By Staff Reporter
Ireland’s “ongoing failure to protect and respect Traveller and Roma rights in Ireland” was highlighted in the concluding observations of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR), according to a prominent Traveller rights group.
Pavee Point says Ireland’s third periodic report “pinpoints a series of systematic failures on the part of the State” in terms of access to healthcare, accommodation and education.
“How many UN committees have to point out Ireland’s embarrassing failure to protect Traveller and Roma rights before the State begins to take this issue seriously?,” said Pavee Point co-director Martin Collins. “If it is clear to a UN Committee in Geneva, surely it should be clear to the Irish Government?”
The high rate of early school leaving among Travellers was a particular point of concern, as was the lower life expectancy among the community, some 15 years less than the settled population.
In addition, Pavee Point says the report noted that :the State’s failure to engage in meaningful consultation with civil society particularly with regard to Traveller and Roma often results in policies and legislation being less effective.”
Ireland’s third report to UNCESCR was examined in Geneva on 8-9 June this year, marking the first time the State had appeared before the committee since 2002.