 777 Email: [email protected]