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Traveller and Roma Policy in Ireland
Traveller and Roma Inclusion Unit
The Unit supports and co-ordinates ongoing policy development in relation to the Traveller and Roma Communities in Irish society, including
· monitoring and supporting actions to increase the effectiveness of national policies;
As part of its international work, the Unit performs the role of European National Roma Contact Point (NRCP) in relation to the inclusion of Travellers and Roma in Irish society and works to further Ireland’s commitments under the EU Framework for the Implementation of Roma Integration Strategies in each of the 5 key priority areas of Accommodation, Health, Education, Employment, Anti-Discrimination. To achieve this, the Unit works collaboratively with stakeholders across the country, at both national and local level.
· contributing to policy development at international level; and
· promoting positive communications between Traveller & Roma communities, public bodies and the wider settled community.
At national level, a Steering Group has been established to oversee the development and implementation of strategy for the inclusion of Travellers and Roma. The Unit provides administrative support to the Group which comprises membership from all relevant Government Departments and Agencies as well as representatives from Non-Government Organisations representing the Travelling and Roma people. During 2015 the Group will oversee a wide-ranging consultation process aimed at reviewing, if necessary, Ireland’s National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy with a view to implementing any changes necessary from 2016.
At local level, Traveller Inter-Agency Groups (TIGs) operate at local authority (i.e. county council) level. The overall purpose of the TIGs is to improve Traveller access to services and to provide more integrated service delivery to achieve it. The Groups comprise membership drawn from relevant statutory bodies and the Traveller community. The Groups’ first annual conference will be held on 18th and 19th May 2015.
Promote and support positive communications in relation to Travellers & Roma
The Unit supports initiatives and events that will promote a positive image of Traveller culture, such as Traveller Pride Week. The Unit also works to achieve its long-term objective of eliminating feuding and to that end supports mediation efforts and conflict resolution initiatives, such as the Midlands Traveller Conflict and Medication Initiative (MTCMI). During 2015 the Unit is engaging with the Council of Europe regarding bringing its ROMED mediation programme to Ireland.
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