Working to ensure the Roma community is recognised, included and respected as a minority ethnic group in Donegal
- -Roma constitute the largest minority ethnic group in Europe with an estimated 10-12 million across Europe living in many different countries including Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and others.
- -Since migrating westwards from Northern India from around the 11th century the Roma community has experienced persecution, forced assimilation, slavery and discrimination. In parts of Romania, Roma were enslaved until the mid- nineteenth century. Roma were targeted during the Holocaust and an estimated 500,000 Roma died in concentration camps.
- Ireland’s first Roma Needs Assessment Roma in Ireland: A National Needs Assessment 2018 was jointly published by Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre and the Department of Justice and Equality in 2018. This study was carried out by 18 trained Roma peer researchers.
- According to the Needs Assessment, of approximately 5,000 Roma living in Ireland, 63.3% of Roma children were born in Ireland, 52.2% of children are Irish citizens, 70% have been living in Ireland for five years and 14% for 15 years or more.
- Roma in Ireland reported high levels of discrimination particularly in the street/public setting (81.1%) and accessing accommodation (93.3%). Accessing Social Protection was another area where Roma feel discriminated against (84.3%). Of respondents who applied for social protection 48.1% were not successful.
- According to the Needs Assessment, 20% of respondents experienced significant poverty with 12.4 % reporting no kitchen, 9.6 % no cooker and 13.5 % no fridge.
- The respondents also reported sometimes being without food, gas, water and/or electricity
- 17.6 per cent cited begging as a source of income with a further 14 per cent reporting no income.
- Donegal Travellers’ Project works to challenge racism and discrimination against the Roma community wherever it is encountered and also works to address discrimination at the institutional level.
- In late 2022 DTP undertook a health-focused needs analysis of the Roma community in the north west with the aim of developing a health plan for the community in the region. This work is funded by the HSE through their National Social Inclusion office and is being carried out by the DTP’s Roma Development and Project Management Teams.
- The national Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy 2017-2021 features a roadmap for Traveller and Roma inclusion in every aspect of Irish society. The strategy also includes positive commitments by national departments and agencies to participate in specific actions which support Traveller and Roma inclusion.
- Donegal Travellers Project accesses resources to deliver a community development approach to promote equality and human rights for the Roma community in Donegal.
- Donegal Travellers Roma Project provides an outreach/neighbourhood work approach to build relationships with the Roma community across Donegal.
- We at DTP continue to develop our understanding and knowledge of the complex and diverse history and struggles of the Roma communities across Europe.
- Donegal Travellers Roma Project seeks to ensure the Roma community has increased access, opportunities, participation rates and outcomes from the Heath service and health-related initiatives across the county.
- Donegal Travellers Project will continue to ensure increased access to education services, including pre-school and after-school, for the Roma community living in Donegal.
- Donegal Travellers Project will continue to work in collaboration at a local, regional and national level through networking and representing the needs and interests of the Roma communities living in Donegal.