Gypsy Roma Traveller Leeds
The permanent site of the Gypsy Roma Traveller Communities
Racism and prejudice has never been too far from Traveller and Gypsy people and you can read about the history of persecution in our History Section.
Sadly, racism and discrimination have gone hand in hand with Gypsies and Travellers.
Many Gypsy, Roma and Travellers are subject to racist attacks and name-calling, the withdrawal of services and refusal of admission to shops and pubs and so on. This is despite the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, which has made all these things illegal.
Addressing the ignorance that leads to the misunderstanding and intolerance of these people is one of the aims of this site.
For further information follow the links below.
For more details on Traveller Communities click here
Roma, Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are now all recognised to have protection under the Race Relations Act as they have been finally recognised as minority ethnic communities in law.
Romany Gypsies who have arrived in the U.K. this century. Most have come as refugees or asylum seekers from Eastern Europe where they have often been subject to racist attacks.
The largest group of Travellers in the U.K. They first arrived in England in the 1500’s and were thought to have come from Egypt and so were called Egyptians. This was shortened to ‘Gypsy.’ They had originally travelled from Northern India from about 1000 A.D.
They speak Romani, which originated from Sanskrit spoken in India. Most Gypsies use English as a first language and retain Romani for family and community use. English Romani having English syntax and Romani words.
Irish Travellers were first seen in the 1100’s and spoke Shelta, an Irish Travellers’ language.
CRE says discrimination against Gypsies and Travellers is the last 'respectable' form of racism.
The Commission for Racial Equality today launched its strategy on Gypsies and Travellers following two months of consultation with Gypsies and Travellers, community and public organisations and local authorities.
Read the report from the Campaign for Racial Equality.
The report ‘Raising the attainment of minority ethnic pupils’ highlighted the fact that:
It is essential to appreciate the difficulties that these communities have had, And continue in having, in accessing an education.
It cannot be assumed that Travelling families will be able to gain access to schools as readily as others due to inadequate site provision and the scarcity of school places in some areas. Illegal camping can result in swift eviction and difficulty in school attendance.
In January 2002 the official government count found that 2,774 - or 20% of all British Gypsy caravans - were on unauthorised encampments. The survey showed 326 more families were on unauthorised sites than in january 2001, without guaranteed access to water, toilets and schooling.
Download the pdf leaflet "Obstacles to Development" from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights' website.
Gypsies and Travellers are often neglected in considerations of Britain as a multi-ethnic society, or only included as an afterthought. But they too were defined in the past as an inferior race and are part of the history of British racism.
A law enacted in 1530 imposed a ban on the immigration of ‘Egyptians’ and in 1554 a further law made for their capital punishment if they remained in the country for more than a month. These laws were not repealed until 1783.
Despite the great diversity between and within travelling groups, all are lumped there in the minds of settled communities. They suffer from high degrees of social exclusion, vilification and stereotyping.
Gypsies have been discriminated because of their nomadic lifestyle and their non-caucasian appearance.
In Education Gypsy and Traveller pupils are particularly at risk. Although some make a reasonable start in primary school, by the time they reach secondary school their generally low level of attainment is a matter of serious concern. In 1996 it was estimated that 10,000 Gypsy and Traveller children were not even registered for education in English schools.
Some aspects of dress and jewellery and other items have religious or cultural significance, which can be easily under-estimated in a secular, monocultural society.
Roma, Gypsies and Travellers have traditionally worn jewellery which is part of their cultural traditions and should be respected as such. Their right to cultural expression should be seen in the same light as that of other minority ethnic communities in our city.
If there is a concern over safety then this would need to be discussed with the parents and the Traveller Education Service could help with advice,guidance and mediation if required.
A judgement from the European Court of Human Rights on Travellers. Leeds Travellers, Jim and Esther Connors, in standing up for their rights have won a major case at the European Court of Human Rights, which will benefit all Travellers in the UK.
Johnny, a fifteen year old Irish Traveller, was tragically killed in a racist attack in Ellesmere Port in 2003. His death was very similar to that of Stephen Lawrence and the Cheshire Police investigated the his death as a racially motivated crime.
This is an excellent Training Pack that has been developed by John Coxhead a Police Training Officer in Derbyshire. It would be a very useful basis for training with all groups.
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