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Unfair treatment of UK’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities raised to the UN

A coalition of organisations working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have submitted a report to the United Nations (UN) to highlight the Government’s failure to uphold the rights of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK. The report will be considered by the UN Committee for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The report was prepared and submitted by Friends Families and Travellers, the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups, Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group, Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment and Gypsy and Traveller Empowerment Hertfordshire.

The UN invited organisations to submit evidence for a ‘List of Issues’ that the UK Government will need to report back on. It is estimated that the UN will review UK compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in mid-late 2021.

  • The evidence highlights the following breaches of the convention: ‘Discrimination in accessing basic services’, in violation of Article 26,
  • ‘Gypsies and Travellers denied the right to practice and enjoy their culture’, in violation of Article 27,
  • Race hate against Gypsies and Travellers, in violation of Articles 19 and 20(2).

On the experience of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, the report states that these communities are amongst the most marginalised and excluded in the UK. Members of these communities are the most likely to experience housing deprivation, poor health outcomes, low education attainment and high levels of race hate and discrimination.

Commenting on the report, Abbie Kirkby, Advice and Policy Manager at Friends Families and Travellers said:

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: [email protected]

Relevant Resources

Friends Families and Travellers. ‘Submission to the Committee for the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’. January 2020. View file.

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